To date, I have treated my yoga practice as primarily exercise for the body. I have been aware of, and occasionally experienced, the spiritual and meditative benefits of the practice, but I had not yet linked these together in a holistic mind, body, breath and emotionally beneficial routine. I have found this yin yoga course with Sarah Lo completely revelatory in drawing together these elements, both for my own personal practice and how I approach teaching. Anatomy In my career as a doctor I have gone through many years of training in anatomy and physiology, and experienced training wholly centred on the concepts of singular states of healthy versus unhealthy anatomy. Healthy anatomy was learned as a body consisting of a series of static named parts, and unhealthy anatomy was learned as dysfunction stemming from malformation, injury, wear and tear. These issues were viewed as disorders which had recommended treatments that must be prescribed in order to achieve functional normality. Through this yin yoga training course, in particular the anatomy demonstrations of Paul Grilley, I have for the first time been presented with normal human skeletal variation in specimens presented side by side. The variety in normality was astounding, but made absolute sense; up until now, I had been treating the ideas of health and functionality as rigid concepts, without appreciating the spectrum that clearly exists between us. Through my yoga practice to date in ashtanga and hatha schools I have been focussed on the maxim that all asanas are possible for all bodies with enough time and practice. Because of this, I have often come away from sessions feeling frustrated and upset, comparing myself constantly to others. I have found the evidence presented on the course, demonstrating that this is not in fact true, and that it is perfectly normal for our individual limits to differ, incredibly humbling. This I think has been the most beneficial element of my yin yoga training. Through my personal practice I have become more in tune with the abilities of my body and am now able to better recognise when taking a pose is impeded by muscular tone, strength and length that can be developed, and when I have reached my anatomical limit. I have also become more aware of where muscle strength is needed to achieve more stability in my poses. The back bends that I have always enjoyed and felt proud of in my yang yoga practice I now view with more awareness and recognise although I have the ‘room’ in my spine to achieve these poses, I need to build more muscular strength in my back to hold them safely and to get the most benefit from my yin practice. I am humbled by the abilities I do have, and rather than forcing and straining my body in to poses that are more difficult for me, I instead use this as an opportunity to treat myself with compassion, tune in to my body to find where movement can be developed, and honour the edges at which I must find acceptance in that this is as far as I can go. With my students this knowledge has been the most important part for me to pass on. I now spend some time at the beginnings of classes to briefly introduce the concepts of functional yoga and encourage them to use this knowledge to promote a more introspective approach to their practice, rather than looking round the room and comparing to others. Meridians My experience of meridians to date has been limited to acupuncture therapy that I had tried for neck and back pain. I had not had a particularly good experience with my acupuncturist and was therefore sceptical about this approach. Interestingly, I think because of my travels in India and affinity for ayurvedic medicine, I was a lot more comfortable with the concepts of chakras and nadis for therapy and for manipulation through yogic practice, but struggled to see the synergies with meridian theory. Through Sarah’s description of the similarities between the traditional Indian and Chinese medicinal foundations, this gave me the space and opportunity to revisit meridians with a fresh and open mind. A very powerful moment of the course for me was my first explorations of the kidney and bladder sequence. In the session itself and the following week practicing in my own time, I experienced intense releases of fear and anxiety which I had not realised I had been holding on to. I was also astounded when Sarah asked in the third session for us to reflect on the emotions we had felt after practicing the liver sequence, and I realised that I had experienced rushes of frustration that were surprising for me at the time, but were expected as they were an emotion heavily linked to the liver meridian. The practical exploration of yin yoga sequences were therefore very useful elements of this course for me, as it gave me direct experience of the emotional releases connected to the meridians in question. In my teaching over the last month, I have been using my sessions as opportunities to explain the meridians in my own words, and listen to student feedback; however, I have chosen to do this at the end of each class, drawing on the positive experience I had when Sarah did this. After a long kidney/bladder sequence, one of my students explained how they had been drawn to tears and had found the session immensely cathartic. After I explained about the emotional qualities of the meridians we had been working on, my student fed back that this was really helpful and that they were inspired to explore the meridians further. I have reflected greatly on how the practice of yin yoga is a practical way for both myself and my students to really see, and feel, the meridian channels in action. Conclusion Linking together mindfulness, anatomy and the meridians has deepened both my yin and yang yoga practices, by facilitating a much more introspective view on my practice. I am so much more aware of the day to day fluctuations in my body, mind and emotions that have an impact on how my breath and body moves, and am able to use this knowledge to choose the best sequences and styles to meet my needs on that day. I am also so much more forgiving of the changes in my body that mean poses achievable on one day are not on another, and rather than frowning and being frustrated with myself, I accept this with a smile. For my students, I am so pleased to be able to introduce to them a totally holistic and person-centred approach to yoga, which for many I believe will be their first experiences of such a practice. January 2021, Yin Yoga Level 1 Training @triyoga online
