Updated: 3 days ago
I started teaching yoga in 2007. Back then I was so A - type, that the thought of doing yin yoga was kinda crazy to me.
I took my first yin class at One Yoga in 2013, and although it felt like torture, I could instantly feel the benefits. Back then I was very physically damaged and sitting still in hip opening poses was incredibly painful.
Slava Goloubov and I use to take each others classes at Exhale. He taught Hatha ( Slava style ) and I taught Power. He added long holds in his Hatha classes... Like 5min. Frog!
Over time I got to love the long holds, because the benefits were so dramatic, but challenging mentally.... Which I loved!
He did his Yin training with Jolene Bayda, and that was why his Hatha classes where that way. So I took Jolene's Yin training.... Some days in her training we would hold poses for up to 30 minutes. I left that training with a whole new appreciation for Yin Yoga and it's benefits!
The old saying; "I used to play... Now I stay!" - Iyengar ... Rang so true.
My Yin Yoga teaching has evolved a bit over the years. I actually like to move a bit before sitting in poses, and in between some of the long held poses. Even adding some functional movements exercises into the mix... I called it "Active Yin".
The combination of Rocket Yoga and Active Yin made my body feeling way more balanced than just power yoga alone. "Play & Stay" or "Yang & Yin" = Balance
While Covid was here I decided to do another Yin Training... Online this time.
Lucas Rockwood has been crossing my feeds for a while now, so I did a bit of research on his background. He works for Yoga Body and one of his programs is called, "Gravity Yoga".
He created it in 2007 in Thailand and by 2012 he was doing Teacher Trainings in Barcelona where he resides mainly.
Gravity Yoga is a targeted mobility training. Lucas created 3 sequences ( Hips, Hamstrings, Back&Shoulders ). Each sequence will address the whole body, but have a main focus.
Each sequence has 8-12 poses, held for 2-5 minutes with some functional mobility transitional poses. Once you set the pose up, you totally relax the focussed area and get into this special breathing... The breathing is everything!
4:8 Breathing ( 4 count inhale : 8 count exhale ). This breathing taps into the para sympathetic nervous system and helps you turn off your stress response.
I was pretty amazed when we signed up for the first class and there were 300 students from so many different countries! Every day I was working with students from 3-5 different countries... Kind of blown away! By the end of the two week training my body had a significant upgrade. The long holds with the 4:8 breathing slowly and easily opened me.
I knew my Active Yin class would now become a Gravity Yin class!!
I mentioned the Gravity Yoga sequences to Emmanuelle at Stretch, and she was into it.
I have been teaching these sequences now for a couple months and the response has been amazing!
Stretchvancouver.com Gravity Yin Classes:
Friday 12:00 Back & Shoulders
Saturday 12:00 Hips
Sunday 12:00 Hamstrings
Asanaathome.com Gravity Yin Class:
Monday 6:00pm ( They rotate Hips, Hamstrings, Back&Shoulders )
Oneyoga.ca Active Yin Class: ( With 4:8 Breathing included )
While I was recovering from my recent shoulder reconstruction, I was seeing a few physiotherapists. I went through some muscle testing and the physiotherapist recommended that I add squats into my routine.
I have been following Ben Patrick @kneesovertoesguy for a while. He really promotes Slantboard squats as a staple for hip & low back strengthening!
So I'm thinking, "let's commit to a ton of slant board squats and see how it goes".
I ordered a Slantboard off of @slantboardguy and my partner and I started doing 100 a day.
We started with sets of 10, then 20, I now usually do 2 sets of 50.
Both of us had a dramatic change in our bodies in a couple weeks!
Reed leaned right out, gained really quick leg muscle, and my low back arthritic pain mellowed out a bunch!
Yogi's generally have weak gluteus medium, gluteus minimum, piriformis muscles. ( Outer Butt )
We are constantly firing gluteus maximum in classes ( Mula Bandha ) and rarely squat for repetitions. So the fine tune muscles in the butt get neglected.
Slantboard squats strengthen the vastas medalis oblique muscle ( Teardrop muscle in the quadricep over the knee ). Ben calls them VMO squats. This elevated heal squat hits the 3 neglected muscles in the butt and protects the knees, while toning and strengthening your low back... Total game changer!
My schedule is very balanced these days... I physically do 4 Rocket classes and 4 Gravity Yin classes weekly.
It has been the best combo to date for growth and comfort.
I used to be 70/30 Power/Yin... 50/50 Feels so much better in my body!
This combo of Gravity Yin and Slantboard Squats has also saved me a bunch of money on physio!
I look forward to seeing you in class or online.