Yin Yoga teacher training
Yin is the feminine force in the universe that defines all that is cool, dark, slow, smooth and passive. It is an attitude of reflection, reception and relaxed observation. The yin way is gentle and a surprisingly powerful method to invoke change in both body and mind.
A unique way of practising Hatha yoga, seeks to embrace only the sweet or relaxed side of the posture. Instead of recruiting muscles to stabilize a posture the asanas are performed mostly on the ground and are supported by props like bolsters, blankets, blocks and straps. Relying on the props to ‘hold’ the shape of the posture the student can fully relax their body — removing all physical effort. By releasing in this way the body ‘hangs’ in its container (the fascial net) and the tension is transferred to the connective tissue (fascia) rather than the usual stretch felt through the muscles.
Working with connective tissue allows the student to access their emotional warehouse so they can let go of unhealthy mental and emotional patterns. Yin yogis are learning to integrate life’s challenges in a healthy and constructive way.
The facial network defines our physical shape as well as playing a large role in our emotional and mental landscape. By stimulating particular areas in the fascial net we are able to manipulate how we are feeling and what we are thinking. By applying the wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine's meridian system and the knowledge of the Indian Chakra paradigm to the myofascial trains, we can synthesize Eastern and Western approaches to healing.
What is the course about?
This YTT is about the psychosomatic relationship — how your mind alters your physiology and how the state your physical body influences how you think and feel.
This course is about you.
During this six day intensive you will learn a lot about yourself. Homework will be designed around your personal experiences. Your insights will become a strong foundation for you to begin the process of helping others. Expect to grow!
This course is about integrating East and West
This Yin YTT is a comparative study of three seemingly different approaches to health and well being — the Chinese Meridian system, the Chakra system of India and the Myofascial Trains of the West. There is a considerable amount of overlap found in these approaches. All three paradigms offer an explanation as to how the mind and body influence each other. As a yin practitioner and teacher you will be able to seamlessly blend together the knowledge of the East and the West in a way that will translate to comprehensive and effective sequences. You will be able to be more prescriptive in your teaching, providing your students and clients with real solutions to common ailments.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
The Daoist Energetic Paradigm stems from two millennia of wisdom and clinical practice. Harmony and balance define health and wellbeing. Equal consideration is given to all aspects of the human experience in order to create a treatment program that brings the patient back to the Dao (point of stillness).
The psychosomatic relationship is not a new idea to the Chinese. It has always been understood that what is happening to you emotionally effects how your Chi circulates through out the body, which directly influences how your physical body functions and visa versa. If there is a stagnation of chi in the meridian system how you think and process emotion will be compromised.
Chi can be manipulated in four ways. Acupuncture, breath, changing the shape of your body (asana) and with your attention. When we practice Yin Yoga we use three of the four ways to manipulate chi. The synthesis of TCM and traditional Hatha Yoga easily blend together.
The Indian Chakra system dates back as many as six millennia. It is not as well recorded in the way of clinical practice as TCM which is unfortunate. The system itself is a map for spiritual growth that is navigated by an expansion of Awareness.
There are thousands of chakras through out our energetic body. This course will focus on the seven main Chakras found along Shushumna (the main energetic highway). Each chakra holds a particular aspect of your Karmic blueprint. The psychological and emotional qualities that are imprinted in each energetic centre influence specific parts of the physical body and visa versa. As with the Chinese model, the Indians also recognized a strong relationship between body and mind. The Yogic model looks at the person as a whole and practises are designed to bring the practitioner back to place of balance (Sattwa - similar to the concept of the Dao).
Tom Meyers work in the field of fascia and uncovering the myofascial trains has helped to make the idea of the psychosomatic relationship more palpable for Westerners. Myofascial Trains are continuous lines of tension made up of muscles and connective tissue (fascia) that conduct information through out the physical body. These Trains define our posture and our shape. By manipulating these cables of fascia we are able to move chi/prana and ultimately influence our outlook on life. The myofascial trains are the meridians and the nadis that the ancients had been observing through direct experience. Effectively the myofascial trains are the hardware that carry and transmit your life force.
What does this course do for you?
