Day 149

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” ~Haruki Murakami

Today was kind of a combination of some of what we were going to do yesterday – meaning we ended the day with the talk about Yin Yoga and a yin class that we were going to do yesterday! So we did both Chair yoga and yin yoga today! Along with some more anatomy.

We started the morning (which started at 9:00am instead of the normal 8:30 just to give people time to get to class with the weather (snow!) though thankfully it didn’t snow on the way in (it did however snow for a bit in the afternoon!), with our usual half hour asana class (we stood on a block in tree pose for extra balancing challenge!), after a discussion with those of us who have already taught some of our practicum classes about how it went.

I got there about 8:30 to help set up the studio for the day putting out the mats, lighting the candles on the alter (or I would have had there been any more tea lights which there wasn’t!)

Then we talked about a bit about ayurveda because we were going to learn more about that yesterday if we had had class. Then we discussed chair yoga and read over some info on Chair Yoga and then were lead through some chair yoga postures. Chair yoga is good for elderly people because as you age there is a decrease of elastin in tissues and cartilage wears away which causes a decrease in range of motion – which gentle chair yoga can help maintain (or restore). We got some handouts about chair yoga, which gave us examples of poses

After lunch we had a two hour anatomy session where we went over joints – knee, hip, wrist,  ankle, and things that can happen to those joints (like hip replacements and labrum tears in the joint capsules of the knee or shoulder or hip) and what we should look out for and what we should do if we see someone come into class with limited mobility or some sort of injury. I learned that frozen shoulder, they (the medical community) don’t know what causes it but it happens most often to women over 40 and especially if they’ve had C sections. And frozen shoulder decreases range of motion until it ‘thaws’, and that frozen shoulder affects internal rotation, flexion and external rotation of the shoulder.

After tea time which my small element group of 4 people put on (and where not many people ate my protein balls! because I made 2 days worth but we only had one day of class!)

After tea we had a talk about yin yoga by a yin yoga teacher that came in to talk about what yin is, and how it differs from restorative, and that’s it’s only about 15-20 years old because the guy who ‘invented’ yin is still alive! The guest teacher passed along some good nuggets of wisdom before leading us through a yin class where we did frog pose (ah on the inner thighs!), a twist on a bolster, seated cat cow, lizard pose, and shoulder stretch pose where we leaned onto our shoulder with our arm straight out on the ground (i can’t describe the pose but)…which i found uncomfortable because it made my hand a little bit tingly. My knees are a little achey after doing frog pose (which I came out of early).

The teacher said some things that resonated with me: in yin yoga, you’re not doing poses, you’re doing meditation.

and: a set series (like Bikram yoga or Ashtanga yoga) are great for beginners – because it helps you get familiar with stuff because it’s the same stuff over and over again – it never changes – but it’s not good when you want to grow and develop your practice.

In yin yoga you’re holding poses for 2-3 minutes (or even 10 minutes!)  and it provides an opportunity to truly be in a pose.

The difference between yin and restorative:

restorative yoga: everything is supported – not a lot of stretching. it’s very healing – it’s passive

Yin – involves things like restorative but it’s active stretching, not passive – and in yin poses you go deeper with each exhale, and that you shouldn’t fight through the discomfort but listen to your body.

Some other great things the teacher said was:

Yoga is not the pose – yoga is what is going through your mind while you’re in the pose! The stuff that comes up for you – for you to deal with, mentally, physically, emotionally.

Asana – is a pose you can hold with ease- because you need to stay calm in your poses

Each side of a pose – you should treat as a totally new pose because our body is not symmetrical – both sides are different. So if you go into a deeper stage of a pose on one side, don’t immediately jump into the deeper variation on the other side because the other side of your body could be different, but ease into it through the first stages of the pose, because you might just want to stay at a different stage on the other side!

Today was great – lots of stuff to learn about 2 different styles of yoga.

The Teacher decided the way we’re going to make up yesterday’s cancelled class is add on an hour to the rest of the classes we have left, and also have a shorter lunch, and therefore make up the 9 hours – which saves us from coming in another day just to make up the missed day!

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