YinYasaTive Class Plan December 2014: Putting it all together, Strength and Openness in the Side Body
All physical practice of yoga is some flavor of Hatha yoga. Yin Yoga targets connective tissue and is done "cold" - without warming up, which engages muscles preferentially to connective tissue - so it comes first. In this class, after breath observation and alternate nostril breathing to sense into your body and switch gears from work, traffic and chores, we take two gentle twists slow, long with a cooling breath.
The central portion of practice is formed of linked postures, with or without Sun Salutations depending on the aim and level of the class. Linked postures are often referred to as "Vinyasa," which also means "to place in an intentional way." We focus on transitions between poses, not just being "in" a pose.
We conclude each class with Restorative postures and practices including Savasana, or final resting pose, and seated meditation depending on the aim and level of the class.
We're closing a 6 month cycle during which we've focused on the core catch, deep core, shoulder lines, front and back hips, back bends, forward bends and inversions. Focusing on postures that engage and open the side body - the sides of the rib cage, the arm pits and the soft space between the rib cage and pelvis called the "flank," as well as the often chronically tight IT (illio-tibial) band - requires sensing into, engaging and softening not only in the targeted area, but intense core engagement, heart opening (back bending + shoulder articulation) and hip engagement and awareness. We're putting it all together with this side body focussed class for the end of the year: fire up your inner bonfire and bring all the parts together for one last hurrah before we start the cycle again!