This course will provide you with the knowledge to help students/patients:
- Correct Postural Imbalances and Relieve Chronic Pain - many of our aches and pains are due to postural misalignments. Over time our body moves away from an anatomically neutral position and compensatory habits that we develop to manage misalignments solidify unhealthy movement patterns. Yin yoga changes the way our bones align at joints correcting poor posture and has a direct and immediate impact on unnecessary discomfort.
- Improve Body Awareness (Proprioception) - Yin Yogis develop a keen sense of body awareness that will contribute to improved balance, coordination, ability to build strength and develop flexibility.
- Redistribute Qi/Prana - mental physical and emotional challenges can be facilitated by recalibrating the way tension is distributed through out the fascial matrix. Experience mental clarity, emotional balance and a feeling of being at home within your physical body.
- Build Strength of Character - qualities like patience and tolerance blossom as we learn to sit with challenging sensations and feelings without reacting to them.
- Experience Self Love and Acceptance - learn to embrace all the sensations that life invokes. Meet joy and sorrow with the same equanimous attitude both on and off the mat.
- What is Yin Yoga?
- History of Yin Yoga.
- Yin and Yang Theory - Fundamental Principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Organ Meridian Theory - Study the physical, mental and emotional qualities of the twelve main organ meridians.
- Chakra Theory - Explore the qualities and attributes of the 7 main chakras that reside along your main energetic channel.
- Analyze the nature of fascia and the location of the 12 myofascial lines. Compare how these trains correspond to both the meridian system in TCM and the Chakras system of traditional yoga
- Learn the defining principles of Yin Yoga that allow you to safely manipulate your fascial fabric.
- Learn all 37 Yin Postures, their variations and how to prop them.
- Meditation - To safely manipulate fascia, yin postures are held for 3-10 minutes. Here the student has a opportunity to explore the art of stillness amid this physical intensity. Yin yoga can be a wonderful bridge into a steady meditation practice, even for the busiest of minds.
- Pranayama - Introduction to the Abandha Breath and how to work with the bandhas in a yin way.
Learn to sequence classes that take into consideration your students physical, mental and emotional condition by applying your knowledge of meridians and chakras to the manipulation of myofascial lines.
Learn how to gather information about your client's emotional and mental state by assessing their posture.
One on One
Yin Yoga Therapy is a very effective way to work with people who have autoimmune disfunction. Conditions like arthritis, asthma, psoriasis, anxiety, panic disorders, high blood pressure, IBS, acid reflux, poor circulation and depression can be helped significantly with one on one instruction. Learn how to do a proper in-take and design a program for students to practice and heal from.
For those that teach in a class room setting Yin yoga is a wonderful way to work with a diverse group people. People who are new to yoga, experienced practitioners, students who are old and young, fit and and unhealthy can all work together! Learn to design sequences that are applicable and easy to adjust to varying abilities and capabilities.
This course delivers. Time and time again, graduates of this program tell me just how profound this way of practising has influenced their personal lives in a positive way. How we see ourselves in relation to the world around us shifts dramatically as we slow down and take time to integrate our life’s experiences into our physical make-up. The skills you learn here are tangible and easily shared with your patients and students.
Hours and Certification
This workshop is a 6 day, 50 hour intensive and counts as Continuing Education with the Yoga Alliance for Certified Yoga Teachers seeking to further their studies and accreditations.
Who is this course good for?
Anyone who is interested in the psychosomatic relationship who are seeking effective ways to make people feel healthy and whole both in body and mind.
Professions and populations that can benefit from this knowledge and integrate it into their practice with ease:
- Social workers
- Life coaches
- Massage therapists
- Reiki practitioners
- Rolfers, and Structural Integration Therapists
- Yoga students and teachers
Today being a yoga teacher means many different things! Most commonly new teachers only understand and teach asana which is an effective way of helping people but limited. Yoga is a holistic system and having knowledge and experience with all that yoga has to offer in the way of healing inspires profound change in the way of physical and mental well being.
Deepening your knowledge of both physical and energetic anatomy will give you more effective tools with which to help your students.
