Yoga by Gi
I am a Kripalu certified yoga insturctor. I offer Kripalu and Yin Yoga styles. I have found them both to be a reflection of my own deep spiritual practice and approach to life as well as my body work. They have both worked synergestically to bring me into a deeper sense of myself and my body, even now serving to heal me from the chronic effects of Lyme disease.
Based on the life and teachings of Swami Kripalu and Yogi Desai, this tradition of yoga incorporates the principles of movement, mantra, breath and meditation accentuating personal needs and individuallity.
by Biff Mithoefer
The physical practice of Yin Yoga is based on yoga asanas that have been practiced for thousands of years. The way that these asanas have been approached has always . We live in a time of action, a time when
They represent aspects of ourselves and of all things manifested in the Cosmos. Yang is more forceful, more striving, more masculine, while Yin is gentler, more accepting, more feminine.
Yang goes forth while Yin returns.
Yang strives while Yin accepts.
Yang speaks while Yin remains silent.
Yang knows while Yin just is.
Yin yoga is at its heart a practice of returning to who we really are through
Physically, the most Yang parts of our bodies are the muscles, those parts that crave movement, whose job it is to strive, to change things. Muscles remain healthy and strong by moving, by exerting energy through effort. If we don’t exercise our muscles, if we don’t stretch them, they begin to atrophy, to lose their ability to move our bodies as we wish. This is something most of us understand. In Yoga we address the muscles with movement and with postures that stretch specific muscle groups. In general the more effort we exert, the greater the results. are in some ways very different. They Although our bones change little once we are full grown, our connective tissue, particularly our ligaments, the tissue that joins bone to bone, reacts slowly but surely to the stimulus to which it is subjected. This is particularly true for the large joints of the femurs, and lumbar spine. If we don’t move these joints to their full range of motion periodically, just like our muscles, they begin to shrink and tighten the joint.
This energy brings life, heat and movement to our physical selves. The flow of this energy can be blocked as it travels through out the body by many different factors. In the Chinese medical tradition there are 6 major meridians that run through the hips, sacrum and lumbar spine, the parts of the body most addressed by Yin yoga. These meridians most affect the health of the spleen, liver, kidney, urinary bladder, gall bladder, and stomach. The six Meridians are paired with other meridians in the upper body and therefore affect the whole body.
Just as Yin and Yang represent different aspects of our physical and energetic bodies, The masculine parts of us, the parts that need to strive, to exert themselves and influence things around us, needs to be balanced by our feminine selves, the Mother in us that accepts, and nourishes us. This this deep feeling of equanimity is where we return to our natural state of joy. Within this balance, we can see our place in the nature of things and realize that we really are part and not separate from the cosmos and from each other. We live in a time when great importance is placed on what we can do, what we can influence, and much less in who we are and how we can be kind to the Earth, each other and ourselves. It is a time when the voice of our minds is valued above the quiet whisper of our hearts.
. The form of the asana becomes less important than how the postures feel to us, how they affect our own bodies. Yin Yoga is a time for us to just let go and be present with who we are.
Biff Mithoefer Teaches Yin Yoga throughout the U.S. and internationally. He is the author of The Yin Yoga Kit, and co-author of The Therapeutic Yoga Kit.