Last night I did yin yoga for the first time. I was a little apprehensive. The class description said it focused on lower back, pelvis, hips, and legs and that the poses were held longer than in traditional classes. So I was nervous. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to hold the poses or even be able to do them (due my hamstrings of steel) and that I would get bored (I know, I know I shouldn’t get bored in meditative poses, but I do). I decided to give it a shot anyway. I have an unlimited monthly package at the studio I go to and that’s the only class I hadn’t tried.
So my friend Lesley and I tried it out. And I was very pleasantly surprised! There were only three people there, counting me and Lesley, so there was lots of personal attention and there were a LOT of props used. So for the poses that I couldn’t really do because of my aforementioned hamstrings of steel, I just used about 18 (not an exaggeration) blankets to lean on. I was surprised to find that the longer I held the pose and the more I focused on my breath, the looser I became. By the end of wide-legged forward bend, my personal nemisis, I was able to use only 16 (again, not an exaggeration) blankets to help me lean forward. And by the end of class, I was able to do a standing forward fold without bending my legs! It was amazing!
The point is, if you have an opportunity you should try this class or one like it. Yesterday, I was very bitter toward the world (due to that horrible seminar paper being due) and by the end of that class, my usual sunnier disposition had returned.
Oh, a note about my hamstrings of steel. I read an article on yogajournal.com a couple of days ago that suggested that maybe its not actually my hamstrings that are so ridiculously tight. If you have the same issue, it could be your hips. You can see the article here — http://www.yogajournal.com/dailyinsight/yjnl_20090322.html?utm_source=homepage&utm_medium=site&utm_campaign=dailyinsight. I’m trying to loosen my hips currently (well not right now, but that’s my practice focus for the next few weeks), so I’ll let you all know what happens.