Don’t underestimate the power of stillness. I did.
When I first heard about Yin yoga it intrigued me with its blatant opposition to the growing yoga trend being to practice faster, harder, hotter. I initially was skeptical of what a completely static pose could bring. After trying a class, I immediately realized stillness might be just what I needed to find better body balance. Now, years into applying Yin postures to my practice, all I can say is WOW!
Right from that first practice Yin blew me away with an energy release that so subtly comes out from beneath the surface. The trick is to stay still and connected. No matter if you are new to yoga, or have an established practice, try adding some Yin postures and I think you too will be amazed at what comes up.
My video Yoga Trick: Feet utilizes two Yin yoga poses that are designed to release the feet. Why is this important? Our feet are the first thing to intrigue us as babies. We grab a hold of them and play with them, amazed at out how to use them. Once mastered, our feet are stuffed into shoes and most of us forget about them. It is no wonder that most people who step on a yoga mat are disconnected to their own feet. The fact is, our feet are crucial to our overall physical health and balance which means they are crucial to our quality of life as we age.
Kick off your shoes and try holding the two poses, Toe Squat and Ankle Stretch (or Hero Pose), for one minute to start. Accept what comes up. Release if you must. Allow your feet as much time as it takes to let go. Over time, with practice, you will be able to hold the poses longer.
When practicing Yin yoga, begin in a position that is pain-free, where you can remain still at an appropriate edge, release any muscular effort, and give your body complete freedom to let go over a long period of time. Try setting a timer for 1-3 minutes. Then relax. The idea is to allow the deep connective tissue (ligaments and tendons) to soften, stimulating your energy channels.
Discover your path.
Caution: If you have foot, ankle, or knee limitations/injuries you may want to consult a physician’s opinion. Remember to remain in the poses only as long as you are not experiencing any pain.