As snowflakes fall across Barcelona the sky glows a shade lower, and on opening my eyes a stinging cloudiness across my gaze and dull ache in the limbs signals that all is not quite as expected. A rasping soreness at the back of the throat, and deep fatigue are familiar signs that a winter army of bacteria are gaining territory on this mere mortal’s immunity.
Begrudgingly moving out from under the covers and snuggling under a thick blanket I shift onto the meditation cushion.
Morning sitting is that welcome opportunity to allow the mind to have space and clarity, to observe the physical and emotional body and gain a little insight before the activity and inevitable routine of the day kick in. And on this particular morning it is most definitely a chance to make ammends with a tired, cold-ridden body so extremely far from moving through a sun salutation yet alone an Ashtanga primary series.
Yet whilst sitting and breathing and allowing everything to be exactly as it is, even as judgement and self-criticism show up, make their appearance and then float on by again there is a deeper knowing, and acceptance that come to settle. And as the meditation timer rings I slowly bring the soles of my feet together and round down into the first yin pose, butterfly.
A deep, slow stretch for the inner thighs and spine – a home-coming.
The gentleness of the yin pose is ever-soothing, and as no effort or strength is required it is the ideal antidote for almost any condition.
Yin yoga has that wonderfully appealing quality which allows us to to join it come rain (or snow!) or shine, whether poorly or in full health, at any age, and in pretty much any state of mind or body.
Once again Yin is here this morning to meet me with open arms and to offer exactly what is needed on a winter morning when the body is a little under the weather and yet as always in great need of a deep gentle stretch and a circulation of energy.
Yin is most definitely in.
Its roots in both Tantric Hindu and Taoist philosophies, the deep, meditative practice targets the connective tissues and fascia of the body in longer-held floor-based postures, respecting individual body types and promoting energy (chi) through the energy channels (meridians) of the body.
The practice of yin yoga continues to enamour and gain passionate followers such as myself, and it is incredibly exciting to see that in this year’s Barcelona Yoga Conference beautiful and talented teacher Mirjam Wagner will return to share her deep knowledge of the practice, as well as experienced Yin and Taoism teacher Biff Mithoefer. It is wonderful to see many more yin practices on this year’s scedule and it will be a truly eye-opening experience for any yogis and yoginis who haven’t yet had the joy of making the slow, inner journey that it provides.
If you haven’t yet tried yin yoga – now is your chance! See you in class!