The classes that I offer fall into two general styles (yin and vinyasa) which differ in what is emphasized in the physical aspects of practice. The descriptions below highlight those distinctions.
Whether you join me for a yin or vinyasa class, my goal is to highlight the intended benefit of a pose as we work toward holistic health and wellbeing. We all have unique bodies, and the appropriate functional alignment to achieve a particular benefit is not necessarily the same from person to person. Getting our bodies into a specific shape is not the goal in my classes. Aesthetic alignment and training for peak performance definitely have their place, they're just not the priority in my personal approach to practice.
Physically, yin yoga targets the dense connective tissue in our body, helping to build resilience and maintain mobility. Floor postures are passively held for longer periods of time (typically three to five minutes in my classes) with a mild to moderate level of sensation. Yin is a fantastic complement to more “yang” physical activities such as vinyasa yoga, weight training, or running, which generally target our muscles with dynamic movement and repetition.
The yin style of practice is an invitation to slow down and balance the fast-pace of our daily lives. The relative stillness and longer poses allow space for meditative reflection, while nourishing and enhancing the flow of energy through our bodies. Learn more about yin yoga in my recent guest blog article on the Serenity Yoga website!
I offer weekly yin yoga classes at Serenity Yoga (South Hadley, MA).
Compared to yin yoga, vinyasa is generally a more active physical practice, with an emphasis on building strength and stability through engagement of muscles and flowing movement. That said, my vinyasa classes have a slower pace and we work with less intensity than in an Ashtanga or “power flow” style of class, allowing for time to more fully experience the affects of a pose on your body and explore options for your practice.