WHAT IT IS:
Using a regular yin yoga practice, nightly meditation, and the wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) this seasonal program is designed to bring deep rest to the body, calm the fragmented busy mind, and live with the natural cycles of the human body.
NO YOGA EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
WHAT YOU’LL GET EACH LUNAR CYCLE (via Zoom):
*All LIVE classes via Zoom and will be recorded for a 30-day access if needed
Generally speaking, yang styles of yoga (like Iyengar, Ashtanga, and vinyasa) emphasize rhythmic and repetitive contraction of muscles. These styles focus on moving the body through dynamic flows that stimulate, stretch, and strengthen the muscles and their fascia (connective tissues).
Yin Yoga emphasizes passive, static postures, held for long periods of time, with muscles in a relaxed state. This way, the dense connective tissues in and around the muscles and joints are stimulated, somewhat stretched, and ultimately strengthened. Yin Yoga is meant to complement and supplement one’s musculature exercise practice. Yin Yoga isn’t a stand alone practice; it’s the “other half” of practice.
The three main components of any posture in yin yoga are:
EDGE - come to your first edge of sensation.
STILLNESS - resolve to be still in each posture, of mind and body.
TIME - Hold for time. Usually anywhere between 3-7 minutes per posture.
Here are some of the many benefits of Yin Yoga:
• Increased flexibility.
• Improved range of motion.
• Ease of aches and pains.
• Improved posture.
• Speeds up recovery.
• Reduced injury
• Improved focus and concentration.
• Reduced anxiety.
• Relieves stress.
• Calms the mind.
• Promotes relaxation and restorative sleep.
Whether you are a beginner or seasoned yogi, Elaine will expertly guide you through each pose.
If you've never experienced a yin yoga class, here is a short sample of what to expect. We hold postures (Butterfly pose shown here) for about 3-5 minutes while working with the mind.
Yin-yang theory, from traditional Chinese medicine, is a simple but useful way to analyze and understand any experience. Yin qualities include traits like receptivity, allowance, tolerance, reflection, and passivity. Yang qualities include doing, directing, improving, achieving, controlling, and becoming. From a Chinese-medicine perspective, yin and yang qualities are both essential, and neither is superior to the other. When we understand their relationship, we can promote balance and harmony between them.
Qi and the Meridians of the Body
In Chinese systems of health, meridians are said to be channels throughout the body that direct the flow of Qi (energy) through an interconnected network that forms a complete energetic circuit. The physical postures of Yin work specifically with these channels to improve health and wellbeing. Each meridian is associated with a different internal organ, therefore the health of each organ is affected by the way one’s Qi flows. According to TCM philosophies, there is no difference between our physical and emotional health – they are interconnected. Hence the health of the organs has a direct impact on our emotions, and vice versa. (more here)
Yin Yoga and Its Effect on Qi
Acupuncture points, located on the Meridians, are very effective at influencing the flow of Qi. Many of the most important acupuncture points are located at joints where the body, energy, and Meridians are all in transition—which is key when it comes to Yin Yoga. The joints are junctures of change, communication centers where signals are ideally transmitted smoothly. But those signals could get crossed or overloaded, like a traffic jam during rush hour. When this happens, there may be pain, swelling, or inflammation in the joint—a local block in communication that affects other parts of your body. Your organs depend on the smooth flow of Qi in order to function optimally. If stagnation at your joints persists, your organs won’t get nourished and your whole system can get thrown out of whack. (1)
Qi and it's 24-hour cycle
Our bodies have an internal "organ clock." Qi is traveling through these effected areas on a continuous cycle, starting with the lung meridian.
The First Step to Your Balanced Day-
We can aim to live within the guidelines of the innate cycles of our bodies that Chinese Medicine shows us by structuring our day in accordance to our qi cycle. In the Lunar Yin Program, you are provided with a TCM clock map to personalize. This personal map can be a helpful guide in building balance and reducing stress.
Enthusiasm is common. Commitment is rare!
In a research by the Journal of Clinical Psychology, approximately 54% of people who resolved to change their ways failed to make the transformation last beyond six months, and the average person made the same life resolution 10 times over without success. Knowing what to do is not an issue, COMMITTING to it is the problem! Your brain forms neuronal connections based on what you do repeatedly in your life — both good and bad. Every time you act in the same way, a specific neuronal pattern is stimulated and becomes strengthened in your brain. This is why we practice a nightly meditation — EVERY NIGHT — for the duration of the Lunar Yin Program. For about 30 minutes each night we practice specific breath work and enjoy a guided meditation designed to bring rest and restoration to the mind.
Kundalini Pranayama – Pranayama is a sanskrit term for "breath control." Using specific breath practices, we can activate the parasympathetic nervous system to calm the mind and body. The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), often called the “rest and digest” or “calm and connect” system, which allows us to recoup from the stressors of life. If you find yourself breathing slowly and deeply, feeling a sense of calm and peacefulness, your PNS is activated, enhancing digestion, increasing blood flow to the GI track, lowering the heart rate, and enhancing sexual arousal. This system also activates certain parts of the brain, dampening fear-response regions and increasing the reflective, responsive regions. The result? More reflective, conscious behavior and action; an increased feeling of calm; and greater mental flexibility and creativity amid life’s challenges.
In the Lunar Yin Program, we use two specific pranayama practices nightly:
Guided Meditation – After our pranayama we end with a 10-minute guided meditation. Each season has three lunar cycles. Each cycle we go deeper into the body with our guided meditation:
Here is a FREE 30 minute session of our Cycle 1 Nightly Meditation and Pranayama, including a guided body scan. Enjoy this before bedtime for deep, restorative sleep.
Yoga Nidra is the practice and art of Yogic Sleep. In the Lunar Yin Program, we complete each lunar cycle with a Yoga Nidra session the last Sunday before the next new moon. In this live audio-only session, you will be guided through a detailed sleep meditation that will allow your mind and body to slip into a deep state of relaxation. The brain will switch from beta to alpha waves, signaling the transition from activity to meditation. Receive deep rest and restoration in this extremely healing practice that is done entirely lying down.
State of consciousness
Yoga Nidra is a state in which the body is completely relaxed, and the practitioner becomes systematically and increasingly aware of the inner world by following a set of verbal instructions. This state of consciousness is different from meditation, in which concentration on a single focus is required. In yoga nidra the practitioner remains in a state of light withdrawal of the 5 senses (pratyahara) with four senses internalized, that is, withdrawn, and only by hearing, still connects to any instructions given. It is among the deepest possible states of relaxation while still maintaining full consciousness. Yoga Nidra results in conscious awareness of the deep sleep state.
Issaquah, Washington, United States