Posts tagged flow
An Introduction to Yin with Jacky Kuo
 
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What does Yin mean?

Taiji Symbol

Taiji Symbol

Yin and Yang came from the Taoism philosophy. Taoism believes living in harmony with the universe and working with the universe’s natural flow (e.g. rather than trying to be the best, try and be simple).Yin and yang are the polarities of a whole, the complementary opposites of dark and light, cold and hot, soft and hard, female and male that allow all things to come into being. They are the two sides of a coin. One cannot exist without the other. Yin and yang are the vibration of the universe, the energy that informs all life. Together they form Taiji (a.k.a. Samadhi in the eight-fold path of yoga): a state of bliss through infinite potential and oneness. See picture to the left for the Taiji symbol.

As you can see from the picture, Yin (Black) and Yang (White) are not opposites, they are relative to one and other. Where you find Yin, Yang will be there and vice versa. 

Yin yoga postures, as created by founder Paulie Zink, are used to actualize the energetic and mystical attributes of various creatures and to stimulate the transformational properties of the five alchemical elements, thus enlivening and harmonizing these qualities within the body and animating the primal spirit that resides within us all. Integrating the power and healing aspects of these energies will help to balance emotions and put one into accord with the true nature of our being.

mandala-nature

Traditional Yin Yoga founded by Paulie Zink stems from Hatha Yoga, Taoism philosophy, martial art, Qi Gong and observation of the natural environment. He underwent years of demanding training and esoteric disciplines which he mastered. He has taught thousands of classes since the 1970s, claimed three martial arts grand champions, choreographed routines for music videos and movies and featured in many magazines, articles and documentary programmes (e.g. BBC series “Jerry Hall’s Gurus”).

Elemental Flow and Yin Yoga are both sequences inspired by Paulie’s playful style of teaching that aim to rejuvenate students. Paulie taught me Yin Yoga as he intended it to be, finding Yang within Yin and Yin within Yang balancing the five natural elements. Incorporating continuous, smooth and circular motions that promotes ease, fluidity and grace in the body. Working with both static stretching and dynamic stretching, students are given the option to flow and pause depending on their energy level. 

In both Elemental Flow and Yin we will move in a circle and enhance our linear forward and backwards one direction movement in traditional Yoga. We will face all directions that represent the five natural elements and honour each every time we find our circular transition: east wood, south fire, west gold, north water, mother earth and father sky in the centre. 

Each week, we will focus on connecting and balancing the five natural elements in both Elemental Flow and Yin Yoga. These five natural elements correspond with the five elements that reside within our own body, fire, earth, metal, water and wood; heart, spleen, lungs, kidneys and liver. The two yoga classes are designed to follow the five element meridian pathway and complement each other. Elemental Flow balance wakens the awareness of all five elements and Yin focusing in depth on one particular element and the corresponding meridian pathway. For example, you might find water warrior challenging; in Yin, we would switch the focus to channelling the water element in our body which we are in excess of or craving for.  

nature-elements

What is the idea behind Elemental Flow?

Elemental Flow is designed with an emphasis on nature.

Students are invited to develop a connection to the five elements found within the environment and within the body. Finding harmony between humanity and nature so that we can both thrive. Allowing nature to connect us to a larger system where we can come to terms with what we cannot control and simply follow the order of nature. 

By following the order of nature, we are giving up our false sense of control that social media and consumer advertisement is constantly bombarding us with. Giving up the false sense of control over the weather, time, environment, sound, smell, other people, other vehicles, etc. When we give up these false senses of control, we give up our expectation and starting to look inwards with clarity over our behaviour, mindset, body and breath. 

Jacky teaches Elemental Flow & Yin on Wednesday evenings at Mitcham's Corner. Click here to get yourself booked in and see her other classes.


About the Author

jacky-kuo

Jacky Kuo

Like most of the people who come to a CAMYOGA class, Jacky started practicing yoga because something wasn’t feeling right (namely poor posture and stress). Despite her career in Psychology research there simply aren’t enough accessible solutions for better wellbeing other than a weekly evening Ashtanga Classes.

As a student and a yoga teacher, Jacky is passionate about dynamic and energetic practise that allow you to ‘empty’ your mind and focus on alignment that continue off the mat. Jacky received her BWY yoga foundation certificate in October 2013 with Cam Yoga and completed her Ashtanga Vinsayas Flow Teacher Training RYS 200hrs in February 2017 in India.

