If you’re new around here, welcome. If you have listened already to the first, technically the first episode, the pilot, then you’ll have heard the introduction to this podcast.
This episode is going to be an introduction to myself, your host, and let’s just be honest, It is awkward to be ‘interviewing myself’, but, I figured I’d just use the same format that I would with a guest.
So in the first episode, the pilot, I talked a bit more about why I created this podcast. If you haven’t listened to that one, you can check that one out here.
This one is gonna be a bit more about me and kind of how I came to Yin Yoga.
I’m gonna start with my professional background and then slowly move into the more personal one. So for those of you who don’t care about all the personal stuff, you can just stop when I quit talking about, my journey to Yoga, my training, my credentials, et cetera, et cetera.
So if we have not met yet, welcome.
My name is Nyk Danu and I am a yoga therapist, a Yin Yoga teacher trainer, and also a Yoga business mentor. I also teach the public as well. So that’s a little bit about me in a nutshell.
You can learn more below by either listening to the Podcast, watching the video or reading more below.
Yin Yoga Podcast – Meet Your Host Nyk Danu (Listen)
Yin Yoga Podcast – Meet Your Host Nyk Danu (Watch)
Yin Yoga Podcast – Meet Your Host Nyk Danu (Read)
I think the best place to start would be, how I found Yoga, which is where I would have my guests start.
So in 1998 (before Yoga) I was formerly a hairstylist and a hair colour expert, a hair colour educator.
When I found Yoga, I was already teaching hair colour and advanced hair colour techniques to hairstylists. For my very first yoga class, I got basically bribed into going. One of my coworkers decided it would be fun if as a group, all of us hairstylists went to this Monday morning beginner yoga class together.
Wouldn’t that be fun? And, she kept kind of trying to get me to go. As a night owl, Mondays typically were our days off as stylists. So, the thought of getting up and being somewhere for Monday morning did not interest me whatsoever.
And then the other aspect that didn’t interest me was Yoga, because back then I still had a lot of stereotypes about Yoga.
Yoga had not hit the boom and the peak that it has now. And it was still a little bit kind of under the radar. So the only Yoga that I had seen was. Lilias Forland on the PBS special, the silhouette of her and the unitard with the long braid doing her sun salutations and as a kind of heavy metal punk, rock rebellious type of person.
Nothing about that appealed to me. So not only was I not interested in getting up on Monday mornings, but I really wasn’t interested in Yoga. I had done a lot of other physical things in the past. I had been a bit competitive bodybuilder for a few years, and I had been running on and off. And so it’s not like I wasn’t interested in the physical part
I just was like, that’s a bunch of hippie shit. So I thought that Yoga was something that my mom and her friends would do, not something that I would be interested in, but she was persistent and she kept on me.
And finally, with promises of door-to-door service. Pick up and delivery, and a latte as well before class, I finally caved in and said, Okay, fine, let’s do this beginner yoga series,
I think it was probably about a six or eight-week series, I can’t remember. So we went to the studio, I took my class and from the very first class, I was hooked. The teacher was this lovely older woman with a bit of a Dutch accent and she taught what I would just consider Hatha and it was a beautiful class.
I loved it! There, there were definitely challenges for me in some areas, especially because of all of the bodybuilding I had done before, plus hairdressing where you get a lot of tightness in the shoulders, neck, and upper back, so I was definitely plenty tight.
It was challenging for me, just enough, not so much that, it was overwhelming, but there was enough challenge there to keep my mind focused.
And she just had this wonderful, nurturing way about her. And at the end when we were in Savasana, she talked about how we all have this house in our hearts with a little light inside of it. I can’t remember the rest of the visual before she moved us into silence. But I was totally hooked.
For the first time in my life, I wasn’t anxious.
And for my whole life, I’ve had anxiety. Now, I didn’t know at the time that what I had was anxiety. That’s a story for a whole other time. But at that moment, in that class, I realized afterwards that I had paid attention to nothing other than Yoga. The whole time I was there, the normal circus or hamster wheel of my mind had stilled and I was present, and I felt amazing.
It was the first time that I can really clearly remember, in such a short period dropping into my parasympathetic nervous system. And so, needless to say, I was hooked. I immediately said after class to my friends, that was amazing. I’m gonna do Yoga forever. And so we did finish our, you know, six or eight-week series and they all kind of moved on to some other fun hobby thing that we might do together. Like language classes, cooking classes etc.
But I was in it, I was hooked.
Now, I didn’t continue with the Monday morning class because like I said, I was a night owl. So I started going to a Monday evening class, and I did that for several years. I would register for a semester or two and then I would take one off thinking that I could just practice at home.