Long Standing Practitioners
For the mature yogi Yin yoga is a nice balance to the Yang energy of flow style practices. For ten years I practiced flow yoga and I changed my body and my relationship to it a lot! But there were places where I was stuck. Postures that I just could not seem to find much improvement in no matter how much I tried. A colleague of mine, suggested that I attend one of her Yin classes. I thought ‘boring!!!!” sounds awful. Sitting around in poses for all of that time - what about strength that’s important too!”. After considerable prompting I attended one of her classes and I hated it. I do have a rule though….when I try something new I try it once a week for six weeks and then make a decision about whether or not I want to continue with it. During those six weeks my posture changed more than it had in ten years of Vinyasa yoga.
I developed a love/hate relationship with stillness and today almost 10 years later I can say that yin yoga catapulted my vinyasa practice. When holding poses in a still way for long periods of time we undo unhealthy moment patterns that we don’t even notice when we are moving. I learned where I was pinned down and how to target those areas so that when I set the body into motion again I was moving in a more balanced and integrated way.
Yin yoga helps to undo the postural mis-alignments that come from repeating a specific movement over and over again — like kicking a ball or swinging a racket. Most athletes stop playing their sport because of problems with their joints. Yin Yoga helps to realign bones where they meet ensuring a smooth articulation of bones at joints. An athletes career can be extended significantly practicing in the Yin way.
As we get older the spaces between our joints are diminished because of poor postural habits, repetitive movements, the force of gravity, negative emotional and mental states and the inevitable drying up of our tissues that comes with old age. As the spaces get smaller at joints we experience joint pain that often becomes arthritis. Yin Yoga creates space at joints – alleviating the discomfort that almost all elderly people experience.
Vinyasa yoga stokes the fire within and is a very popular way of doing yoga. It’s invigorating, makes us strong and coordinated. Vinyasa is dynamic and requires a degree of body awareness to be practiced safely. Many people in the general population are unhealthy and have no or very little physical literacy. It is common for people to hurt themselves in vinyasa because the moments are fairly quick.
Yin yoga is an amazing way for someone to get to know their body. To learn where their holding patterns are, to comprehend how to take slow steady breaths and how to interpret the messages that their body is sending them. For the new practitioner Yin is an accessible and safe way to begin to build a relationship with their body.
Psychotherapists, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Life Coaches and Social Workers
In the world of talk therapy there is a building movement that is considering including the physical body as part of treatment. Dr. Van Der Kolk, Peter Levine and other prominent trauma specialists have uncovered considerable amounts of evidence through clinical trials that an effective way of releasing the confusion of trauma is through the body. There is a growing pool of research to support the argument that it is not necessary to speak about past events to integrate them into your current understanding of the world.
All to often patients past traumas are re-triggered by talking about them and the pain is relived over and over again with out healing. Stories we tell ourselves about ourselves are constantly changing - our memories shift when stored and our recollection of what actually happened can never be accurate so why spend so much time talking about a story that has been altered by our ego and time?
To release the energy of fear, anger and deep deep sorrow we can enter into this storm through the physical plane. The energy of these emotions is trapped in our facial matrix and by manipulating these tissues we can recalibrate and redistribute this emotional residue. Students often cry and shake when holding yin postures. These types of physical releases leave the student feeling more relaxed and at peace with themselves and the world around them.
The meditative quality of Yin yoga allows the patient to cultivate the ability to focus their attention on the present moment rather than being swept away by memories of the past. Learning to focus on the body by following the breath soothes the sympathetic nervous system and stimulates the parasympathetic system. Patients experiencing hyper arousal are able to establish and maintain a calm and peaceful environment. These skills are learned and the patient can continue to practice and apply these techniques when they are on their own. There is no cost to access these tools - making this type of treatment accessible to everyone.
You don’t need to be a yogi to learn and apply the techniques that will give you another entry point to inspire real change and healing in your patients with PTSD. A combination of talk therapy, simple postures and breath work can propel a patient along the path to recovery.
Manual Manipulation Therapists
(massage therapists, chiropractors, physiotherapists, Rolfers and Structural Integration Therapists)
Anyone who works with the body is affecting how the mind and emotion circulate throughout their patients body. It is important to be aware of the influence you have over a persons thought patterns and emotional states by the work you do. By learning where various emotions reside in the body you could help people with depression, anxiety anger and fear by where you choose to work that day. Working the tissues of the body goes far beyond the physical realm.