Have you ever realized that you’re not absorbing the words in a book? You’ve gone over the sentences, but you have no idea what’s happening. So, you’re forced to flip back and try again, but this time with focus. Finally, upon rereading, you take in the meaning and have an a-ha moment. It takes practice, focus, determination and prioritization for a story to come together and make an impact.
This process is how I view my practice of yin yoga. It takes the same amount of focus to absorb every pose and breath as they come together and provide meaning. With all that’s going on in the world today, yoga has the power to impact lives both mentally and physically.
Instagram Live has become home to my live 25-minute yin yoga sessions. This is the perfect amount of time to stretch, breathe and open up any of the day’s blockages before releasing that energy to flow freely for a calm and grounding evening. Class ends with a few minutes of meditation, whether you are lying down or sitting up. If you’re new to meditation, it’s a great starting point.
Yin yoga targets the deep connective tissues of the body: the ligaments, joints, bones and deep fascia networks. One class takes you through a series of passive floor poses held for five minutes or more. Hold poses for two minutes and you’ll feel an emphasis on the hips, pelvis, inner thighs and lower spine. While you won’t reap the benefits overnight, with practice and patience you’ll notice a more limber body. The way you feel physically might remain inconsistent, but the most beautiful element of yoga is to simply observe and be easy on yourself – and modify when needed.
Set an intention when you practice yoga. Being mindful of joy, contentment, grounding, freedom and peace allows you to have something to focus your mind on and take with you from the mat into your life. Yoga students are welcome to send over their intentions based on what’s going on in their lives in real time. Maybe it’s something that will resonate with several others tuning in from all over. Quarantine offers a chance to pause, sit still and breathe. Your mental health comes first, and knowing you’ll show up as a better friend, spouse or parent is key.
We are bombarded with stimuli 24/7 – stillness is scarce but most essential. Thoughts come up as you quiet the mind. A checklist of things may feel most important. The more you practice, prioritize and focus to sit, stretch and tune into your breath, the more you absorb all that yoga has to offer.
Connecting with a real-time teacher will increase accountability and create consistency for surviving the chaos as your best self. You’ll find more joy, less anxiety, more energy and overall increased happiness. Trust in the power of stillness, stretching, slowing down, breathing and simply just being.
Learn more about yin yoga at www.yinyoga.com.
Join Hoefling’s online sessions of yin yoga by visiting her Instagram @shelbyhoefling on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. via Instagram Live.
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