 

 
Focus On: Yoga Flow

We are all very fortunate to live in a world where yoga is immensely popular, in fact increasingly so, but to the beginner it's hard to know where to start when there are so many forms, styles and lineages to choose from. Our brand new Focus on: guides are designed to help you to choose the style of yoga that is right for you. We hope you find them both interesting and informative! First up, Yoga Flow...

1343368805_419850589_1-yoga-classes-at-home-for-women-Jubilee-Hills Yoga Flow (also known as 'vinyasa flow') is an elegant, dynamic style of yoga, derived from Ashtanga Yoga, which emphasises the synchronisation of mind, body and breath. In fact, the Sanskrit word for 'vinyasa' is often translated as "connection". Intelligent and creative sequencing will lead you safely towards a different 'peak' posture every time. Pace varies from teacher to teacher but expect to work hard and get hot, using ujjayi breath ("ocean breathing" - inhaling and exhaling through the nose, creating a rasping sound in the throat) to support your practice.

The term 'vinyasa' is also used to describe the sequence of poses that are performed between Downward Facing Dogs as part of a Sun Salutation sequence.

Yoga Flow classes typically involve repetitions of Sun Salutations, with Downward Facing Dog used as a resting pose throughout the class. Most teachers will offer a variety of levels to suit different bodies and abilities, encouraging those who feel tired or pushed beyond their limits to rest in Child's Pose. Due to the fast pace of most Yoga Flow classes, they aren't recommended for beginners. Make sure that you have a few months of yoga under your belt first, along with a reasonable level of fitness.

Click here to view our class schedule.

GREAT FOR: strength, fitness, weight loss, energising, flexibility

Three Questions: Rachael Moore

Three Questions: Rachael Moore

rachaelCould you explain how you went about learning to teach flow? Are there specialist training programme?

RACHAEL: Although I have always been drawn to more of a 'flow style yoga practice' I opted for a more general yoga teaching training when I took my first 200hr teacher training. I felt I wanted to have a good grounding and understanding of 'yoga' and how to teach safely and effectively whilst leaving room for my personal growth and exploration . Once I had a few years of teaching experience and I had had the chance to see what style of teaching I was drawn to and what felt 'authentic' to me in my teaching and practice, I took the decision to embark on a second teacher training specifically in the art of Vinyasa flow yoga with Claire Missingham. This second tt offered me the opportunity to explore all the layers that go toward making a rounded, accessible vinyasa class. As both a student and teacher of yoga , I feel I am constantly evolving and making subtle changes to how I interpret certain aspects of this practice. Both tt courses have enabled me to do this and also provided me with sound theoretical knowledge so as I can continue to grow as both a student and teacher of Yoga.

Why does yoga always make me so emotional? Sometimes I feel myself on the verge of tears in savasana and I have no idea why! Is this normal?

RACHAEL: Bless you! Yes it is normal and If we are honest I think we have all been there at some point in our practice. A regular practice will help to align not only the physical body but also our subtle anatomy. Our yoga practice teaches us about the intwined relationship between our state of mind, our breath and our bodies so it stands to reason that our passed experiences and our current emotional state is imprinted in our bodies which will affect the balance of our our energy and the harmony of our whole being. Energy is constantly moving around the body but through habitual holding patterns in the body, or past injury/trauma (emotional or physical) ,this energy can get blocked in certain places in the body. In our yoga practice, we stretch, strengthen, twist and fold our bodies, our bones, muscle , organs and skin and in doing so help release this blocked/stagnant energy both physically, energetically and also emotionally It is partly for this reason that you may notice a release of emotional energy seemingly unrelated to the specific moment at hand. Sarah Powers a well respected Yin yoga teacher, says in relation to this that "Yoga is a great way of moving these patterns through you... I suggest neither blocking nor seeking to mentally figure out these feelings as they emerge during your practice. Simply stay with the feeling-tone itself and notice the way it affects your experience in your body……There is nothing wrong with emotional release during our yoga poses, this is healing."

Q5) Do you think it's important to be able to do advanced poses? Should we always try to work towards these?

