There are two integral parts of a Mystic Yin class: rest and story.
Both of these elements aim to draw us more deeply into our Yin nature. All of us, and all of the natural world for that matter, exist as a delicate balance of the masculine and feminine; of order and chaos, and of action and ease. This balance, though inherent, can be disrupted. Modern society, that often values work over rest, can tip the scales in the direction of Yang, the masculine-- full of fire, movement, and logical thought. With too much yang, we become depleted, and feel burnt out. We suffer from a sense of disconnection. Our thoughts, actions, and bodies become rigid.
To reclaim our intuition, to reestablish our creativity, and to restore our entire being (body, mind, and spirit), we may choose to invite the magic of yin into our lives.
Yin yoga is a style of movement that celebrates stillness. In Mystic Yin, students will use props in restorative postures to allow the muscles to release effort, encouraging the body's vital energy to travel to the deeper layers of the joints and connective tissue. It has numerous health benefits, including stress relief, increased flexibility, and joint mobility.
This kind of yoga can feel like an assisted nap-- I will help you set up your props, like blankets and bolsters, to make you feel as held and comfortable as possible.
Some poses will allow you to explore your "stretch edge," letting stillness encourage the tighter parts of the body to gradually release and open.
Some poses will counter negative postural patterns, like chest openers to work against the hunched over stance we often unconsciously adopt during the day.
Some poses will just feel so good you might find it difficult to stay awake.
Along with the restful postures, each week I will read a different mythical or mystical story from a variety of traditions and authors.
There are a few reasons why I find this part of the class so important-- and enjoyable. For one, it just feels good to be read to. I have many fond memories of being snuggled up in bed, drifting off to the sound of my mom's voice reading to me. I have equally as fond memories of reading to the small children I've nannied over the years, watching as the nap that they were fighting so hard to avoid, suddenly seems welcome after one (or five) stories. I don't think there are enough opportunities to be read to as an adult, and I'm sure that it has the same relaxing effect on adults as it does on children.
Often when we go to a restorative or yin yoga class, it can be difficult to quiet the mind-- the stillness and silence can evoke more feelings of stress or anxiety. Being read to allows the student to first let the mind focus on the story and then, like a child being guided into a nap, give up the resistance and rest.
Storytelling also taps into our intuition-- an essential yin quality.
Carl Jung wrote, "Myth is the primordial language natural to these psychic processes, and no intellectual formulation comes anywhere near the richness and expressiveness of mythical imagery."
Storytelling is an essential part of our humanity; we all come from traditions who, at one point, sat around a fire and told stories. The most potent of these stories evolved as myths, each tapping into different aspects of the great mysteries:
Who are we? Why are we here?
Stories invite us to look at our own unique lives from a different perspective-- seeing the universal threads that tie all of us together.
I hope to see you soon and often!
Mystic Yin classes are held Tuesday nights 6:00-7:00pm at Yoga in the Hood in Boise, ID. Registration can be done either online or in person before class. See here for more info: http://www.yogainthehoodboise.com/boise-yoga-classes.