And, I would practice at home, but I wouldn’t really remember enough of the practice to have like an efficient or functional home practice. So I would go back to the classes. This went on for several years. Meanwhile, I’m still at the time continuing to do hair.
Both in the salon, I’m doing hair on the road.
And I realized very quickly that I loved teaching, I started teaching advanced hair colour theory, and also techniques. I was now travelling and teaching, and I was loving it! It was great. But at some point, I started to lose my love for being in the salon.
So I liked being on the road a lot. I loved the travel, although it was incredibly hard work and very, like not a, not a healthy lifestyle for sure. But I loved the work on the road though. It was incredibly creatively fulfilling cuz you’re essentially getting models who are pretty much willing to let you do whatever with their hair.
I loved that part. I loved the travelling, I loved the educating. I loved, you know, being on the road and teaching these techniques. And if you’re not familiar with how this might work, It’s sort of like, if you can imagine like a fashion show and a rock concert and hair all had a baby.
So you’re on stage, there are the models, the lights, the music, all the things. You’re teaching on stage. I loved, loved, loved it, and it was damn good money, I’m not gonna lie, but when I would get back to the salon, I was feeling a little meh I wasn’t able to just fill my creative, cup you know, stoke my fire when I was at the salon.
I wasn’t getting that same creative high. So I was feeling less than inspired. And it was pretty hard to stay inspired when every second girl that jumped into my chair just wanted the same blonde highlights as her friend had. And everybody wanted that Jennifer Aniston haircut from, you know, from friends.
So I wasn’t getting the same creative, thrill that I was when I was on the road. And because the country I live in Canada isn’t heavily populated, there’s no way to just be a travelling platform artist without having a salon job as well. Because the seasons are kind of fall and spring is when you travel a lot, you still need to be in the salon.
I also started to feel the more I studied yoga and started reading up on yoga, started picking books out from the library. I had been taking books out from the library for probably about four or five years before this on different spiritual traditions and was particularly drawn to Buddhism.
It spoke to me in a really personal way. It just kind of felt like home, but it was also incredibly intimidating. Cause I started with Zen. So it was, it was heady, but it felt right. Somehow it felt like a good fit. And so I’d been reading these books on Buddhism and meditation and Yoga books on the side.
Meanwhile, I did my stuff at the salon and then went out on the weekends after shifts with my coworkers, drinking martinis, still smoking, and drinking copious amounts of coffee. So this was kind of where my life was going. I had these sorts of polar opposites happening.
And then I had a dear friend who was a hairstylist who overnight developed an allergy to hair colour. She’d probably been ignoring subtle signs along the way, but suddenly her body was like, nope, that’s it. We’re done no more. And she didn’t have a plan B for her career, she was a hair colorist.
She overnight had to stop doing what she was doing and try to figure something else out, and that really shook me watching her go through that. So not only was I beginning to feel a disconnect between my Yoga and my livelihood, I mean previous to this, in my whole adult life, I’d been an activist and I really started feeling like my time behind the chair was actually contributing to things that I didn’t believe in.
So I wanted to help heal the world to make a difference, to contribute, especially as an activist for years, that’s always been, my driving force. And yet here I was telling women about the latest hair trends and what looks best for their face shape (like there’s a wrong face shape) and all of these things.
And I started feeling like I was making people feel pretty on the outside, but like, what about how they were feeling on the inside?
So that was the dilemma I was having. So, I couldn’t look at the hair I was doing in the salon as art, like when I was on the road. That was art to me, art and education. But when I was in the salon, I was now, you know, buying into trends, you know, talking to them about ways that we could make them look better selling products.
It just, there was a disconnect there. I didn’t feel a resonance anymore with being behind the chair.
And so I felt called to do more and I really wanted to help people feel good from the inside out. So that was all milling in the background. And then at the time when my friend had this catastrophe of no longer being able to do hair.
I had already developed many work-related injuries. So neck, shoulders, upper back stuff, very common wrists for hairstylists, and was spending a lot of time and money, on things like chiropractic, massage, et cetera, just to be able to kind of work.
I often used to joke that I felt like an athlete, like on my days off, I would go to these people to get them to kind of just patch me back up and throw me back out on the field.
And so I did know that at some point I was gonna have to come up with a plan B.
And before I discovered Yoga, I just assumed I would buy a salon so that I could work less. But these work-related injuries had started me having to cut back on my hours at the salon as well. So I was working less at the salon. My time at the salon wasn’t feeling fulfilled. And this is really where I was when I decided to find my first teacher training.
