Across the five studios I work in, time and time again, I come across this question as a Yin yoga teacher. My answer is always the same ‘I don’t know, where do you feel it? ’ If they feel the pose in the area that I have highlighted as the target area, then yes, they are doing it right, because it doesn’t matter what shape we take in a yin yoga pose (or any yoga pose for that matter), despite what social media tells us. The beauty of a yin yoga practice is that we are not concerned with the precise placement of our limbs to achieve the ‘look’ of a pose rather the focus is to feel a designated area of the body and connect our self very deeply with the experience this brings. It is the richness of the experience, coupled with the growing knowledge of self that makes Yin yoga so accessible to the general population and increasingly popular. It is a functional approach to yoga, rather than an aesthetic approach that appeals across a broad cross section of the community.
In encouraging students to feel their body, they begin to learn the subtle nuances and listen to their own physiological feedback. In our busyness, we have become quite immune to these messages and can operate for days on auto pilot, only being pulled up when sickness strikes. The benefit of understanding ourselves at a deeper level carries across into other aspects of our lives, enriching our relationships and broadening our vision for our self.
Listen to the wisdom of our biofeedback, our sensing, feeling and intuition functions develop. Many of us damp down our intuition but 20th Century psychologist Carl Jung saw intuition as one of the four major functions of the human body, right up there with thinking, feeling and sensing. So it’s unfortunate that our skill of inner listening is being increasingly turned down.
Intuition is the bridge to our subconscious mind, bringing forth innovative self expression and inspiration. It takes us beyond what we can think, sense and feel into broader cosmic realms, which may seem a little out there but can best be described as a deep knowing.
So when you are wondering if you are doing it right…practicing dropping into yourself with sensing and feeling to uncover the voice of intuition. You’ll know if you are ‘doing it right.’