Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Yin Experience

I've had a lot of friends who practice yoga, are passionate about it, and even went to studying on teacher training. Which is why it did get me to be curious. I'm familiar with yoga and I've done some home DIY practices I've stumbled online or in magazines, but never classes. I want to, and am open to, especially when I got into fitness. I'm glad two of my yoga-enthusiast blogger friends Ria and Jane organized a yin yoga event for bloggers and it didn't take enough convincing for me to say yes. It was rainy too that day (also, it's a perfect yin weather) but I still went through with the class and excited about it. I first heard about yin yoga from Jane and she told me it's a passive kind with yoga, that targets the deep connective tissue. She knows I have an obsession with getting bendy and flexible and splitty and she told me this would help a lot.

Yin yoga is actually a calming yoga practice where we come into poses with our muscles in a relaxed state, instead of tensing them up or engaging them. The poses are held on for like 3-5 minutes and just let gravity and time take you deeper into the pose. As we go along our very active lifestyle, our body tenses up and we kinda lose our flexibility in the process. It somehow starts to make sense as I remember Kayleen telling us that we need our stretches after we do our squats to gain our flexibility back. Last weekend's bridal fair also had me standing up most of the time with tense wrists and arms and as I wrote this, it kinda made sense why my split was higher again when I went back to pole class the following day.

I was at Beyond Yoga in Il Terrazo earlier than our call time and I had a chat with Ria before the session. I asked her about her journey to yoga, which she started becoming passionate about. I met Ria 2 years ago. Back then, she weighed 40 pounds heavier and had an unhealthy lifestyle. Now lighter with a calmer disposition, she is now in yoga teacher training and a full vegetarian.

Our teacher, Donna Tumacder-Esteban introduces herself to us and also a bit of yin yoga. I love how she explained it and how it made sense for those who never heard about yoga. And just so you know, we have no headstands in yin yoga.

The yoga class started with us sitting in a cross-legged position allowing out minds to calm down as we start getting curious with our body. I noticed that my breathing was faster and shallower and as usual, I was tense around the shoulders and neck. It took quite a while for my shoulders to drop. Hip openers came next and we did the butterfly pose, something I'm familiar with as I do a lot of these in pole class and it somehow feels like a torrent of hell on earth is removed from me. I think it's because girls carry a lot of stress on the hips though, I'm not sure.

photo by Ria

I'm quite flexible on the hips as than most people so this pose was quite easy for me to bring my forehead to touch my foot. I felt the stretch on my outer hips too and I love splitty hip stretches.

Donna spots me for this other pose, and teaches a bit of modification so I could get the stretch up to my neck.

This hip stretch didn't make me cry as much as the caterpillar pose did, since it needed a bit of back bendiness. However, towards the later part of the stretch, I felt myself getting lower in the pose. I didn't fight it and just surrendered, relaxed, and felt a deeper stretch. The end of the session had us do a Savasana pose, where we lay in stillness. By this time, I noticed my breathing get a bit slower and deeper and there was a time that I would be able to just not breathe for a few seconds and then go back into another deep, slow breath. The session ended with Donna answering a few questions, and demonstrating more poses. She showed us a snail pose, which was much like an inversion. When I tried it, surprisingly, I was able to execute the pose and hold it longer. I also tried doing a split, and I was able to make it lower and squarer.

Group picture! Spot me na galit sa saplot.

That's my fellow polekitten Anna! She's awesome on the yoga mat as she is on the pole.

Ria also shares her favorite healthy veggie recipe of incorporating more vegetables in our diet using a Green Smoothie recipe.

I see mangoes, I see bananas and I see what? :Pechay and malunggay? Ria was like, "yes, pechay!" Quite unusual but I was game. She mixes plain yogurt, mangoes, bananas, a bit of cold water with malunggay and pechay

It looks green but promise, it tastes awesome and delicious. In fact, I was so inspired that I went to the grocery after and bought a lot of fruit and vegetables for a home version.

Yin yoga is an awesome complement to the dynamic exercise I have. Actually, after the session, I felt energized and my whole system reset. Aside from the fruits, I also bought a yoga mat after for home practice.

Thank you Jane and Ria for the invitation, and Donna for that marvelous session! More fitness love!

Beyond Yoga is located at 3F II, Il Terrazo building Tomas Morato Ave COR Scout Madrinian St. Quezon City. Contact them at or at  0917 -5BEYOND (0917-5239663) 

1 comment:

Ria said...

Im really glad you enjoyed the Yin session, Bambi, and that you were able to immediately see the impact of such a practice in flexibility how this can affect you in pole!

I hope you and your readers can join us on the YIN YOGA INTENSIVES workshops by top yin yoga teacher Victor Chng this August. Please check out for more details on the workshop :)