Watch the film where Magdalenas shares her view on Yin Yoga!
“Relax and let gravity do the job”
Yin yoga is just like any other yoga – but also very different from other yoga. Yin yoga focuses on the yin parts of the body such as the bones, connective tissue, ligaments, internal organs and the so-called meridians. The very simple positions are always performed lying or sitting down. Unlike most other yoga styles, Yin yoga lets your muscles relax completely. You can stay in any position for several minutes and practice meditation at the same time. In Yin yoga we do not stretch, we do not have a “goal” to reach a “perfection” and we avoid keeping our body muscularly tensed. We relax and allow our body to be present with what is, thus stretch more naturally and deeper (so called passive slow stretch). Yin yoga is thus an excellent complement to other physical activity such as jogging, weight lifting and other more dynamic yoga styles. But Yin yoga is also suitable for people who can not or do not want to do any other “exercise”. Yin yoga suits all people and all bodies. However, it is particularly effective for stiff and immobile body-types. It helps back pain, knee and / or neck problems, and above all a stressful and fast pace lifestyle with plenty of performance. This yoga slowly softens stiff hips, hamstrings and calves, which becomes smoother and more elastic. Yin yoga helps with filling the body with fresh, new energy (called qi or prana) and calms your mind.
“Don’t do anything with your body – just rest” – Tilopa.
Restorative Yoga (recovery-yoga) is another “Yin” than Yin yoga, one step softer and restful. With the help of pillows, chairs, bolsters and blankets we cover the body in a “weightless” state. You are encouraged to let go and sink into the cushions. We stay in positions for about 10 – 20 minutes. The wellbeing often arises afterwards because the brain triggers the production of the relaxation hormone oxytocin and prolactin, a kind of vitality hormone. This effect can last for a long time. Restorative Yoga, BKS Iyengar and used very effectively against physical and mental exhaustion.
Magdalenas main inspiration in Restorative Yoga is B.K.S Iyengar and Dr. Judith Hanson Lasater www.judithhansonlasater.com
Traditional Chinese Medicine
“Qi flows where attention goes” – Chinese proverb.
Yin yoga was originally called Daoist yoga and originated in China and Chinese medicine. Instead of using needles or acupressure to stimulate the various meridians, the body is placed in different positions for longer stretches of time. These positions gives us the same kind of meridian stimulation as acupuncture/acupressure. Meridians are channels through which Qi (vital energy) flows through the body. It´s similar to electric cables that transmit energy. In Yin yoga there are mainly twelve major meridians. Six of the twelve meridians begin or end in the feet, these are called yin meridians. The equivalent is the yang meridians, beginning or ending in the hands/head. The meridians are connected to internal organs. The liver and gall bladder, the kidneys and the bladder, heart and small intestine, colon and lungs and the spleen and stomach. Their health is the basis of human life according to Chinese medicine and it is the body’s inner organs that keep us healthy and alive.
Magdalena has explored TCM at the Acupuncture Academy in Stockholm www.akupunkturakademin.se and also through her friend and teacher Dr. Jana Särman www.odlalivet.se
“Meditation is not about throwing ourselves away and becoming something better. It´s about making friends with who we already are” – Pema Chödrön.
To put it simply; there are two kinds of meditations. Samatha and vipassana. All hatha yoga includes Samatha (concentration) meditation and is an important part of yoga. This meditation is often described as a meditation where the goal is a state of mind without thoughts. A total tranquility in a “nothing” where one is free from worries and problems. Samatha-meditation is a goal oriented meditation. We want to be calm and peaceful. In the second kind of meditation – vipassana (or Insight/mindfulness-meditation), we open up the mind and take in everything. Thoughts and feelings are not valued as “good” or “bad” but as “interesting”. Restlessness is embraced and examined. Non calmness and worry as well. Vipassana and samatha meditations are complementary techniques. The mind is stilled and then gains insight (vipassana).
Magdalena uses vipassana-meditation in her yoga-teaching style, as a tool for inner and outer transformation.