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Why I Fell Hard For Yin Yoga

There are over 30 different styles of yoga practiced in the United States ranging from yoga with goats (and other animals), restorative, hot, and acro yoga. Somewhere on the list is one of the most magical types of practices and one of my personal favorites when it comes to my home practice: yin yoga.

While it is not as widely known or referred to as some of the others, the value of yin yoga is worth its weight in gold. Very similar to the some of postures in a traditional hatha yoga class, yin postures are distinguished by the level of muscular engagement, and length of time the posture is held.

I often describe yin yoga as somewhere between an active hatha yoga class, and restorative yoga - participants' muscles are not as fully engaged as the former, and not as fully relaxed as the latter. There is mild muscular engagement and tension in yin yoga; however, the idea is to hold the postures long enough (1-5 minutes) to breathe through the "stiff" spots and access the deepest layer of connective tissue in our bodies - the fascia. Fascia is connective tissue that looks something like spiders webs underneath our muscles linking them together.

My first yin practice was 3 hours long, during one of the most physically challenging times of my life. Unknowingly, a doctor had prescribed two medications that worked on the same part of my nervous system, thereby creating a severe level of rigidity and pain in my body. I literally felt like I was 80 years old every day, even though at the time I was in my early 30s. It took several doctors and 6 months of pain and other neurological issues for my general practitioner to finally identify the issue and put me on the correct path.

Before the mismanagement of medication, I was in amazing physical shape, practicing active styles of yoga for several hours per week; this made the unnatural stiffness even more disturbing.

Back to yin yoga, the ONLY time during the 6 month ordeal where I was free from pain, was the days following a 3 hour yin class. I was amazed and eagerly sought out more opportunities to practice same. On my hunt for more yin classes, I stumbled upon Jen Scamorza's yin yoga class (among many other wonderful teachers in Monmouth County) and felt a very strong level of admiration for her delivery.

Jen Scamorza

Fast forward over 5 years later, I own a yoga studio in Keyport, NJ (Pearl Yoga & Fitness), and want to increase the level of awareness of the style of yin yoga, as well as increase the number of teachers who can weave elements of yin in their teachings, especially at my studio. With these two goals in mind, I asked Jen Scamorza (pictured below) to develop an immersion and training that can be delivered to the yoga community at Pearl.

As such, Jen is offering a 2 hour intro to yin yoga workshop on June 9th at 5:30pm as a prelude to a yin yoga immersion and teacher training the second weekend in August of 2019! The idea is that participants can put their toe into the waters in June and come back for more in August! For all practitioners of yoga, the immersion (a total of 6 hours of yin yoga in one weekend) will be amazingly rejuvenating, cleansing, calming, healing and introspective.

I truly look forward to the magic I KNOW is going to happen during all of the practices Jen is bringing and I hope that other people take advantage of the opportunity to learn and practice this style of yoga that brings an unparalleled level of depth, stillness and quietude to anyone's yoga journey.

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