Yin Yoga’s Just A Restorative Class, Right?

Oh, it’s far more than that.

Yin yoga is a practice of long-hold postures that carefully loads the body’s connective tissues along their inherent lines of tension, ultimately stimulating fascia, ligaments, and joints. At first, the idea of exercising joints, ligaments, and fascia might seem counterintuitive. Dangerous even. But it’s healthful. Rejuvenating, actually!

Yin yoga promotes full, free, and youthful ranges of motion of the hips and low back. (Nirvana Yoga Shala, Mysore, India, 2020.)

The rhythm and repetition of the usual athletic endeavors, oft within a narrow range of motion, or the relative immobility typical of much of daily life conspire to restrict mobility. Tight, stiff hips and low backs leave even the young looking and feeling old and infirm. Yin yoga selectively stimulates areas normally overloaded or overlooked, slowly, quietly, and inconspicuously.

You won’t sweat, but it’s not easy. Since Yin yoga resides a bit farther up the intensity spectrum than its Restorative counterpart, its therapeutic effects come from the body’s favorable adaptation to the applied stresses. Again, Yin postures direct their stress into the joints and surrounding tissues of the hips and the low back — where it counts — ultimately freeing up an individual’s full, natural range of motion. After a while, the resulting mobility is seen and felt as renewed youthfulness regardless of age. And, these static Yin postures by definition complement the rhythmic, repetitive nature of ubiquitous Yang sports and activities precisely because of their stillness. It’s this dynamics of training that makes Yin yoga the real yoga for athletes. And it goes further.

The Taiji

At risk of sounding a bit esoteric, what ultimately emerges is a Tao of exercise, a balance between Yin & Yang. The middle path. The Way. Natural cycles abide by the Tao, depicted as the eternal waltz of the black & white paisleys of the Taiji. And, it’s really not so mystical. Just concrete, day-to-day stuff. Inhale, exhale. Wakefulness, sleep. Work, rest. Properly understood: the dance of life. Join in … consciously.

Do live-streaming Yin yoga here!

Join me for thrice-weekly Yin yoga classes streaming live on Zoom from the home studio! (Psst … learn how classes are structured, here.)

Why fight traffic, hunt for parking, lug your mat, and navigate crowded studios to do your Yin yoga? You’re spending double the time, and afterwards you still have to get home! Instead of all that, just turn on your preferred device, tune in to Christopher’s Yin Yoga, and stream that righteous stretch from the comfort and convenience of your own space. Everyday technology makes sticking to your regular practice so so simple and easy. What’s more, when you find a class that’s particularly enjoyable you can do it again, again, and again, On Demand. Here, along with body and mind, you’re also exercising efficiency, economy, and Nature’s law of parsimony.

“Choose either the low, medium, or high side of your block for the Supported Back Extension.”

Yin yoga sequences vary in step with the lunar cycle. Of the cardinal phases, the Full Moon class is more active and flow-like (Yang). You’ll do a greater number of postures of shorter duration. New Moon classes are far more passive (Yin). You’ll do fewer postures of longer duration. In between, Quarter Moon classes balance these polarities with alternating, five-minute, pose/counterpose pairs. Intermediate phase classes tend to complete folds, then bends, then twists, in succession. While each class is certainly Yin, altogether they express the inherent dynamics of synodic lunations. That’s Yin and Yang in context of a greater Yin. Ultimately, we’re celebrating natural cycles. The Tao.

First Quarter Moon. Early Heaven Bagua trigram is Fire. A change of state.

Want to learn more? Get my book, A Righteous Stretch — Yin Yoga: What It Is, How to Do It, and Why, take my live-streaming or recorded video-on-demand classes, and continue perusing my website. Wherever you start, you’re on the right track!

What people are saying!

This is one of, if not the best, Yin classes in the [San Fernando] Valley!

— Class Pass Review, 2019

Prior to Christopher’s class I was in a great degree of pain in my hip area. I didn’t think I would be able to do any poses. I was amazed that at the end of class I was pain free! Thank you Christopher for your guidance and attention to your students. It was a class that seemed designed just for my needs.

— Margaret, 2020

Through years and years of exploring the universe of mindfulness classes I’ve come to recognize those rare, genuine, and authentic teachers. Christopher is one.

— Tara, 2021

Your class was awesome! Every moment was perfect. Utilizing our senses, experiencing, allowing all our energy to flow through exactly where it needed to go. Stretching like never before! Extra challenging for me, as I was translating for the group, but your teaching style made it manageable. Thank you. Looking forward to the next class! 

— Ana, 2022

Christopher is always a calm, reassuring, compassionate presence. I am in my third year of practice with him and the evening classes are central to my exercise regimen. I love the long holds, which are very good at loosening up difficult joints and restoring range of motion to old injuries. I highly recommend Christopher’s Yin Yoga.

— Melinda, 2022

Progress! I stood and walked unassisted for a meeting today. Given I wasn’t able to stand longer than five minutes four months ago [due to back issues], I welcome these rather intense postures.

— Dede, 2022

Christopher has a meditative quality to his voice which really helps when holding the poses, that, along with his various breathing prompts. He’s a great teacher!

— Rebecca, 2022

The classes have been just what I need. And the Gong Meditation was phenomenal! Like a sound bath…very enlightening and trance-like. I was able to truly relax but felt energized and connected at the same time. Always love the opportunity for a “righteous stretch” with Christopher! 🙂 Please, keep that going!

— Cindy, 2023

Hands down the best Yin Yoga classes! I look forward to Christopher’s Yin Yoga each & every week. They help tremendously in releasing the usual tightness that I feel in my back & hips. Highly recommend for anyone at any fitness level!

— Thecla, 2023

Simple yet powerful sound-bath. First time diving into this meditation practice. Feels like it’s only 10 mins but refreshed and light like a I slept for two hours. Interesting images/thoughts come to mind and it’s helped me streamline my focus from thought to reality. Thank you Christopher.

— CJ, 2023

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