How My First Yin Yoga Class Changed Pretty Much Everything

If you know me, then you know my brain runs at about a million miles an hour. I remember as a kid, when I used to lie down for bed, I used to try to get my brain to think of as many things as it could, in hopes of tiring it out, so I could close my eyes and sleep. I guess I was trying to meditate, but I just had the practice backwards.

When I took my first yoga class, it was all hot, power yoga. It was great! About 90 percent of the class, you are moving and doing. Just my speed! I absolutely loved it. I began to learn about meditation and, for the first time in my life, I started to find focus. About two years into my practice, I was introduced to Yin yoga.

This practice is much different from power yoga. The music is low and slow, or nonexistent. You hold each pose for two to seven minutes. You use every prop known to mankind. You sit in your space, and to me, that is where the real beauty of yoga comes in.

Although it can feel uncomfortable at times during the two to seven minutes that you hold each pose, you learn to let go, you learn to love yourself, and you learn to soften. You fall so deep into your own space that there is no competition, no race, no running. You are just simply being: breathing and connecting with yourself.

The mental benefits are only part of it. You will not believe how much good Yin yoga does for your body. By holding each pose for a length of time, you can access the connective tissue, the fascia: the never-ending web of five different kinds of tissue that runs through our entire bodies. More and more research is being done on the role that connective tissue plays in our pain and stress levels.

When I walked out of my first Yin yoga class, I was on a cloud, my brain and my body felt so relaxed. Although I still love a good power yoga class, Yin yoga has my heart.

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