Yoga, The Quiet Practice"
"The dynamic river yang pushes forward, the still valley yin is receptive, and through their integration things come into existence."
~Lao Tzu, Taoist Prophet
Taoism (yin yoga) teaches us to go with the flow of nature, and embrace who, what and where we are. This requires flexibity and a balance of action and stillness. In Taoist philosophy, yin is the receptive quality of life, and every bit as vital to happiness and success as the active yang quality.
Paul Grilley says, "Yin is deep and hidden." It works with the connective tissue that links bones with muscles and other bones. Bones and organs are actually first connective tissue, and remain encased in layers of it, and it is here where our life force, prana, or chi flows. Because of this, flexibility of connective tissue is fundemental to overall health and well being. The physical practice of yin yoga focuses on the femur and lumbar spine and their attachments below and above the pelvis. Grilley explains that limitations in the upper body and lower legs relate to muscular issues that can be addressed with more active asana practice. The yin postures require sitting or lying down. Most are held for a minimum of five minutes. "Connective tissue takes minutes to relax, and the fifth minute is nothing like the first," says Grilley. "Its like taffy. Pull hard and fast and nothing happens. Apply moderate pressure for a long time and it will relax."
The first time I sank into sleeping swan, also known as the pigeon, and was told to hold it for five minutes I thought my friend was nuts. "I wasn't warmed up yet!" But "the still yin valley" has opened my body up to feelings of vulnerability and joy. I practice it as a complement to my existing practice and am astounded at its impact. It has taught me to get out of my head and ego. Practicing stillness has enriched my life.
By David Gudaitis
Paul Grilley will be in Vancouver, for his first time, September the 6th and 7th for a two day workshop. Paul is a highly respected yoga teacher and author of "Yin Yoga: Outline of a Quiet Practice" (White Cloud Press, Ashland,Oregon).
a strong believer in variety. I have been practicing Bikram's for 2years.
I also practice Yin Yoga and a vinyassa flow at Wandering Yogi. In the early
fall I am following a path to healing with yoga and studying ThaiMassage.
I try not to take life too seriously and always smile my way through my practice.