“Powers is a remarkable teacher. She has captivating presence and intelligent delivery, with one of the most mesmerizing voices I’ve ever heard, which intensifies the already meditative quality of the yin practice.”
– Richard Rosen
Join Sarah in this 2 1/2 hour class at the lovely Deer Run Zendo as she guides us in a well-rounded practice of mindfulness of the body, heart and mind while reminding us of the essential balance between skillful means (action) and wisdom (insight into the nature of all things).
The first half is devoted to the Yin style with detailed descriptions of how and why to practice in this way. The second half is the more active style of moving from pose to pose while maintaining an awareness of our inner (breath and mind states) and outer (form and function) alignment.
Yin and Vinyasa Yoga DVD Review
YOGA: YIN AND VINYASA YOGA with Sarah Powers
Northern California teacher Sarah Powers is an exponent of Yin Yoga, a technique developed by Paul Grilley (a student of Japanese yogi Hiroshi Motoyama), author of Yin Yoga: Outline of a Quiet Practice (White Cloud Press, 2002). According to Grilley, all yoga practice (and exercise in general) can be divided into two types: active and passive—what he calls yang and yin. Yang Yoga, which emphasizes rhythmic movement and muscular contraction, includes such schools as Ashtanga Yoga and so-called Power Yoga. Yin Yoga, conversely, is practiced passively with soft muscles, holding each asana or asana-based exercise in the sequence for several minutes. Its goal is to stretch the body’s deep connective tissues—the ligaments and fascia—to increase joint flexibility and self-awareness. Many of us tend to focus just on the yang practice, but Grilley maintains that yang and yin yogas are complements and that we need to balance elements of both in our daily work.
Powers’s two-hour session is divided into two, roughly equal sections. The first covers the yin practice, with a half-dozen passive stretches in Reclining Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana), “Saddle Pose” (similar to reclining Hero), a wide-knee Child’s Pose, a cross-leg forward bend, a wide-leg forward bend, and a reclining bent-knee twist. Each symmetrical pose is held for five minutes, each asymmetrical pose for five minutes on each side. The vinyasa—or what Grilley would call the yang practice—follows the yin practice, and consists mostly of a linked sequence of familiar standing poses.
Powers is a remarkable teacher. She has captivating presence and intelligent delivery, with one of the most mesmerizing voices I’ve ever heard, which intensifies the already meditative quality of the yin practice. She doesn’t provide much specific physical instruction during the yin practice; instead, she uses it as a platform to detail the yin philosophy (bolstered by her study of Buddhism and yoga philosophy), which in turn opens up new dimensions of the poses. Of course, there’s nothing really new about holding poses for timed periods; what you get here is a coherent explanation of why you want to do this and what results you might expect from a dedicated practice. Just remember though, you’ll need a long stretch of time and—at least for the yin section—lots of patience to do this session properly. But it’s an interesting approach that deserves our close attention. Recommended for all levels of students.”
- English subtitles are not available for this DVD.
- This DVD content is not available for digital download.
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