How many breaths do we take in a lifetime?
Alex Hitchin’s Quote aka “Hitch”– “Life is not the amount of breaths you take. It’s the moments that take your breath away!”
Coming to the mat allows the opportunity to find those moments where we marry the breath. The breath can be easily forgotten when the intensity of the pose overpowers us, and the teacher gives a nudge reminding us to remain present and breathe.
Yin is a style of yoga that asks nothing but to soften and breathe in the stationary pose, slow and steady with a sense of core softness and surrender.
There are three main principles in Yin postures:
1) Come into the chosen shape to an appropriate edge.
This means coming into the pose non-aggressively and sensitively, allowing breath to be slow and steady, so we can detect the appropriate depth of sensation, while using props blankets, bolsters and blocks.
2) Reminding ourselves that we’ll be in this shape for some time and the need to breathe and soften, being aware of ourselves in this space.
We draw our attention to the breath and with each inhale and exhale we settle deeper into the shape. Each time our attention wonders off in its own direction we come back to the inhale and exhale, all the while reaping the benefits of our Yin practice.
3) Knowing that we will be in this pose for some time developing an ability to surrender and breathe. Each time we are in these shapes it affords us an opportunity for a time of introspective reflection or mini-meditation while finding the qualities of slow and steady breath.
In addition to allowing us to connect breath to our practice; Yin with its long hel passive poses permits connective tissue which becomes shrink-wrap like over time to stretch in a gentle and passive manner a return to a more youthful (elastic) state.
This practice has given me the ability to bring meaning to more of my moments, living with care and intelligence, being able to access resources within my inner world and feel connected to life!
Always remember “life is not the amount of breaths you take. It’s the moments that take your breath away!”
Pat Setley E-RYT500