Thursday, January 05, 2012

yoga in socks

Really, what better way to practice when the weather is cold? In YinSights: A Journey into the Philosophy & Practice of Yin Yoga, Bernie Clark writes that Yin Yoga is NOT restorative yoga. I beg to differ, in one sense at least. Practicing Yin Yoga has become a means to restoring a sense of Embodiment for me. Also, and I can't always ignore this, I am getting older. While I'm still pretty snappy on the mat practicing my Ol' Time Favorite Iyengar poses, there are days I'm not feeling up to the "yang" style Bernie alludes to. This is where the Yin steps in. In this style of yoga, most of the poses are seated. Which is fine by me at certain points in the day. It's easy to do early in the morning when the muscles are still a little stiff as the target for the stretches are actually the joints and ligaments. The kicker is being able to sit in a pose with one's Self for anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes. Then, you need to get Zen. As long as there is no pain (playing the edge is different from sudden searing pain), it's best to adopt a very meditative state of mind . . . for at least 3 minutes . . . or 5, if you're feeling crazy. Coming out of the pose is then super-delicious. However, and here are the great benefits, you've done something lovely for your joints and ligaments which are the parts of the body that really NEED to stay supple as one advances in physical age.

Another beneficial occurrence of practicing yoga in socks, is the desire to knit more SOCKS. Who wants to look at boring, grungy sweat socks bending forward in Butterfly? Not I!

2 comments:

Dawn Z said...

A very dear friend linked the following on her Facebook page:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/magazine/how-yoga-can-wreck-your-body.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

I've read thru the article and there are a few things I noticed. The article seems to be geared toward folks that go to yoga classes and are pushed into doing poses that might be harmful for them. I did yoga classes a long time ago. It was fine. I learned some things, but I was also manipulated into poses I probably shouldn't have done. Otherwise, I am self-taught;having begun with an early yoga video by Patricia Walden. Because I paid attention to what my body could and could not do, I didn't do poses that would hurt or they were greatly modified. I also noticed the article mentioned holding simple poses which Yin Yoga endorses. Caution and moderation are certainly a priority in any case.

Ruth said...

I can't imagine where you read that article. ;-)

You often come to mind when I think about yoga. Your experiences with it have been so vastly different than mine as to be unrecognizable as having any relation to the yoga I've known over the years. And yes, there have been classes and videos and books and etc., but in the end it all HURT.

Sigh. Such is life.

Those socks are gorgeous.