By Sarah Henderson, Summersalt yoga teacher
What’s the difference between the active, yang classes and restorative, yin classes practised at the retreats and elsewhere? Let’s take a look!
Yang/Sun sessions: Hatha Flow/Vinyasa:
Greet and salute the sun with movement timed to flow with your breath. Feel the fluidity and connection of moving your body with your breath, and oxygenating your blood with deep breathing.
Find a lighthearted sense of play in your practice, challenge yourself, and find a deeper progression in your practice over the course of the retreat. Tune into the quality of your breathing to find your edge, and cultivate a balance between effort and ease. These classes will challenge, awaken and energize you. Honour yourself, your body, and your energy with choices in your movements, modifications, and options. Strengthen your arms, shoulders, and core by playing with supported balancing poses and inversions. Feel a progressive opening in your hips, hamstrings, and spine as you stretch your muscles daily, and develop a keen sense of body awareness. Find an inner focus in these moving meditation classes themed for introspection, balance, and self-awareness. End each morning session with a well deserved Savasana and Meditation that allows space to feel the effects of your practice. Leave feeling refreshed and ready to meet your day.
Yin/Moon sessions: Yin/Restorative:
These classes are designed for restoration, relaxation, surrender, release, and stillness. Continue to explore your inner landscape with curiosity, vulnerability, and love.
Embrace your moon energy during these classes to balance out the fiery sun energy from our morning class and from your day’s activities. We will work through supported, long-held pose sequences for lower back and spinal tension release, hip opening, and heart and shoulder opening. We will use props so your muscles and body can fully let go and release any tension. These sessions will activate your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest), with Yin poses that will increase the range of motion in your joints, and Restorative poses that allow you to be as comfortable as possible so you can “restore” your nervous system and prepare for a blissful and restful sleep. We close the day in gratitude and appreciation. There will always be a blissful Savasana to close each evening session. Float away feeling fully renewed and restored.
During the retreat week:
I invite you to let go of expectations for yourself, let go of the stresses of your day to day life – from work or other, be present for yourself, and consider this to be a week of self-care and discovery, and play. I will hold space for you to explore and tap into your own inner wisdom. Find freedom and space each day to explore your truth, honor your body, and live in alignment with your natural rhythms.
We will work on easing the chatter in the mind, cultivating stillness, and fostering self-study through our daily practices. Exploring the spaces in between – the silent moments in between breaths, the breaths where you close your eyes and move deeper into a pose, the incredibly powerful Savasana at the end of each practice. Through our daily meditation, we will centre and ground, learning to witness what we are feeling at that moment, practising acceptance and non-attachment, observing whatever arises without judgment.