I recently completed my Yin Level 2 training with Power Living. We spent an amazing week on an immersive retreat in Byron Bay, studying, practicing and delving deeper into yin and all that it encompasses.
I could say I have always loved Yin, but that would be a lie. My love of Yin has been a slow burner. When I started yoga several years ago, it was the super fast, sometimes hectic, Vinyasa and Rocket classes that I fell in love with. These classes kept me on my toes (literally at times) and challenged me in ways I had never known (you want me to put my leg where?!) as well as getting me to quieten the busy chatter of my mind.
So first things first, what is yin? Most of the classes in studios that people first get exposed to are dynamic vinyasa practices: a yoga flow linking breath with movement, generally holding poses for 3-5 breaths including standing sequences. Yin is a different practice altogether with poses being held from 3-7 minutes (approx) and mostly floor-based shapes. It is a slower style of yoga that targets the deeper connective tissue and the fascia in the body. In yin we go to about 60% of our range, learning to not push to extremities. The time spent in these poses is much like meditation.
You see, being in stillness terrified me. Where would my mind go? The answer: everywhere, picking about every little worry I had. My solution was to keep pushing with my Yang practice and avoid any forms of Meditation and Yin. And, don't get me wrong - this Yang practice was life changing and amazing, I learned to be more still (savasana was always a fave) and linking breath with movement was my form of meditation.
Then I made some friends who taught yin. I started to dabble, going once a month at most. Finding this Yin practice hard... but there was something that I kept going back to. I went on a few yoga retreats which were balanced with a Yang AM flow and a Yin PM flow. I was 'forced' into doing more meditation on these retreats and slowly but surely started to LIKE yin.
I was drawn to its softness at first, feeling more balanced, learning to be ok with stillness, realising I did not have to be an Energiser Bunny all the time (which I found hard living in London!). The biggest challenge was, and still is, just sitting with myself in stillness.
Since moving to Sydney last November, I generally do two Yin classes a week, with about five Vinyasa classes in between. I find that somedays all I want to do is Yin, a huge change for me.
A few months ago I made the decision to do more yoga training and complete a Yin course. While I've been teaching Vinyasa since completing my 200hr training last June, I have always felt my style and personal approach suited the softer side of yoga. 75hrs of Yin training later and I can now happily say that I am qualified in both Vinyasa & Yin.
I can't speak highly enough about my training with POWER LIVING, the quality and support provided was truly amazing. The programme was taught by Power Living Founder, Duncan Peak, and Senior Teacher and Chinese Medicine Doctor, Truth Robinson. Both absolutely phenomenal teachers to learn from. I totally nerded out on all the Chinese Medicine lectures having been an avid lover of acupuncture for years.
We started each day with 45 minutes of meditation at 645am, followed by an amazing vegan breakfast by Veets Kitchen (check her out if you're in Byron Bay or looking for some vegan cookery classes), then a 2+ hr yin practice and then lectures until the evening.
I absolutely LOVE Byron Bay too so was so happy to go and visit my favourite cafe, Combi and eat and drink all the vegan treats whilst there too! Their beetroot latte and raw courgette pasta was the actual dream. So much so that I went back twice in one week!
Bonus of the whole retreat was getting to share a room with my lovely friend Chloe, who I did my 200hr training in London with, who lives in Melbourne. Our cottage was only a 3 minute stroll to the beach and on the last morning we all did a walking meditation to watch sunrise - truly magical to be fully present in Byron Bay watching the waves and feeling the sand on my feet (even if I did stop to pet a few dogs!).
It was the perfect end to my career break and time travelling before settling in Sydney for the foreseeable.