Space to slow down
So much so often a yoga practice is about striving, there's that achieving attitude. Yin yoga can give us the space to slow down, a chance to stay with our experiences rather than always rushing. In a Yin yoga practice, all the postures are sitting - and all the postures are held for sustained periods of time (often five minutes). Within these long holds there is an encouragement of softness and an emphasis on relaxing muscular tissue. Through these attitudes there can be a gaining of harmony and peace: so there is a greater ease, a deeper sense of balance, feelings of calmness and acceptance.
Norman is one of the most experienced Yin yoga teachers in the country. He has been teaching the long Yin practice since February 2003 and he began a weekly Yin yoga class - at the North London Buddhist Centre - in September 2003. This was perhaps the first regular timetabled class that used the term 'Yin yoga'. He now teaches regular Yin yoga classes/workshops at Indaba, Life Centre, the Shala and West London Buddhist Centre. And 4pm on the first Thursday of each month at the Life Centre, Hill class, it's in silence: the joys of silent Yin...
The monthly practice
Often people say "was that really 3 hours?" These extended sessions allow space for participants to examine limits and explore potential, developing attention and refining awareness. The practice mainly emphasises Yin yoga postures with some moving and sitting (meditation) to enable the combining of softness with strength, inner with outer, stillness with movement. To attend, you must have been practising yoga for at least six months. See Workshops for details of dates and venues.
What some Yin teachers say about Norman...
“As yoga has grown from a fringe activity of the few to a cultural practice of the many it has broadened and expanded both its theory and its repertory. Part of this expansion is captured in the idea of a yin-yang continuum of yoga practices. Yang forms of yoga with their flowing movements and heat building purification have rightly taken centre stage as an antidote to physically sedentary and mentally stressed urban lives. But purification of toxins needs to be complemented by nurturing tissues and calming the mind. Yin forms of yoga fill this need. Norman Blair has two decades of experience in both yin and yang forms of yoga. This gives him the ability to teach how Yin yoga can be integrated into a complete yoga program. I hope many people take advantage of this chance to learn a calming, healing practice.”
“Norman is a kind, dedicated, and insightful man and teacher of both Yin and Ashtanga yoga and those who are interested in the intersection between these two should definitely study with him.”
“Empowering, stimulating, inspirational. Approachable, amusing, knowledgeable, inspires confidence.”