Wow!!! I can’t thank you enough for the most fabulous 4 week course. It was so much more than I could have ever imagined! I have wanted to delve into Yin for a while and had a different Yin course rearranged and cancelled twice due to COVID which lead me to finding you by searching online. I now know that this was what was meant to be 😍 It has been a truly nourishing learning journey.... I know this is only the beginning and I will definitely be booking level 2 now 🤩 As you sat reading the final poem I had tears rolling down my face. I will truly miss seeing you all every Saturday. The whole experience has been enhanced due to ‘lockdown’ and for that I am truly grateful. It has given me a real focus and I can say that I used this time very wisely!! Many thanks to you and your assistants and you will be seeing me again real soon. 🧘🏻♀️🙏🏻☺️
Live Online Yin Yoga & Mindfulness Level I Teacher Training - April 2020 Dear Sarah, Thank you so much for your email below and for sending through the certificate. I am sorry I didn't get to write sooner. However, I hope it is not too late to thank you again from the bottom of my heart for offering me the opportunity to participate in the course this week at the very last minute. I could not be more grateful, especially now that I look back to what I have learned as a teacher and, in particular, how much the Yin & Mindfulness Meditation Training has helped me on a personal level to release some emotions and thoughts - on paper through the journaling process and during the group work - that I would otherwise have been unable to acknowledge and share with others. With each and every lesson, I have learned something that I can take with me to grow as a yoga teacher and become stronger and more mindful as a person, on and off the mat. I would love to sign up for Level 2 in July, however, my current financial situation doesn't allow me to participate in another teacher training anytime soon. Hopefully this will change later in the year and I can join Level 2 in October instead. In the meantime, I very much look forward to the day where we can meet in person with the whole group. Forever grateful,
Live Online April 2020 Yin Yoga & Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training Hello Sarah, I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this beautiful training. I’ve loved every moment of the course and the approach that you have to teaching. I felt very comfortable to be myself and to learn in the way that best suits me, especially as it can sometimes be a little difficult for me to relax in group situations enough to be able to take in the teachings. So thank you for putting me at ease and for reminding me that where I am right now is enough and that it’s all a journey. I have taken so much from our training, which is difficult to quantify right now but I feel like I am going to become a better teacher having been able to learn from you with all your amazing experience and wisdom. Both specifically yin and meditation, but also in my daily life. I’ve learnt a lot more about myself during these 4 days, knowing that this is just the beginning of a journey. It was wonderful to try different meditations and pranayama, so that I can go away and incorporate them into my own practice. As well as your teachings on self-compassion and how to truly care for yourself. Thank you for being so wonderful and I look forward to my next training with you (as I know there will be more). 🙏🌈
Live Online Yin Yoga Teacher Training - April 2020 Hi Sarah, Just sharing my experience of the course. Mindfulness was woven into every aspect of the course. I felt your teachings really emphasised the importance of the individual's ever-changing needs from day to day and moment to moment. I found a love for the subtle moments that follow a posture, the moments where many classes usually quickly transition into another posture. Instead, we were taught to cherish and observe these moments that are so often overlooked in yoga classes. I gained a good introduction into chinese meridian theory and practice will consolidate this knowledge. Thank you for being a great great teacher! I hope to join you on Level ii soon!
Hi Sarah, This training session was a different experience for us all, a first Zoom teacher training group. With this in mind your delivery and connection to each member of the group was wonderful, you managed the energy and dynamic of the group with ease and although we literally were all in different places around the globe it felt that we were all connected as one, perhaps to a higher level even....very uplifting to see others and learn together. Thank you personally for taking the time to listen to my own current experience with health issues. You’ve shown immense support and caring and have offered alternative postures or times of rest when needed. This course for me couldn’t have come at a better time, it’s kept me busy, focused and determined to come out of lockdown and through my health issues as stronger, more educated and a better yoga teacher than ever before. Thank you for your warming energy, kind safe space and shared wisdom and knowledge. I am honoured to feel this has been passed to me to extend to others, see you soon for Part 2! Love, light and Peace 🙏
Sarah is a fantastic teacher, she is very knowledgable and teaches in a way that’s easy to understand. The most valuable thing I’ve taken from the course is learning to teach to feeling rather than a strict, rigid structure. It’s really opened my eyes about my style of teaching ( and classes I attend) and made me realise I don’t need to follow the masculine way, which often feels uncomfortable to me. I can’t wait to incorporate that in to not only my yin classes, but my other style classes too! I’ve also enjoyed the zoom aspect of the course, I was unsure how it would be at first, but it’s been great to be able to feel comfortable in my own home and learn so much! Thank you Sarah, can’t wait for the second course!
