Yin class this week starts with the feet: Ankle Stretch and Toe Squat. Yin yoga targets the fascia and connective tissue, so is done "cold" without a warm up and without ujjayi breath. We stay with postures for 2-5 minutes, making the sensation the object of meditation, much like you might make the breath the focal point of seated meditation.
Starting with the feet can be intense because they receive so little attention in everyday life - negative attention, even, in heels and constricting shoes! But this is also where many fascial lines are anchored and similarly many of the meridians these poses also impact. Beginning with the feet is both very focusing and a way to knock on the body's doors and request admittance to release more deeply. By applying intelligent pressure and stress to the fascia in the feet, we're opening up the entire system by which we interact with the ground, balance and move through the world. this will create effects, particularly over weeks of practice, in the joints and balance in the rest of the body.
No pose impacts a single meridian or fascial line, and even one meridian or line has knock on effects on the others. These poses will create systemic changes, though the focus of many poses in this class are the Stomach and Urinary Bladder meridians. The Stomach meridian has to do, not surprisingly, with nourishment and balancing the differing substances we take into our bodies and lives. the Urinary Bladder meridian impacts balance of the fight-or-flight and rest-and-relax systems known as the autonomic nervous system, making it's balance crucial in healthy handling of everyday as well as extraordinary stress.
Add a Yin Yoga practice to your week and see the transformative effects in your active asana practice as well as your ability to settle in seated meditation as well as move through your world with ease and grace. Leave a comment below about your Yin practice this week and be entered into a drawing for a recording of this practice!