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.