Yin Yoga

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 on the first Thursday of each month at the 3pm Life Centre Notting 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 practicing yoga for at least six months. See Workshops for details of dates and venues.

Yin Yoga Intensive: Minds, meridians, moments

2018 - 5 day intensive at Zolder Studio
Monday 14 May-Friday 18 May Waiting list only
Monday 11 June-Friday 15 June Waiting list only
Monday 17 September-Friday 21 September Waiting list only
Monday 10 December-Friday 14 December Waiting list only

2019 - 5 day intensive at Zolder Studio
Monday 18 February-Friday 22 February Waiting list only
Monday 27 May-Friday 31 May
Monday 17 June-Friday 21 June
Monday 18 November-Friday 22 November
Monday 2 December-Friday 6 December

with Norman Blair
Zolder Studio, London N22
£425 (£100 non-refundable deposit* secures a place; balance due 2 months prior to course)
NOTE: The price for 2019 courses is £495

This five-day immersion into Yin yoga creates space for exploration and study. The reasons and the results of practicing this form will be explained. There will be detailed examination of the postures, examples of sequencing and plenty of time to evaluate our own experience. Participants will learn about contraindications and modifications. This is an opportunity for practitioners to become familiar with the Yin yoga practice. Three sessions (three hours each) will be led by external teachers - on anatomy, on meridians and on meditation.
By the end of the course, participants will have a deeper understanding of this practice and have been thoroughly introduced to Yin yoga.

Participants will get a course manual and other handouts.

Numbers on the course are limited to twelve. This small group experience can be a significant factor in encouraging the process of learning and training hours (30 in total) can be used for Yoga Alliance continuing education.

Yogacampus Manchester in June 2018
Wednesday 20 June - Sunday 24 June
Yoga Campus Manchester (£600)
All bookings through Yogacampus Manchester

Norman has been practicing yoga for 20 years and teaching since 2001. He is one of the most experienced Yin yoga teachers in the country and through significant periods of training with Sarah Powers, Richard Freeman, Hamish Hendry and Alaric Newcombe, he has gained the Yoga Alliance 500 hour accreditation.

A former Yin intensive student says:
'A fantastic experience....the joy of hours of asana practice and deepening our knowledge, of course, but one of the most valuable aspects was the space it provided for our small group to discuss and share teaching experiences.'
Paula Hines

Advanced Yin Yoga Teacher Training

Wednesday 11 April-Wednesday 18 April - Waiting list only
Friday 19 October-Friday 26 October - Waiting list only

Wednesday 3 April - Wednesday 10 April
Wednesday 11 September - Wednesday 18 September

£795 (the cost for 2019 courses is £950)
with Norman Blair
Zolder Studio, N22

This eight-day course will enable participants to teach Yin yoga. This is a wonderful way to deepen and reflect on Yin yoga practice and teaching. All attendees will have already completed a training in Yin yoga. Prior to the course, each participant has to complete an essay of 1,000-2,000 words.

There will be an emphasis on the skills and the tools of teaching this practice. Sequencing and theming of classes will be covered in detail. During the course, there will be homework. Each person will at the end of the course teach a 30 minute class to the other participants and there will be feedback given. There will be sessions on meditation practice and teaching; a thorough understanding of anatomy and Yin yoga; more details on energy channels (meridians) and Traditional Chinese Medicine and how this relates to Yin yoga.

The aim of this course is to give participants the abilities, the confidence and the knowledge to teach Yin yoga.

Participants will get a course manual and other handouts. After the course, each participant is eligible for a one hour interview. Numbers on the course are limited to twelve and this small group experience can be a significant factor in encouraging the process of learning.

Training hours (60 in total) can be used for Yoga Alliance continuing education.

Payment of £200 non-refundable deposit* secures a place with the balance due two months before the course starts.

*extraordinary circumstances will be considered

A new 2 day course for 2018
Meridians and Yin yoga

With Norman Blair and Kate Henley

Yin yoga is a popular practice of slowing down and slow stretching. In this practice, there is an emphasis on poses stimulating energetic flows in the body. These two day courses are led by Norman Blair and Kate Henley. Norman is one of the most experienced Yin yoga teachers in the UK; Kate has been an acupuncturist since 1998 and is especially interested in how the internal practice of quiet forms of yoga support re-aligning and balance in our bodies.

