Yoga at Home vs. Yoga in Class

When I teach yoga, I often tell my own students, “Sometimes our hardest moments are the quiet and…

When I teach yoga, I often tell my own students, “Sometimes our hardest moments are the quiet and still ones.”

In truth, those moments aren’t hard for me at all. I relish my quiet, still practice at home, playing just the music I like with my tea right there and my own candles on my own altar. Taking a yin class today at Wanderlust Stratton, I realized I have become a little bit of a Yin Diva.

The last Yin Yoga class I took was about two years ago. I have a steady yin practice at home, but when I saw that Joe Barnett was teaching at Wanderlust, I signed up. I owe him a lot of my understanding of this quiet, deep, stretching practice. I was really looking forward to practicing with Joe again, but I never expected that it would be so difficult for me.

It was so hard for me to be led. I’ve grown so used to doing just what I want for as long as I want and making every choice on my own. Yin Yoga is meant to be this way, the teacher will give you a pose but you get to decide what props you use, what it looks like and how long you stay in the pose. I had a hard time making my own choices while still remaining a part of the class.

I spent the first bit of practice mentally grappling with the fact that I wasn’t in charge. But, somewhere before the end of the two-hour class, I was able to let go of my inner Diva. I got to feel Yin Yoga in a way that I haven’t in a long time: through the lens of another teacher. I connected to deeper shifts and let go of mental tension, too.

I’m reminded, once again, of the value of having a wonderful teacher. You can just let go. I still love my home practice, and I will still be doing lots of Yin at home. I’ll just be making sure to let someone else drive once in a while, so that I can learn to enjoy the ride.

img_1840Elizabeth is a yoga teacher and artist in Fairfield County, CT and creator of Love by E handmade mala and jewelry. She teaches in workshops, special events and trainings in the North East. She teaches smart and accessible yoga and she loves every minute of her work. You can find her writing and her teaching schedule on her website.