Verrrry Yin-teresting

In the spirit of trying new things during this yoga challenge, and in the spirit of being incredibly strapped for cash during tax time, I stumbled upon something for which I deserve no credit for “finding” since it was the offering at my free weekly fix at my local lululemon: Yin Yoga.  I’d never heard of Yin Yoga and — after seven years of meandering through every studio, community, free, and gym-membership-required class I could reasonably gain access to — I thought that was a little odd.  Since first impressions generally constitute the sum total of my “do I like this?” research, I was lucky to be guided by guest instructor Dido Nydick, in whom I instantly instilled trust due almost entirely to her National Geographic-worthy accent.  (Where is that FROM?  British, but only vaguely; relaxing, but not deep-economics-lecture-sleep inducing. Bottle it, Nydick.  You’ll make a million.)

Nydick explained Yin Yoga to us from the outset in much the way it is described on her web page as a practice for flexibility, endurance and stress release consisting of poses with relaxed muscles that are each sustained for 3-10 minutes.  Due to time constraints, we held each pose for three minutes.  At the beginning of the class I mentally scoffed thinking, “Since when is an hour constrained time?”  That was until I attempted to get in to the first configuration and after two minutes and forty-five seconds of cramped graceless contorting followed by a mere fifteen seconds of blissful restorative stretching (combined, I’ll be honest, with mental whining: “What!? I just got here?”), I realized three minutes were in fact constrained time after all.

Credit: didonydickyoga.com
Credit: didonydickyoga.com

By the time she explained that tightness in the IT band (something WebMD’s time-sucking combination of foam-rolling, pliable ice applying, and ibuprofen hasn’t fixed . . .yet) is aligned along the Chinese meridian with the gall bladder and indicates uncertainty about one’s own life path, I was hooked.  You mean the pop-clicking dull-aching hip pain unassuaged by the powers vested in me by WebMD could be attributable to the fact that my life’s paved road feels more like a jungle bushwhacking excursion lately?  Yinteresting, indeed.

Credit: yogatrail.com via Pinterest
Credit: yogatrail.com via Pinterest

She indicated before class started that we’d spend the entire time lying around on the ground and leave feeling totally rejuvenated and refreshed.  There was a smattering of knowing chuckles not unlike what you hear from the Pilates housewives when the instructor quips: “It can’t hurt you if you’re hardly moving right? Am I right, ladies?” (Take it from someone who has been mindlessly clipped-in on a road bike that slowed to a stop.  It actually CAN hurt you if, and sometimes it’s BECAUSE you’re hardly moving.)  It’s not that the Yin Yoga hurt — although we did discuss the difference between “pain” and “discomfort” — but rather that there was a profoundly perceivable effect even if, to the window-leering passers-by, we did look like a bunch of mat potatoes. To summarize: Lay around; reap benefits.

Credit: justacleveruse.tumblr.com via Pinterest
Credit: justacleveruse.tumblr.com via Pinterest

Cheers to that.*

(*British, but only vaguely.)

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