Free Yoga Friday: Mindful Yin

The Practice: Mindful Yin Yoga by Jennifer Rankin at DoYogaWithMe.com
Instructional/Physical Parameters: With a good about of instructional detail and modifications offered for various poses, this is fairly beginner friendly.
Props: The instructor mentioned a block and maybe a blanket; I ended up using a blanket but not a block (and don’t recall where the block was recommended).
Length: 72 minutes

I know I said I was going to focus on shorter practices. However, in my self-sequenced practices, I’ve been doing a number of fairly vigorous ones. They’re great and all, but I came upon one Saturday when my quads had had enough. And I like to think that by this point in my life, I know my body well enough to recognize when it just needs a yin hour.

So I rationalized it to myself by saying I could do a free online yin video and review it for the blog. And not that I quite needed the rationalization to make myself take the yin break, but it was maybe a comforting tie breaker.

This time, I’m actually going to note my biggest point of caution first. It’s not actually a point of caution where I think this is a bad practice — just that it may not be suitable for everyone right away. A lot of yin classes start out holding postures for 3 minutes, which can already be intense for folks who aren’t familiar with what to expect. This class holds postures for 5 minutes each, which may simply feel like too much for some folks who are trying out yin for the first time.

Then again, it might actually be all right. With the sequencing, the specific poses chosen, the instruction, and the background sound (a combination of music and ocean waves), this didn’t feel too intense to me at all. There was a lot of emphasis both on finding initial comfort in the pose as well as how to respond when the intensity picks up from staying in the posture for so long.

The sequence starts out in savasana then moves through child’s pose and sphinx. Then pigeon on each side, with an option for reclined thread the needle. Then shoelace on each side, with the option to take half shoelace (bottom leg extended). I may be missing a pose here — just going from memory — but then I think we came down to backs for a reclined twist on each side. Then came a reclined butterfly with a guided meditation. Finally, a longer — ten or fifteen minutes — savasana.

Bottom line — Would I use this class again, or would I pay actual dollars for it? (It’s free to stream online but has purchase options for download.) Probably not — but largely because I have no problem self-sequencing my own yin practices. If I were having issues with this aspect of my practice, however, I wouldn’t hesitate to revisit it online.

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One comment on “Free Yoga Friday: Mindful Yin
  1. MM says:

    Thank you for doing these reviews! I have been curious about yin yoga, but hadn’t tried it. I usually do something closer to a vinyasa practice. But this gave me the impulse to try it out.

    As a beginner to yin yoga, I found this practice surprising–the poses feel very different when held for that long. Also, I noticed my mind jumping around a lot more than I notice it in a more vigorous practice, which was an interesting observation.

    I’m glad she had an alternative to pigeon, because even when my body is very warmed up and I’ve done a lot of hip openers to prepare, pigeon is very difficult for me. It would have been impossible in the context of this practice for even a short time. I also found the reclined twists difficult on my neck when held for that long, so I’m glad she suggested keeping the neck neutral.

    If there are other beginners out there reading this–I got very cold during the practice. I dressed as I would for a vigorous practice: capris and a tank top. However, I quickly wanted long pants and sleeves, because there is a lot of relaxing close to the (very cold) floor. It wasn’t something I thought to prepare for.

    Overall, I’m on the fence about this practice. I think I would need try this practice again, to see how I like it once I know what to expect.

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