RACHAEL: Hmm…. Do I think advanced poses make you an advanced student of yoga? An emphatic 'no'! Do I think it is important to be working towards something and enjoy experiencing the journey as you travel toward the destination? An emphatic 'Yes'. It is good to challenge yourself, to take yourself out of your comfort zone , to work towards a different place from where you started, but at the same time, it should be done with a clear intention and approached in a mindful way. Yes some of the advanced poses will offer you increased strength and focus but only if your ready for them, otherwise there will be no sukha (ease) in the body, just Dukha (heaviness and dis-ease). There are many, many 'advanced' poses that I continue to practice and work towards. Some of these I may one day be able to achieve, others I will not. As Desikachar states 'we start where we are and with what we have, and whatever happens, happens". Enjoy the challenge of some of the more advanced poses but don't make it the goal of your practice. There is so much joy in discovering all the subtleties of this practice that to get hung up over never being able to perform an unsupported handstand (for example) would be such a shame!

Rachael Moore teaches Yoga Flow and Pregnancy Yoga at Camyoga. She is also a member of our esteemed teacher training faculty. Click here to view her class schedule.

Get to know Camyoga Teacher, Rachael Moore

Get to Know Camyoga Teacher: Rachael Moore

Rachael Moore

Name: Rachael

Age:  38

Occupation: Mum and yoga teacher

What brought you to yoga?

As with many people, I first came to yoga as many people do, to help combat 'stress' as a result of my job. I worked as a speech and language therapist for children with profound medical and learning difficulties and although hugely rewarding, it was also at times highly emotional and stressful. Yoga helped me find a way to deal with the challenges I faced in a calm and grounded manner, reacting to situations in a more balanced way.

As a teacher what is Yoga about and not about?

Oooh how long have you got!!!! It is probably easier for me to say what I personally think it is not. Yoga is not about being the best in the room, yoga is not about being competetive (even with yourself), yoga is not always the glossy images you see in the magazines, practising yoga, does not  mean that you no longer experience hardship or tough times (unfortunately). The practice of yoga is far greater and deeper than all of that. Yoga gives you the tools for everyday living, it helps you on every level of your being. Yoga releases your tired stiff body from sitting at a desk all day helping you re-find that childhood softness and agility. In helping you re-claim physical flexibility, this flexibilty then leads to greater flexibility in the mind and how we react to life situations off the matt. It leads you towards a truer more honest you! Wherever you are in your life, yoga can be there for you . It can transform the body physically, energeticly and emotionally. It can energize, detox, heal and nourish you . It can be a soft landing when you fall.

What do you do when you are not doing yoga?

Being mum to my three gorgeous daughters and being taken for a walk by my two huge labradoodles Molly and Floss! What is your favourite yoga pose and why?

Wow! It's almost impossible to choose one as depending where I am on any particular day will determine my favourite pose!. Generally though, I absolutely love and standing balance, especially Natarajasana for its openness and grace and Garudasana for that beautiful feeling of opening up the shoulders.

What is your least favourite yoga pose and why?

I know it sounds cheesy and a bit of a cop out, but I really don't have a least favourite pose. If pushed though, I probably shy away from strong core work a little more readily than I should do!

What is one quality you have taken off the mat and incorporated into your daily life? Patience

An interesting fact about Rachel that you may not know is:

I used to do synchronized swimming as a teenager!!

To book into Rachel's classes click on link

 

What is your Dosha? What does it mean for my Yoga?

Finding Your DoshaIt is all about balance

Ever wondered why you are attracted to a style of Yoga? It might be your dosha! What is a dosha?

Yoga is key for our mind, body, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.  Ayurvedic medicine is  sister to Yoga and from the five elements three dosha's are formed.  They are Vata (air), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (earth and water). They form physical, mental  and emotional characteristics. You are born with a dosha for your mind and for your body.

Your temperment is a good indicator to your dosha, for example if you are lively and enthusiastic by nature and like to change you may be Vata, if you are purposeful and intense and like to convince you may be Pitta and if you are easy going and like to support you may be Kapha. You may be a combination of the dosha's.  If you want to find out more click through this link for the Deepak Chopra Quiz.

Like any super power they are best used for good and not evil! If they become out of balance we can head towards the more negative aspects. To keep them in balance is not always instinctive as we tend towards what can make us more. For example you might be very attracted to dynamic Yoga, perfect.  The watch out is if you find yourself going from dynamic, enthusiastic and kind into aggressive, elbowing your way into class, sighing heavily and snarling at the person who took 'your spot'! time in a restorative class or a more meditative class would help to restore lovely you. If you are cerebral by nature and more sedentary then try Ashtanga and Flow, the dynamic classes will help to energise you. So when you next book into your weekly classes, book into what you love and need!