Taking a functional approach instead of an aesthetic or performance related view of yoga comes from my teacher, Paul Grilley. My teaching is based on stressing the ”why” in addition to the ”how”. My purpose is creating a meaningful individual experience and encourage my students to customize their yoga practice for their own individual benefit. Yin Yoga is perfect for that.
In Yin Yoga, there´s no such thing as alignment rules, or how each pose SHOULD look. Each pose means an investigation in yourself and your own body, and each pose is adapted and modified based on your needs as an individual.
You see, we are all different. And by that I don’t mean just the obvious aspects such as different height, weight, age, gender, hair- and eye color and so on. Deep down into our bones, we are different. We all have a unique set of bones, with different shapes and lengths and sizes, and that is something that affects our yoga practice.
You either got the bones for it or not, says Paul Grilley.
By that he means that each of us are blessed with our own unique skeleton, and it will affect every pose we practice. Some poses will work for us, other poses will not. Believing it´s only tension in our muscles and fascia that stops us from going deeper into certain yoga poses, is believing I lie. One day you might release that tension, and what´s going to stop you in your pose is not tension anymore. It´s your bones. It´s compression.
This approach is something I hear more and more about in the yoga world. I was trained in this approach by my teachers, the Grilley´s, and they are doing a tremendous work spreading this approach in the world of yoga, and fitness.
I mean, why are you practicing yoga?
Is it to master a pose, or to feel good?
As an athlete or just a human being, mastering different poses is often not interesting. What IS interesting though, is getting some well-needed relaxation, rejuvenation, mind training, breath awareness, body knowledge and some mobility. Practicing yoga poses that does that work for you, is the way to go. And this is where Yin Yoga can shine.