I was reunited with some of my YTTC classmates and also made new friends as there were 19 of us doing the course. Most of them were doing the course because they wanted to learn more about yin yoga and its benefits.
The 4-day course on yoga theory, anatomy and practice gave us a better understanding of the difference between a yin and yang practice. Most of us are doing hatha, vinyasa or ashtanga which is a yang practice which emphasize on strength and building muscular power. In a yang practice, we contract our muscles to stablize our joints so that we can move actively to resist the force of gravity. While in a yin practice, with passive and longer postural holds, our muscles are stressed to increase resilience and restore mobility in our joints as we allow gravity to draw us to the ground. Yin yoga is a complement to our yang practice as it brings balance movement to our joints.
During the course, David showed us slides of various bone structures with distinct differences to help us understand why some of us may have limited range of joint movements. After looking at those slides, we realized why we are not able to move beyond a certain range in some of the poses as we would feel pain due to two bones colliding with each other.
In the yin practice, we would be able to adapt or vary the poses if there is compression so that we can target our practice to release tension in the myofascial areas such as our hips and torso.
The underlying theme of the training was Mindfulness as yin yoga is a very good practice for us to learn how to be mindful. Mindfulness means being present with a purpose, non-judgmental and not changing things the way they are meant to be. During our yin practice, we learn to listen to our bodies by focusing on our breath which keep us present at all times, accepting the limitations in our bodies and letting go.
David also asked us to write down our observations and emotions after doing a meditation in our daily meditation journal. I found this to be quite difficult initially as I did not have much to write about but after a few days of doing it, it gave me a better sense of what is actually going on in my mind when I am meditating.
I have gained so much knowledge these four days which will not only help in my teaching later but in my own practice and daily life as well. Thank you David for all your teachings and Christina, our teacher assistant during the course who is so much fun both in and out of class.