Each two day course will focus on pairs of meridians. We will start by covering the theories that underpin Traditional Chinese Medicine by means of an introduction. We will then look at the emotions and the physical issues that are connected with each meridian and organ and end looking at which poses are particularly influential and which to do when.

The aspiration of the course is that participants gain empowering tools for practice and teaching that encourage 'balance' as a way to good health.

Material will be presented in a way that is accessible and interactive. There will be practice of poses. Participants will get a course manual. Numbers are limited to 12.

Cost: £240 per session; 10am-5pm.

Location: Zolder Studio, London, N22
Booking here

Dates and details:
23/24 January Kidney/Bladder and Stomach/Spleen
20/21 March Liver/Gall Bladder
5/6 June Heart/Small Intestine and Lung/Large Intestine

Sessions led by external teachers

Anatomy Emma Charlton – Emma has a great interest in the human body. She has been an Aromatherapist and Massage Therapist since 2000 and has taught massage at a leading aromatherapy college for 10 years. She has a long-term yoga practice and is fascinated by the possibilities of body and how body moves in response to yoga poses. She has an in-depth understanding of musculo-skeletal structures and continues along her path of learning with regular training and development.

Meridians Marc Stenham – Marc lectures on the acupuncture course at the International College of Oriental Medicine, where he is committed to demystifying and exploring the philosophies related to Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Meditation Maitripushpa Bois – Maitripushpa began her regular meditation practice in the mid-1980s and has been practicing yoga since the mid-1990s. She constantly watches and learns how the two practices influence each other.

Yin yoga (one session) Amanda Wright - Amanda began practicing yoga in 2001 and has been teaching Yin yoga since 2006.

Students from the Yin intensives say...

“I knew it would be great…but it’s been so much more… Felt very grounded. Inspiring”

“I just love your approach - very accessible and inclusive and integrated. This training is just what I needed. Learnt much more than yoga”

“Transformational, therapeutic, nurturing… Really beneficial for my practice and teaching in general… Hugely supportive environment - given me a huge confidence boost and has inspired me”

"One of the best courses I have been on (in all subjects) and it seems to have made me more confident that I was teaching before! Thank you so so much again for the course, it was really inspirational!”
Sarah Lane

"Thank you for everything - a truly nourishing, containing, deep and thorough immersion."
Alex Cook

“Really enjoyed this immersion in Yin yoga. I learnt a lot that I can use in my own practice and teaching. Norman is an excellent teacher who always conveys the subject with immense experience, knowledge and enthusiasm… I came away with new knowledge but more importantly felt grounded, relaxed and calm… I feel inspired, energized and optimistic.”

"I would like to thank you so much for a wonderful 5 days of immersion in Yin yoga. I was really in need of some 'me' time (so often we don't practice what we preach) and it was so lovely to be nurtured and looked after especially in the comforting environment of your home. I loved your cosy, humble studio, it was the perfect setting, I also feel that you have the gift of authenticity which is what I always look for in a teacher and what I’m always saying to would be teachers - 'Be yourself, speak from your own beliefs and from your heart and be open to others opinions - then you can't go wrong'. Your teachings are warm and real and I loved the little chats in between to encourage the group energy. It works beautifully."
Brigitte Rooney

What some Yin teachers say about Norman...

Paul Grilley “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.”

Sarah Powers
“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.”


18 Hayes Place, Marylebone, London NW1 6UA Marylebone tube

Life Centre Islington
Britannia Row, London N1
Angel tube

Life Centre Notting Hill
15 Edge Street, London, W8
Notting Hill Gate tube

The Shala
1 Chestnut Road, West Norwood, London SE27 9EZ
West Norwood train station

West London Buddhist Centre

45A Porchester Road, Royal Oak, London W2 5DP
Royal Oak Tube

Zolder Studio

London, N22
Turnpike Lane tube
Contact Norman for more information.