As I mentioned in January, I’m reducing my teaching commitments to free myself to make the next leap.
While I’m still not certain what that leap is, I know that I’ll only be teaching one class a week. The last class standing is the 6:30pm yin yoga class at Bound Lotus Meditation & Yoga Centre in North Vancouver.
Yin is consistently one of my favourite styles of yoga to practice and teach. There are many reasons why I do yin yoga, mostly I love the stillness and the meditativeness.
Outside of a yin yoga practice, I like finding a moment or two of stillness and a few meditative breaths in mountain pose (or tadasana). Mountain pose is simply standing; well-balanced, connected through the soles of your feet… allowing your lower body to be heavy and grounded, while your upper body stays light and floats upwards.
In a typical yoga practice, I often use mountain as a foundation for other standing postures and as part of sun salutation sequences, but it’s also lovely to do on it’s own. It’s easy to sneak in a little mountain-meditation throughout the day – waiting for lights when walking, queuing in line, doing dishes… any time you’re standing is a good time for a few mountain breaths!
Why it’s good
- Helps improve posture, develops balance, and creates body awareness
- Strengthens and gently tones abdominal and back muscles as you engage your core to keep upright
- Engages the muscles in your legs and buttocks, creating strong thighs, knees, ankles, and buttocks
- Connects all the energy centres of the body, helping you feel more aligned and centred
- Allows you to take a pause in your day and focus on your mental and physical experience
How to do it
- Stand with your feet parallel and roughly hip distance apart
- Changing foot width varies the balance point; most people find this pose challenges their balance more feet closer together
- Gently sway your body to connect all parts of your feet to the mat or floor and feel your weight evenly balanced (front & back, left & right) before coming to stillness
- Roll your shoulders back and down (away from your ears) a few times before allowing your arms to rest alongside your body
- Many people like to rotate their arms to allow their thumbs to point away from their bodies; listen to what’s best for your body and let your arms rest wherever they feel comfortable
- Let your collarbones soften and spread, feeling a gentle lift coming from your upper chest
- Feel the crown of your head floating towards the sky and tuck your chin in slightly to keep your neck in-line with the rest of your spine
- Lightly engage your core and leg muscles to keep your spine straight
- Sense the tallness of your body
- Allow your lower body to feel rooted, grounded, connecting you with the earth while your upper body feels light, weightless, floating upwards and connecting you with the sky
- Breath deeply and smoothly through your nose for several breaths, letting the still, solidness of a mountain fill you
To come out of mountain:
- Simply step into your next pose or move on with your day!
The yin class I’m teaching tonight at Bound Lotus will certainly involve a little mountain time. Come join me if you can 🙂