Hello Sarah, This training has been a really wonderful experience. I began the training with some trepidation and uncertainty - I don't have much yin yoga experience. But with time I began to relax into the course and accept where I'm at on this learning journey. I really connected with the mindfulness and exploratory nature of the practice. I felt the video conference setting worked really well - the way in which you set up the daily schedule and the solo/group work provided a lovely balance. This course has been such an eye opening experience to my understanding of yoga. I have so much to learn! I enjoyed this course immensely! I look forward to reading through the books and incorporating yin into my personal practice. Thank you so much Sarah! See you at the level II training in July 😊
END OF FIRST EVER LIVE YIN YOGA TEACHER TRAINING ONLINE... Feeling deeply emotional at meeting and being close up with student teachers online for almost 30 hours. Together we shared an intimate space and a journey like none other before. I know I’ll not forget these days and these kindred spirits. Some of the first emails I’m reading tonight. Dear Sarah This is my first course with you, but definitely not my last....my experience of your first ‘Zoom Course’ has definitely had a very positive and profound impact on me...your teaching is clear, professional, and compassionate. The days have been well planned and well structured, and whilst the content will take a lifetime to master!!! It was not overwhelming nor overloading like some courses that I have done. For me this course was full of inspiration, joy, new enquiry/thought provoking, providing self analysis, self realisation not to mention all the information on Yin yoga & meditation. I really loved the way that you included really useful and interesting articles to read, and found your choice of poems really heartfelt...the last four days has been a very special experience, and whilst it is sad not see everyone in person, it’s obviously afforded the opportunity for many of us to actually work with you using Zoom, as I would not have been able to take the time off work etc to come into London to do the course!!! I would very much like to do teacher training 2 in July, and wondered if you had a space for me as I know you said you only had 8!left and I’m not sure if they have now been taken? Perhaps you can let me know, and I can register tonight!! Warmest wishes & deepest thanks for such an incredible 4 days!!
I have been teaching for a long time in all types of yoga and feel like I have found the missing piece of the jigsaw. I really enjoyed the mindfulness aspect of the course. Also the different bodies, bone structures and how this may affect an individuals ability to be at ease in postures. An old friend recommended the course and it was a very good recommendation. Thank you, Sarah. Thank you very much.
The demonstrations were really helpful to understand different body types. I loved the exercises we do in groups it really helped me to develop relationships with the other people on the course. Exactly what I needed right now, it has been hugely grounding and inspiring so thank you. I look forward to level 2.
Really good demonstrations with different body types this reaffirmed how crucial props are. The experience of the physical postures and meditations helped me to gain a deeper understanding to help me be a better teacher. The pace of the course really added to my experience I look forward to learning more about the Chinese meridians, the mind and soft tissues. Thank you, Sarah and your team
The explanation of the meridians really worked for me. The flow of the days was done well to help get the knowledge into my head. It was great to get some practical experience in groups to see different body types and put techniques into practice. I loved the meditations and structure of the course. The encouragement to rest and enjoy the space was greatly appreciated. The past four days have been an eye-opening experience. Loved it all.
I found the small practical groups very helpful with understanding different body shapes/types and different use of props to give a wonderful yin experience very beneficial. I loved the opportunity to stop to use the time for introspection in a gentle, kind and compassionate way. The pace of the course was wonderful to help me understand the topics fully. Thank you. I loved it
Enjoyed learning the connections between the organs and meridians, how that benefits the physical body. Small group teaching was really helpful to get more experience verbalising but not intimidating either. The mindfulness meditation and breathing every day was really grounding and a useful tip for teaching. Many variations and adjustments for all body types including areas that may need extra attention. Thank you.
