Updated: Nov 21, 2020
The more I teach, study and practice yin, the more juice I extract. Such as returning again and again to my favourite poses without any sense of guilt. In my other physical practice there is often the knowledge that I should do more navasana (boat pose) or practice balancing and cueing at the same time, or complete the kriya for the 11 full minutes! Yin yoga, is a retreat from all the musts and shoulds we often layer upon ourselves.
Saddle pose is my happy place. Not initially of course. But as my thighs and lower back yield to the stresses being placed on my quad muscles and hip flexors they allow a settling of awareness to drop deep into the joints. My lumbar vertebra, who can be grumpy beasts in the beginning, slowly sigh into acceptance of compression as though they are being forced into friendship and then finding they actually like each other! There is a fluid release that takes over with each breath. I can feel my ancient scar from an operation I had as a teenager softening a little, the tethered skin melting back into my abdomen and the stretch marks that details such an important part of my life yawn themselves into welcome presence.
But most of all, as I breathe into a still place, I realise in every uncounted moment that the 'juices' are flowing inside. A door is opening into the world of sensations, peripheral movement ceases and a sensitivity to vibrations and fluctuations of energy rise like spiralling smoke trails from a welcoming hearth fire . My back no longer calls for attention to it's aches and my hips are melting pots of flowing elixir swirling around bones, between cartilage and in-between the sinuous tissues of ligaments and the membranous fibres of fascial layers. For these delicious extended moments I have everything I need, right here.
Yoga is a gift but yin might just be the gift that keeps on giving. In the afterglow of the rebound - the part when you come out of the pose, the part you think is the end, is actually the beginning. It's resonant echo becomes clearer and longer it seems with each return -especially to your favourite poses. This is certainly what calls me back to yin and reminds me every time that everything I need is here, inside.