Take the first step to health;
Yin Yoga = Relaxed
At this time of year it is hard to muster the energy to run on a treadmill, do a fitness class or swim lengths of a luke warm pool, but one healthy habit you could adopt is Yin Yoga. It takes minimal physical effort and is the perfect stepping stone into doing more exercise and working on your relaxation and mindfulness. You leave the class feeling more supple and with a sense of calm that we all desperately need in our hectic lives.
When I am stressed and busy I joke about needing to lie down in a dark room and that is exactly what Cath at Soul Yoga provides. There are no mirrors, the lights are dimmed, there are candles and fairy lights and Cath ensures everyone feels welcome with her approachable and understanding nature. She sets the tone of the class with breathing techniques at the beginning allowing you to relax and then there are a series of “shapes” or postures that focus on tight areas of the body such as the shoulders, hips and upper backs. Not all yoga involves balancing on your head or tying yourself up in knots. Yin is more about releasing tension and counteracting the postures we adopt all day whilst sat at desks and in cars.
The positions are held for 2 or 3 minutes but there shouldn’t be great discomfort. You are encouraged to pad yourself with blankets, pillows and foam blocks to support your restricted joints so that you can relax whilst still encouraging muscles to lengthen, joints to be moved to their full range and for you to let your mind settle and focus on your breath and wellbeing.
Many of my clients have voiced their distaste for fitness facilities or even being in front of mirrors whilst exercising, the venue for Cath’s Yin Yoga feels right. A modern church building with an organ in the corner, no mirrors, nothing pretentious and the room is dimly lit and peaceful. Nothing is forced and Cath gives you levels for each position to suit all abilities and levels of flexibility.
The end of the class is “savasana”, pronounced Shavasana. It is time to relax and let go of all your tension and worries. Creating time for this relaxation is so important as our minds and bodies are so busy. Lying still with eyes closed and a warm blanket covering you where nobody is asking anything of you and you can just exist whilst letting go of tension and allowing your mind and body to be calm for a few minutes is so good for your physical and mental health. It leaves you feeling refreshed and energised and gives your nervous system a little break. It makes you feel ready to take on the world or at least go home and cook dinner!
Yin Yoga is on Mondays 6:15pm at Beacon Church, Hillingford Avenue, Great Barr, B437HN.
Cath is also hosting a taster Yoga session for adults and children (age 10+) on Saturday 18th January 5pm at Banners Gate Community Centre, 35 Reay Nadin Drive, Sutton Coldfield B73 6UR.
It’s 5/person. To book call Cath on 07963 044364