On discovering Yoga

I first came across Yoga after recovering from postnatal depression with Leo back in 2015. I needed to find something to ground myself as I was still living with Generalised Anxiety Disorder.  So, I joined a basic yoga class through the local community centre and attended weekly.  Yoga ticked all the boxes – it improved my flexibility, increased my muscle tone and helped bring my anxiety to manageable levels.

We then moved suburbs and I stopped going for a while until I found a yoga studio that was close to home and offered a variety of classes including Hot, Slow Flow, Power and Yin.  I’d never heard of Yin Yoga before and wanted to know more.  Well, since my first Yin Yoga class, I haven’t looked back.

yoga stairs

I always get excited before going Yin Yoga, because I know how much it will benefit me.  I like to arrive 10 minutes before the class starts, to put my stuff in a locker, pick a bolster, make a cup of tea and settle into my spot.  Once I am in my spot, I take 3 deep breaths and then I put the bolster behind my knees and lie down on my back. I almost always fall asleep as the room is peaceful, and, there is gentle meditative music playing in the background.  The teacher will come into the room and welcome us by saying something like “Today, honour your body and your mind.  However you are feeling, and, whatever you are thinking is exactly as it should be.”  We then set the intention for the practice.

 

So, what exactly is Yin Yoga?

Yin Yoga is a quiet, contemplative practice.  The class usually consists of a series of long-held, passive floor poses intended to help you dig into the connective tissues that surround the joints and release tension.  For those who experience anxiety, it also helps free up emotional energy by holding each pose a little longer than you might be used to. Yin yoga is basically like taking deep breaths for your body.  The poses can also be meditative, helping you to become more present and bringing your nervous system into a calm and restful state.  Energetically, Yin yoga improves the energy flow, enhancing the flow of chi (vital energy) in the organs. To be healthy, we need healthy organs as well as healthy muscles.

Who is Yin yoga for?

Yin yoga is for everyone, however, it is especially beneficial if you are feeling over-stimulated and have too much energy.  In the current world we live in – we seem to be bombarded with stimuli 24/7.  Our minds are kept busy processing all the information that’s thrown at it.  Yin Yoga forces us – in a gentle way – to slow down and go inward.  It is an intimate practice, so get ready to get intimate with yourself, feelings, sensations & emotions.  Yin Yoga offers the chance to be still, be present, and work within, while you breathe and stretch deeply.  The practice also helps to create more space in the mind and body. Once we manage to achieve this beautiful state, and we learn to put those anxious thoughts aside for an hour, we give our minds a break from the busy world.  We find deeper relaxation, and we experience how it feels not to have that constant anxiety. If you are able to get to yoga once a week, hopefully the calming effects felt during the class will spill into the rest of the day and beyond the yoga mat.

josie yoga

On October 12, I am thrilled to be hosting a Yin Yoga and Meditation class at Kula Yoga in Hawthorn.  Stephanie Williams one of Kula Yoga’s Certified Yoga Instructor’s will guide us through the practice.  At the completion of the practice you will receive a touch of peppermint oil behind the ears to refresh your senses. We will also finish off the class with some Smiling after PND Comfort tea.

I look forward to sharing this beautiful afternoon with you all.

Namaste 

Josie xx

Further reading:

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/smiling-after-pnd-hosts-an-afternoon-of-yin-yoga-and-meditation-tickets-70428725213

https://kulayoga.com.au

https://ashtangayogagirl.com/yin-yoga-anxiety/ 

https://www.aurawellnesscenter.com/2011/12/19/yin-yoga-poses-to-relieve-anxiety/

https://inspireyoga.com/yin-yoga-for-anxiety

https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/10-reasons-make-time-yin-yoga

https://www.ekhartyoga.com/articles/practice/the-benefits-of-yin-yoga

 

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Author: Josie Smyth

I decided to write this blog after having a lived experience of Perinatal Anxiety and Depression and currently living through Generalised Anxiety Disorder. I am still on the journey of recovery and now I am smiling! : )

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