“Vinyasa is the warm, energizing, active, yang side of our practice. Yin is the cool, still, calming side,” says Rebekah, who is teaching our newest offering “slow flow and yin.”
While Vinyasa focuses on strengthening and stretching our musculature, Yin takes deep stretches into the connective tissues with the aim of increasing mobility. Additionally, it is about tuning into yourself, your body, and learning to be comfortable in stillness and quiet.
Students who come to Rebekah’s slow flow and yin class will integrate props into their practice. This allows the body to release the grip on muscles so, in turn, an appropriate level of stress is applied to the connective tissue. This causes a biochemical reaction that lubricates and nourishes these targeted parts of the body. Rebekah will also lead meditation during the class, to further calm the sympathetic nervous system (the fight or flight instinct) and fuel the parasympathetic system (including rest and digestion).
“I have a deep love affair with Yin yoga,” says Rebekah, which is why she wanted to incorporate it in her teachings at Samudra. “Yin isn’t as trendy as say Vinyasa or Bikram, but ask anyone what their favorite pose is and you will hear an almost unanimous choir of ‘Pigeon pose,” which is a Yin pose. That deep stretch and long hold in stillness, that is Yin yoga. You get lost in your physicality, your breath and your mind.”
At the age of 13, Rebekah began her yoga practice by following along with a cable access fitness channel. She started using the poses she learned to create a nightly bedtime stretching routine. She started incorporating breath work, not realizing at the time that she was practicing Yin yoga. Shortly after that experience, she began her formal studies in yoga.
The slow flow and Yin class is open to all levels of experience. Rebekah says, “This class is all about being in your exact body, exactly as it is!”
For students who have experience with other forms of yoga, be prepared for a new, different challenge with Yin. The positions will seem familiar, but the holds will introduce an incredible level of sweetness while becoming acquainted with the power of focused breath to work through any discomfort.
“There’s no way to truly understand it until you experience it,” says Rebekah, “So you will just have to join to see for yourself!”