Are you ready to slow down and focus on your breath and your mind?
“We are often moving so it’s hard to be still and let thoughts come and go,” says Pam Granston, instructor of the new Yin Yoga Teacher Training course at Bastyr University.
She explains that the yin style of yoga can help people find balance in today’s yang-focused society.
View the yin-yang symbol at right: The white part of the circle is yang, depicting movement, noise and light, while the darker yin half reflects what’s underneath, including breath, energy and quiet.
In the yoga world, most athletic-based classes are rooted in yang with a focus on building muscles and strength. Meanwhile, yin yoga focuses on the connective tissues – joints and ligaments – and works to help you release energy and blockages that can disrupt our qi.
Qi, pronounced “chee,” is the underlying life force that runs through the body along what are known as meridians.
“There are highways of energy that move up and down and across our body,” says Granston. “Yin yoga’s focus on opening connective tissues and joints allows qi to continue to flow.”
The new teacher training course is offered through Bastyr’s Department of Certificate, Community and Continuing Education, and upon completion of the 200 training hours, students are eligible for certification through the Yoga Alliance to teach their own yin yoga class.
However, Granston says the class can also be beneficial for individuals who simply want to expand upon their own practice and cultivate a depth of awareness.
“This course will provide you with a deeper knowledge of yin and yang,” she says. “It will give you what you need to find balance in your life.”
To introduce her course to the Bastyr community, Granston taught free introductory sessions in August at Bastyr University and its Seattle teaching clinic, Bastyr Center for Natural Health, through the “Taste of Bastyr” series (more on the series below).
Students at the classes experienced a more focused class than many were used to: Instead of flowing between poses, the yin yoga students held postures for longer periods of time, sometimes up to five minutes.
“You don’t want it to hurt,” Granston says, “you just want to feel a little bit of a pull in your muscles.”
Holding the postures for extended times helps open meridian blocks to allow “qi” to move freely, to balance chakras, stimulate organs and produce more energy in the body.
Additional, the practice can improve your energy and flexibility, mental balance, immune system and overall sense of well-being and confidence.
The Yin Yoga Teacher Training course takes place at our Kenmore campus September 10 through October 29, 2016, with classes on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and on Thursdays from 6 - 8 p.m. The course is open to the public; however, participants should have a minimum of six months of any style yoga practice.
If you have questions about the course, please email continuinged[at]bastyr[dot]edu.
To learn more about other non-credit certificate courses available at Bastyr University, feel free to attend the following “Taste of Bastyr” free introductory classes this fall: