The other day, one of my long time yin yoga students said something I've been thinking about ever since--that practicing yin with me exposes what's really going on in the body. Not only is this an astute insight for the student, but it encapsulates the intention of my work with all my students.
I find the word "exposes" to be an interesting choice because it points to our complexity as humans. That at first glance what we think is going on is usually not the case. So many of us live disconnected and compartmentalized. We ignore, deny and push our bodies to function in ways that keep us stuck and in conflict with our authentic selves, because it feels easier and how we've functioned for years. However, when we function from the disconnect, we're actually working against our own energy, and we don't even realize it until we're sick, injured, or in some kind of crisis.
Yin yoga is quite a powerful practice with its long passive holds, minimal instruction, and nowhere to go but in. I love being able to provide the space for students to truly experience their bodies, their energy, their awareness. There's no agenda, no expectations, no urgency. The body is allowed to unwind and strategize without needing to be managed. It therefore becomes possible for the body to be seen and heard. And it is exactly this acknowledgment that initiates a deeper healing process.
So what kinds of things are "exposed" in yin?
Anything from physical tightness and restrictions to suppressed emotions to long standing beliefs and patterns. The possibilities are unlimited. This particular student who started this conversation for me around exposing things in the body said yin revealed the deep exhaustion he knew he had, but was busy pushing himself and ignoring it. This speaks for many of us in all our ways we push, avoid, distract, and tell ourselves stories that aren't true. Practicing yin can help us identify those stories and see what is actually true.
One of the things I help all of my clients do is learning how to partner with their body. This is a new concept for most, since we've been programmed to ignore and push, but a radically transformative paradigm shift. What if you could learn to really listen and trust your body more? To stop overriding your awareness around your body. To feel a sense of deep connection and partnership with your body. We can't function optimally if we're not integrated with our body, and Yin is a great place to start that discovery process.
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