Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the two most unpopular Presidential candidates in the past 30 years, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll — a notion that has often made the months leading up to Election Day 2016 more than stressful.
For some, Yin Yoga, a relaxing, slow moving, mentally soothing, meditative class, may be the perfect way to combat the incumbent stress brought on by the seemingly never-ending campaign trails that have finally come to an end.
Sarvesh Naagari, owner of Ripple Yoga in Seattle, Washington and author of “20,000 Oms and a Cup of Chai,” offers a Yin Yoga class in his boutique studio, which emphasizes small class size and student attention. He said unlike Vinyasa classes, which are based on the use of muscles, the practice of Yin centers around disengaging muscles and instead focuses on working the soft tissues of the body.
Naagari emphasized that what he likes about Yin, from both a student and teacher perspective, is that it teaches relaxation. “One thing that is important, especially in our society, is to teach people how to relax,” he said. “I think we’ve forgotten how to. It teaches us to center the mind, and bring the mind into a single point of focus.”
The Ripple Yoga studio owner said he learned the concept of equal part effort, equal part relaxation in yoga from a 2,000-hour teaching program he was a part of in India.
Naagari said the practice of Yin can be broken down into three principles — the first centered around the idea of coming into posture at the correct depths, as to avoid injury or strain. “In the Yin practice we literally come into each of the shapes in the body, and we just sort of melt into them,” he said.
The second principle calls for students to practice complete stillness, free from any fidgeting or movement, Naagari explained.
“When I say ‘stillness,’ it’s beyond just physical stillness — it’s mental and emotional stillness as well,” he said.
The third and final principle, Naagari said, is that of holding postures generally anywhere from three to six minutes — which he acknowledged can feel like an eternity in yoga practice. And then the postures are held generally anywhere from three to six minutes.
Naagari said while some places offer the class in two-hour increments, sessions at his studio last anywhere from 75 to 90 minutes — though students often claim that time passes quickly. “They’ll get to the end of the class and say, ‘Geez, I feel like I’ve only been here for five minutes,’” he said.
Ripple Yoga offers Yin once a week on Sunday mornings, and Naagari said he can usually count on at least 15 students to fill the 18 to 20 slots his studio holds.
“It’s consistently one of the most popular classes that I have,” he said.