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One evening while entering the studio to set up for my Yin class, a young, strong (Ken-doll looking) student from the previous sweaty class said to me, “Oh what class is up next?”
I could tell by the look on his face that he wanted to double-up and attend two classes in a row.
When I answered Yin yoga he said, and I quote, “F*ck that, that sh*t scares me! I’ll take a handstand workshop over a Yin class any day.”
And that’s when I realized Yin yoga was totally hardcore.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced student of yoga, it doesn’t determine whether or not you are ready for Yin. You see, often people think a Yin yoga practice is gentle or easy. Well, I guess that depends on how you define “gentle” or “easy.”
Yes, it’s true you won’t be breaking a sweat in a Yin class, you won’t be strengthening your core, you won’t be improving your balance (at least not your external balance), but Yin is anything but easy.
Unless you think sitting still for minutes at a time and watching your mind is easy.
You see, while more dynamic classes are outside in practices, Yin yoga is an inside out practice.
A couple of Yin yoga’s nicknames are the “quiet Yoga” or “the meditative yoga,” and I often see the shock and horror in the eyes of a new Yin yoga student when they hear that. When they realize that they will be sitting still while feeling sensations in their body for minutes at a time, all witnessing and dealing with the thinking, planning, list writing, analyzing, ruminating, obsessing, criticizing, judging, itching, bitching, and twitching of their mind at the same time.
You see, it takes courage to sit still and observe your mind (as any meditator will tell you), and not everyone is ready for the challenge.
What it ultimately comes down to is, are you ready to use your time on your mat to be about more than sweating, chaturanga, and your beach body?
Are you ready to look at your sh*t?
Are you ready to learn to witness and observe your thought loops?
Are you ready to improve your concentration and mental resilience?
Are you ready to have your time on your yoga mat be an opportunity to learn how to respond instead of react in tough situations?
If so, then you, my friend, are hardcore!