Saturday, July 07, 2007

Recovery from the worst through Yin and Balance Yoga

While most people know the yang, or very active practice of yoga, there are styles specifically for recovery and stretching scar and deep connective tissue I'd like to share. You may not need them, but may know of someone who does. Pass the word!

Two of the best complements to a yang style asana practice are Balance Yoga and Yin Yoga. In recovery from a broken back, I instinctively turned my lifetime Integral hatha practice into slower, more supportive and restorative practice, then actually found Balance Yoga being taught locally. Codified by Iyengar student and teacher Jean Couch in Palo Alto, California, Balance Yoga focuses on teaching those with structural defects and pain to sit, stand, lie and ambulate in complete balance. Couch built her work from her years of observing Iyengar and others from industrialized countries who still held themselves in balances postures. You can learn more about this form at:

Yin Yoga focuses on stretching the connective tissues that can tighten with age or injury. Recently, I found Yin as taught by my local Willow Glen Yoga Studio (San Jose, CA) teacher, Michelle Duguay. Michelle is an awesome teacher and turned me on to the longer-held postures and extensive modifications of Yin taught by Paul Grilley. As I still contend with scar tissue and tight muscles, Yin has been a blessing. Find out more here:

Both of these forums are excellent for those recovering from illness and/or injury and can be as gentle or strenuous as you wish them to be. Strengthening slowly, practice builds from sitting to standing postures and then can progress into more yang styles such as hatha, or Integral, Bikram, Ashtanga, etc. as the practitioner grows stronger.

More advanced practitioners can use sessions of Yin or Balance yoga as a delicious counterpoint to strenuous yang-style sessions, and to counter the effects of too much fire in the body that can build by sole practice of the stronger asana systems. Walking too, is a great companion in this regard.

If you are looking for a more gentle complementary practice or are in recovery but still want and need to move, check out these two styles. DVDs of both Yin and Balance are available if no classes exist in your area at: - and -


Maryam Webster

PS: How do I update my blog URL? It's below in my
sig if someone can do this, would be great. Thanks!

Maryam Webster, M.Ed, M.NLP
More Time, Energy and Bliss
For Busy Women in Leadership

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