Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Some Yoga in the Pearl

Had a great yoga class tonight at Yoga Pearl. I had planned to take a class this evening at Near East Yoga, inviting people to join me for the introductory Ashtanga class there. However after physical therapy last night my therapist asked that I not undo all her hard work by doing that. "One too many chaturunga!" she said.

I'd taken a class at Yoga Tree in the Mission in San Francisco that was Yin/Vinyasa and had been intrigued by the very deep holding of poses that was the Yin side of things. Since I need to take classes in 8 different styles, one of my choosing, I thought a Yin class would be perfect. Besides, I eat at Blossoming Lotus all the time and have been interested in trying out a class at the very hip Yoga Pearl!

The class was taught by Uma Kleppinger and I enjoyed it a whole lot. The class started in virasana to begin, as part of beginning for meditation. We then moved through baddha konasana, then to setu bandha sarvangasana (chatush padasana per Iyengar) with a block under the sacrum. Then resting a moment flat before coming up into a very modified matsyasana with a block under the shoulder blades and another supporting the head. Supported paschimottanasana and upavista konasana. Double-pigeon, and ending with a little more seated meditation.

I found it very much like zazen in many ways. Unlike other practices in Yin you are supposed to let the body relax into the pose. Not push through the balls of the feet, lengthen the spine, any of the things I'm used to. Just let the body sink into the pose, stay with the body and the breath. Then staying with each pose as the mind resisted being there, wanting to come out, wanting to be told to inhale and come up.

With some of the ideas I've had about workshops in the spring I'm very interested in this style. Even more so than the Ashtanga class I really see myself wanting to learn more about Yin and how to incorporate this deep practice into my teaching.

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