After the last class of the term I received a whatsapp message from one of my yin yang students, and this is what it said;
"Thank you Carla for holding such a sacred space for us all to relax and switch off."
Her lovely words reconfirmed the importance of creating sacred space and how yoga makes this happen.
Before every class, I arrive early to warm up the lamps and set up the mats, bolsters, blocks and sandbags, not forgetting the most important blankets! My sister in law calls it the boudoir and it does feel inviting.
So many times I find myself worrying about something and then only a few days later my mind has moved onto another thing to worry about. Focusing on my breath really helps to stop the chatter. I work a lot with body-scanning journeys during yin classes, I find it helps to send awareness and chi / prana around the body while also taking attention away from more intense sensations.
The ancient yogis believed that when we are born we are allocated a finite number of breaths, which means when we use them all up, we die. Whether you believe this or not, it's obvious that when our breath is long and smooth then we tend to feel much calmer. In yin we explore the breath through breath extension and control techniques that encourages deep relaxation.
Hatha yoga is all about body space. Accessing the self via the opening of the body. Yin is focused on gently and safely applying stress to joints to enable them to stretch and strengthen and open. Holding poses for up to 5 minutes with awareness also stimulates energy lines within the body allowing them to flow more freely. Yin is slow but that doesn't mean it's just for certain types of bodies. It's for all bodies, especially people that do a lot of yang exercise.
Space and Time
And now all you need to do is make the time. Yes it's 2 hours on a Tuesday evening and you almost usually think you might not go but when you do, you are always so glad you did.