Yin Yoga

Yin yoga is about settling, softening, slowing down, turning inwards and coming to a place of stillness.

Yin Yoga sessions from 9:30-11:30 take place on the First Sunday of the Month.

Numbers are limited to 10 so please email in advance to confirm a place. Drop in is £20 and price is £15 per session when purchasing a 3 class pass.

CLASS LOCATION: Setchell & Longfield TRA Hall, Alscot Way, SE1 5XN

After a stressful day there’s no better remedy than one of Liz’s yin classes. I leave feeling nourished and relaxed and have put the rest of the day behind me. She’ll always ask you if you have particular areas you’d like her to focus on in that session and as such the classes are varied week to week and you feel very looked after.

Katie Sproston

Ending her Yin class with a quote from John Welwood’s ‘Forget about Enlightenment’ summed up how Liz uses a combination of body postures and breathing exercises to help us connect with our authentic selves and ‘let go’.In a space of just an hour with Liz I was able to clear my head, ease the pain in my lower back and open my heart.

Deirdre Mcgale

I really look forward to the Liz’s yin yoga session. Precious time to focus on my body and Liz always makes sure I am getting the most out of the class. I highly recommend it

two people reclining on bolster.
yin yoga se1

Special attention is given to the skeletal systems of the body as well as the role of fascia and connective tissue, not just to specific muscle groups. You will probably be thinking, but isn’t all yoga good for the whole body, including our joints? This is true but yin goes slowly and doesn’t engage the muscles in contracting and lengthening in order to generate heat and strengthen through repetitive (yang) actions. With Yin yoga the intention is to support the muscles with the bolsters/blocks and so enable them to relax completely. Holding the pose in this way opens up the possibility of working into the connective tissue around the joints and releasing tension, slowly softening and loosening and over time so increasing mobility and range of movement.

Typically Yin postures are held for between 2 to 5 minutes.

As we approach yoga poses with the intention of lingering longer, observing, monitoring and accepting. With this lessening of expectations and greater relaxation into just being, there often comes a deepening sense of body awareness. In these moments of quietness it is sometimes possible to hear muscle complaining about tightness or tension or restriction. These are messages that our muscles often murmur but in our fast paced (yang) London lifestyles we manage to ignore them on a daily basis. At our own cost in terms of overall long-term health and well-being.

Being still in the pose also allows the possibility of learning and practicing Pranayama breathing techniques to deepen the breath. Slower and deeper breathing calms the parasympathetic nervous system, and slow racing thought processes.

If you would like to benefit from the calming effect of stretching without having to break a sweat, then Yin might be the right class for you. Back in the day – when I knew nothing about Yin Yoga – a friend described it to me as “lazy yoga” and some poses do have a luxurious lounging feeling of indulgence. This description is not, however, strictly true as lingering longer in a pose, can help increase as well as decrease the strength of the sensations we experience.

“Your pain and movement restrictions aren’t your enemies, they are your friends who are trying to get your attention so they can steer you away from the cliff. Best not to ignore those kinds of friends.” Brooke Thomas founder of www.liberatedbody.com Her article “Why Fascia Matters” which can be found in the RESOURCES SECTION of make-it-to-the-mat.

Physical benefits:

Working with the tendons, ligaments, joints, bones, the deep fascia networks and connective tissue of the body in this way. Seems to slow the inevitable trajectory of body tissue to tighten over time.

Emotional benefits:

The softening, turning inwards, tuning into and listening to bodily sensations and attempting gentle acceptance of all that is. This process of exploration and sitting with whatever we find would be beneficial in all aspects of our life. The biggest challenge is to take this approach from the mat and integrate it into our daily life. I am not sure it is possible to integrate it fully, but having the moment of respite and insight will bear fruit of some sort.

Personal benefits

Of taking time to pause and relax:

This poem by T.S. Elliot gives a sense of what it is like to participate in a slow paced Yin class.

“At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, but neither arrest nor movement.

And do not call it fixity, where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards, neither ascent nor decline.

Except for the point, the still point, there would be no dance, and there is only the dance.”

T.S. Eliott.   Burnt Norton Poem.

There can be a real quieting of the inner body when we are doing this practice. This can be a path towards meditation and a form of meditation in itself. I the society of stimulated distractions, a practice of stilling can have immense consequences.” Yin Yoga practitioner and teacher

Norman Blair

Click link to watch Norman talk  in detail about the differences between Yin and Ashtanga yoga Norman Blair.