Sarah, You delivered such a complex subject with such ease and creativity. I never felt bored and only more inspired. Everything you said was very thought provoking and touched me to my core. Your calm presence is amazing. I have learnt from you how to be caring with clear boundaries. Your teaching methods were unique and the way the whole course was aligned and structured was so wonderful and insightful, very much like a retreat. Thank you so much! Jemima
“Absolutely magical, loved so many aspects!” You were so compassionate and really nurtured everyone’s needs. I loved the mindfulness meditation practices centred everyone and gave me tranquillity in the hustle and bustle of London. The whole course was carefully thought out and you were very didactic with your explanations, handouts and answered questions thoughtfully. I am fascinated visualizations and it reminded me of the power they have. Thank you so much Sarah, it has been a wonderful course. Sarah
I really have not felt like this in a long time so thank you for holding space for us and for creating a wonderful program. This training felt extremely intimate and a safe space and haven. I loved all the mindfulness practices. It’s been an honour to share space and energy with you. Thank you so much again. Salma
I enjoyed the structure of the training, it was well designed to hold my interest and very informative as well. I am grateful for the care and time provided to rest, to learn without pressure, I think I learnt way more and managed to incorporate the teachings more deeply. Thank you for the meditations I normally can’t sit for 12mins but enjoyed the deepness of the themes. Appreciate your guidance.
I found the combination of mindfulness, meridian theory, anatomy and Yin practice made this a really well rounded course. I appreciated all the moment of sharing, this helped me to check in with how I was feeling and felt more connected to people in the room. Thank you for your teachings, wisdom, dedication, consideration and care. Lizzie
I’ve really enjoyed the variety on the course. I feel more confident to teach. The schedule of the day was great, really appreciated the later start time and long lunch. Sarah, I love your gentle nature and how you share your experiences. Can’t wait for level two. Thank you Lauren
I really enjoyed the space to express our own self, to enquire within. Sharing helped to build confidence. The rhythm/timing of the day was perfect. Your approach to Yin yoga is and feels very safe. Anonymous
Amazing transformational. Loved the mindfulness and your shared experience. The days never felt pressured and the environment and students always felt “held”. Thank you Informative yet restful four days. Really pleasurable experience, very well paced. The combination of yin and mindfulness worked perfectly together. I feel confident to teach Yin with many resources to draw from. Erika
I really enjoyed the mindfulness aspect of the course and how it was thought from a basic breath awareness to the “ labelling ”of feelings. I have got to know Yin on a deeper level and feel confident enough to lead my students with support. Sheila
Transformative, shifting, releasing, time to process and loved the flow of the day. Healing and enlightening process. Compassion, support, holistic and informative. A truly life changing experience. Anonymous
Meditation more achievable, enjoyable and rewarding than when I’ve tried it at home. Has given me confidence to take forward. I’m now feeling really excited to incorporate Yin into my Yoga teaching and sharing with my students. I got a strong foundation of what Yin yoga is about, how the pose is really meant to feel and a strong understanding of the emotional qualities of poses along with them in relation to the meridians. This will all help me to emphasis with my students more. I found the anatomy interesting, particularly the Femur/ Hip variations. Anonymous
I loved the emphasis on mindfulness and the time spent on different meditations. Demonstrations on breathing techniques was also really helpful. Anonymous
This course opened up feelings of curiosity about the way I currently teach and given me the confidence to use different techniques to give each student a unique experience. Most powerful point I have taken is to celebrate the uniqueness in each of us. Thank you Sam
So for me... i did my first workshop literally a few days after level 2 and everyone loved it - feedback was great and for some people has been quite transformational. I've also started to do weekly Yin classes and i really do appreciate the knowledge i have taken from you and your courses. The students are loving all the detail i am giving and actually feel they are learning about their own bodies and how they can 'fix' issues! Thank you so much for such an insightful 4 days of teachings, learning and exploration in London in Feb. I found your approach to yin and sharing its breath of options, both on a physical and otherwise level, very open, inclusive and compassionate. I have referred back to my notes often and feel subtle changes to my own practices which are immensely beneficial. I also very much enjoyed the Enneagram and hope it is an element you will bring to other training's as I think it was successful in creating thought-provoking discussions and ideas. I was delighted to receive my certificate and it was a little (and much needed) "pause" button on life generally to sit and just be. In a sense, it reminded me of what we had learned and discussed on the training and, with life in XXXX being a whole new world of sights, smells, sounds, thoughts and feelings, I think I needed a gentle reminder that home and stability amongst (albeit exciting) uncertainty, is most certainly within. Your feedback was also very much appreciated and taken on-board as I plan yin classes for a retreat I am teaching on in August. Thank you for taking the time to share your insights.
Thank you once again for all you shared during the course, the most recent and the previous one. I’ve learnt so very much from you. I admire your skilful way of directing students into deep self exploration, while at the same time gracefully holding the space. If the possibility arises, I’d love to assist in your level two training in March next year. I’m especially interested in level two, Rebecca - 2018 Levels 1 & 2