How dedicated yogis found benefit in slowing down.

After his fourth meeting from hell, Edward Rosinski just needed yoga.

Traveling for business in Chicago, he Googled studios and went to the one with the first class available. At the front desk, he was asked if he knew it was a Yin class. “I don’t know what that is, but I just need yoga,” he recalled saying to the front desk staff person. “It might possibly be the most uncomfortable two hours I’ve ever had.”

However, those two hours would change the course of Rosinski’s teaching at Pranava Yoga Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The studio practices a fairly advanced and aggressive form of yoga, said Rosinski. So holding pigeon on one side for 15 minutes was a new concept to Rosinski. However, for a couple of days after that Chicago Yin class, he felt amazing. “I started to do some more research, I took some trainings, and then I started to show people what we were talking about in one of my Vinyasa classes,” he said.

He would have students hold poses for longer toward the end of the class, getting them used to the new concept. Eventually, the idea morphed into the Vin-Yin class that exists today at Pranava. Rosinski said it was a compromise between a true Yin class and the hard practice typical of the studio. “The idea of the fusion class was to get them into the door and get them moving as they are accustomed to for about 30 minutes. And then the last 40 minutes we slow them down, we put them into a Yin environment, holding postures for an extended period of time,” he explained.

Rosinski said it was a challenge to get members to step outside of their comfort zones. He had to educate them on the importance of stepping back and slowing down in their practices. Now, not only is the Vin-Yin class a success, but a 1.5 hour Yin class is also part of the studio’s schedule.

In order to effectively teach Vin-Yin, Rosinski explained he had to practice a lot on his own. He had to figure out how to best flow from one posture to the next, how to best transition between poses. Plus, he has to know how to make transitions on the fly depending on what he notices with his students in class. “All classes have to be structured in a way that the customer is going to come back because they got what they needed,” he said.

Training has been instrumental to creating and growing the class. Rosinski took three levels of training and advises anyone diving into the Yin practice to also seek out opportunities for study. Reading a book just won’t do, he shared.

Even with a dedicated group of yogis like those found at Pranava, something like a Vin-Yin class can be quite beneficial and is an idea to consider for your studio. “In the fast-paced environment that we live in, any time you can put a practice that gets people to slow down to be more conscious of what they’re doing, to be more mindful, [is beneficial] and I think the Yin program does that,” said Rosinski.