Here in Thailand, I'm 5 days into a 300hr Advanced Yoga Teacher Training course. It's a 34 days journey and the first 10 days is yin yoga-the journey from anatomy to meditation. Early in the morning, we start with a long meditation and yin class, follow by theory and finish the day with guided pranayama/meditation and more yin.
Here is what I learned so far:
1. It's Not as Relaxing as You Think.
We might be in our pajamas (okay, just me) or sprawl over mountains of comfy bolsters and pillows in saddle pose, but trust me, there is nothing 'comfy' in yin yoga. Yin yoga itself, requires us to work on our edge. Regardless of how flexible you are, finding the edge of your flexibility and stays there for 3-5 minutes requires tenacity and courage.
2. It's All Suffering....
This is my new revelation. Yin yoga brings me suffering...until I practice non-attachment. There's something called the rebound in yin. That is after every pose, you take shavasana or child's pose or whatever position that allows you to 'rebound' the target area of the body. (I personally love facing down laying on my belly). So yesterday after 5 minutes in half shoelace, my nemesis, I thankfully took rebound in shavasana. Then just 2 minutes later, the cue came and I had to unwillingly drag myself out into another yin pose. I wasn't so sure what was pleasure or pain anymore? The rebound acted as a relief from the previous posture but the very same rebound became my sadness of separation all too quickly again. Gradually the polarity of these feelings help me to realize, all things come to an end. By practicing detachment from pain or pleasure- the magnitude of likes and dislikes dissipates and I can see things for what they really are.
3. It's True. Our Hips Store Emotions.
Careful those hips opening, you might be opening a flood gate.
It might sounds all too cliche or spiritually mysterious how our hips can instigate a full on crying spree. Yet, it's not just the hips, take any target area in a yin posture, you'll be surprised with the intense emotional sensation that comes with it. Fear, anxiety, anger... emotion is just another word for energy. For the scientific mind, energy cannot be created or destroyed. Thus the years of emotional impact we stow away got swept underneath our fascia and eventually consolidated into stiffness within the muscles, ligaments and joints. So in yin, when we try to release the fascia- years of unresolved emotions, pain and trauma pour out unmercifully.
Today is day off. I have 5 more days to go in the yin module. It has only been 5 days and seriously diving into the vastness of my mind and fascia- frankly is quite riveting.
I shall be sharing more soon. Stay tuned.