Let’s talk about props in Yin Yoga

Let’s talk about props in Yin Yoga. Reaching for a soft smooshy blanket, bolster or eye pillow doesn’t mean we are suddenly ’doing’ restorative yoga. We might be protecting a fragile joint or we might be shifting the locus of sensation to the intended target area, thereby intensifying the stress in the area the pose is ‘designed’ for.  

We are also trying to ‘fast track’ in Yin Yoga to parasympathetic response so eye pillows come in very handy since the eyes manage the largest amount of information of the whole of our sensory system. Of course some practitioners may not feel safe closing their eyes which makes it more important than ever for teachers to use optional cues or invitations to practice. 

Be your own designer and let YOUR creativity come into play in your own practice. That’s freedom of expression in your practice and what the word ‘safety’ actually means.  If you as a teacher are using the word ‘safety’ and simultaneously directing a student’s experience towards their practice, you’re actually taking away their experience as if you somehow know better as the teacher. 

We can’t possibly know what is going on in a student’s body, let alone their minds. We can ‘assist’ by reflecting what we are seeing and making a suggestion following up with ‘how does it feel now?’  

My sense is it’s often very hard for a student, or newer teacher to the practice of Yin Yoga, to speak about their experience for fear of appearing inexperienced, unknowledgeable or any other reason. 

Acknowledging that ‘any and every’ experience is a valid one creates freedom and ‘safety’ in a class setting whether online or in a space IMO.

Please feel free to share if you want to. 

What else do you think creates safety? …. ?