For yoga teachers and serious students, “Best Yoga on the Web” is your hand-picked guide to this week’s best of the best yoga from around the world. This week – Yin Yoga – including Paul Grilley & Suzee Grilley, Sarah Powers, Bernie Clark, Joe Barnett, and Paulie Zink
No serious yoga student or teacher should be without a yin yoga practice. Yin provides the only way I have found to deeply touch and keep healthy the ligaments, connective tissue, and joints of our bodies. Additionally the slow pace of yin, with its long holds, provides plenty of opportunity for meditation within the practice. If you are new to yin or want to deepen your yin practice, here are the best yoga on the web resources for yin…
Any “Best of Yin Yoga” has to start with Paul Grilley. Although Paul was influenced by a number of teachers, he is the person responsible for defining yin as a specific style of yoga and is also at the center of yin’s increasing importance as a physical practice. I first came upon Paul as the expert in yoga anatomy. His excellent Anatomy for Yoga video is both scientific and practical in it’s explanation of our bodies. His conclusions have the power to change forever how you look at the physical practice of yoga.
About 10 years into my physical practice, Paul’s DVD Yin Yoga: The Foundations of a Quite Practice, completely transformed my physical practice. If you are new to yin, this DVD is a must have introduction. If you want to go deeper into the study of yin, you can find information about Paul and Suzee’s trainings at www.paulgrilley.com.
Sarah Powers was an accomplished yogi when she met and became one of Paul Grilley’s students. Deeply influenced by Paul’s style, Sara came up with the yin name for the practice and began adopting and spreading it through her teaching. Over the years, and what really makes Sara a special teacher, she has continued to develop, beyond yin, a holistic system for a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Sara’s teachings now includes yin yoga, yan yoga (flow yoga), buddhism, and psychology. A good place to start with Sarah is her book Insight Yoga.
I love practical approaches to yoga, and Bernie, who is trained as a scientist, has an extremely practical and scientific approach to yoga. He recently published an in depth, three part series “how to critically analyze yoga articles” over at elephant journal. It’s not an easy read, but it really helped me clarify why I often come away from yoga articles thinking “this just is not right” or “this is not really yoga.” Bernie’s book The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga is a must read and the current bible for the practice.
I love Joe, or as my wife likes to call him, “Joey”. For the past few years, Joe has been constantly traveling the world spreading yin, or as he likes to call it, “the other half of a balanced yoga practice”. Joe travels and teaches so much that there is a good chance you will be able to attend one of his workshops. I wouldn’t miss it. His gentle style and deep knowledge are a gift to anyone who practices yoga. You can keep up with his travel schedule here.
Even though I’m always saying, “it’s not about the pose”, I’m a sucker for a crazy picture like the one above of Paulie Zink, looking like some crazy guy straight out of the 1800’s. Paulie was one of Paul Grilley’s teachers and is therefore known as a founder of yin yoga. Although I have deep respect for Paulie, I have to admit that his teaching style doesn’t particularly resonate with me. That doesn’t mean he’s not a great teacher, so I still recommend you check him out. He can be found at www.pauliezink.com
If you have something you think might be worth sharing in a future edition of “Best Yoga on the Web” send me an e-mail or link at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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