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Teaching Yin Yoga from an Emotional Space

Written by Mary-Rose Dias

Yin yoga is a holistic and embodied practice, and when taught safely can provide an optimal opportunity for working with the body on an emotional level. With proper training yin yoga teachers can learn to teach yin yoga from an emotional space. This is important so that yin yoga teachers can support, empower and encourage their students to have a positive and healthy relationship with their emotions.

yin yoga teacher training

Have you ever heard a yoga teacher say “your issues are in your tissues” in your yin yoga class? Have you ever wondered what this actually means? Quite simply, it means that our emotions are embodied, stored and held within our body, in our ‘tissues’, organs and fascia. When practicing yin yoga we open and release areas of our body that support and allow emotions to surface and be felt and interacted with. For example, according to the Chinese meridian system, we often store anger and frustration in our liver, and so it is common to have frustration and anger arise when we practice yin yoga postures that stimulate the liver, such as butterfly, frog and squat.

Stimulating and opening into areas of our body supports emotions to surface and emerge in yin yoga. We then begin the practice of sitting with, noticing and allowing these emotions in a non-reactive way. The extra time spent in yin yoga postures provides an optimal opportunity to work with our bodies on an emotional level. This emotional work can be highly challenging. Many people have a lot of resistance to sitting with and being still with their emotions, and often want to distract themselves and avoid confronting sensations. It is therefore important that yin yoga teachers create a safe space so that their students can feel comfortable welcoming emotions and seeing emotions as helpful messengers rather than something to fear. Gentle encouragement, guided imagery, and reminding students that they are safe and that their emotions are not their identity are some ways that skilled yin yoga teachers can support students to safely work with their emotions in yin yoga. It is also important that yin yoga teachers encourage students to work with their own edges/limits and not to push, or force, too much too fast. Students should always have an option to come back to a safe resting pose and an inner resource of peace, safety and security (i.e. a positive memory, calming image or affirming word/phrase).

Yin yoga can be an optimal practice for establishing a healthy and positive relationship with our emotions. When yin yoga teachers understand how to safely teach yin yoga from an emotional space they can empower their students to work with their body on an emotional level, develop a deeper, more embodied, understanding of their emotions and allow emotions to emerge, be felt and connected with without being consumed, controlled or identified with them.

To dive deeper into this topic and learn more about how to teach yin yoga, Shanti Atma Yoga offers a variety of trainings exploring the many avenues to self-healing, teacher development and deepening your yoga practice:

Yin Yoga Teacher Training Online:

Yin Yoga Teacher Training: 100 hour Functional Anatomy and Chinese Medicine
Yin Yoga Teacher Training: 100 hour Pranayama, Meditation and Mindfulness
Yin Yoga Teacher Training: 80 hour Yin Yoga and Yoga Nidra
Yin Yoga Teacher Training: 50 hour Neuroplasticity and Mindfulness
Yin Yoga Teacher Training: 50 hour Essential Oils and Emotional Intelligence

Residential Yin Yoga Teacher Training:

Yin Yoga Teacher Training: 100 hour Functional Anatomy and Chinese Medicine
Yin Yoga Teacher Training: 100 hour Pranayama, Meditation and Mindfulness
Yin Yoga Teacher Training: 80 hour Yin Yoga and Yoga Nidra
Yin Yoga Teacher Training: 50 hour Neuroplasticity and Mindfulness
Yin Yoga Teacher Training: 50 hour Essential Oils and Emotional Intelligence
Yin Yoga Teacher Training: 200 hour 5 Bodies Approach

Yin Yoga Training Locations:

Yin Yoga Teacher Training Bali
Yin Yoga Teacher Training Thailand
Yin Yoga Teacher Training India
Yin Yoga Teacher Training Spain