So I did a lot of soul searching and what I realized is that what I loved the most about what I was currently doing as a hairstylist and educator was the teaching part. I loved the teaching. I loved. Presenting information and then seeing that little spark of life of aha in people’s eyes. So I realized that I really loved teaching probably because I also am obsessed with learning.
So those are two sides of the same coin. And so I started thinking, is there a way I could keep teaching without wanting to become a school teacher and just change what I was teaching? So I started really kind of just sitting with myself and asking myself some hard questions like, what else do you like to do in your day-to-day life other than hair?
What else brings you joy?
And it was pretty clear that no one was gonna pay me to sit around and drink coffee and read books. So that one was clearly out.
So I started thinking about it more and more, and then I realized that Yoga had filled such a crucial part of my life and I loved it. So much that maybe that could be the thing.
Maybe instead of worrying about, a whole new career, I could just stop doing hair and teaching hair and move into teaching yoga. And so that’s what I decided to do. I did a bunch of research and at the time there weren’t a lot of options for teacher training programs in the city that I live in, lived in back then, which was Calgary, Alberta.
There were I think only two that weren’t there wasn’t Ashtanga teacher training, and, I had already known from trying that style of Yoga that was not for me, as a kind of highly frenetic anxious type. That style of yoga actually just aggravated that in me, like, you know, increased it too much.
So if you are familiar with Ayurvedic it made me too Vata. I needed a little more Kapha. To balance out my anxiety. So I already knew that that style was out. So with that in mind then there were two schools left.
So I did my research and I found a program. At the time, the program, when I started taking the training, the program was still called, The Yoga Studio.
But then by the end of that training, the two partners (each had a yoga studio), there was a south and a north location kind of split off. But by the time I graduated from that program, it had a different name the Yoga College of Canada, I believe was what he was calling it. And now he’s branched off and has another name as well.
So it was 1998 when I took my first class. And this would’ve been 2003, two and three when I was doing the research, trying to find a program and then I signed up for the class of 2003.
The program, although not an Iyengar certification program, that is a whole separate thing that takes many, many years, even though it wasn’t an Iyengar certification program.
All of the teachers that trained us in that program, (there was a faculty it wasn’t just one teacher which I love) that all of the teachers that trained us in that program other than one were Iyengar certified teachers. So even though it wasn’t actually an Iyengar certification program, it was an Iyengar training.
Everything that we learned was based on the system of Iyengar Yoga. And it was a great program. It was actually a 300-hour, and this is back before Yoga Alliance really had a foothold at all. They were around, but they were so new and nobody was really paying much attention to them.
So the 300-hour program was 200 hours of classroom stuff, which was spread, which was spread out over a year.
This was a wonderful format because it really gave us the time to kind of assimilate these things and learn and practice and study without feeling like all the things were being crammed into our heads. So there was that, aspect that I loved. The thing I loved about Iyengar yoga was the propping. I loved that if you were skillful with props, you could really make some poses accessible for people.
And so it was 200 hours spread over a year, and then there were 25 hours of what they called assisting and observing. And this was meant to be done while you were in the training.
So you basically found a teacher who kind of specialized in an area that you liked. And you could do I think two or three teachers if you wanted. I did two. And you could mentor, you could shadow them. So you basically were just sitting up at the front of the room, observing writing notes, things like that you could ask them questions after and you kinda help them clean up and set up, but you didn’t actually teach the students or touch the students at all. You were just sort of like a fly on the wall.
So that was happening while we were in the training, and I took two specific ones. I took one that was for back pain. I shadowed that because I had back issues and neck issues from my livelihood, (but also now I’ve learned I have a little bit of skeletal variation stuff too). So I did that one and then I also, Mentored with prenatal, not because I wanted to teach prenatal at all. in fact, I really didn’t. But just so that if I had, pregnant mamas come into my class, I had enough knowledge to modify for them.
So those were the two I did. So that was 25 hours while you were in training. And then after your training, you were to pick one teacher and you were to do the remainder of your 75 hours of apprenticeship with that one teacher.
And so that’s what I did. So for 75 hours, There were two of us actually with her, and we were there every Tuesday morning for her class helping out. And you started off the same way you did assisting and then gradually you moved into walking around the room and helping students with props, not giving adjustments or anything like that, but just, you know, giving them blankets or blocks or trying to make them more comfortable.
Then eventually that moved into you teaching a pose and then a couple of poses, et cetera, et cetera. By the end of the program, if she needed a regular day off for vacation or something, she would usually reach out to one of us to sub for the class. So that’s kind of how that teacher training program went.
And again, it was a 300 hour, so by 2004 we graduated. We finished that program in 2004. That was teacher training number one. I’ve got a few more since then. So the reason I spent so much time framing what this program was like is because it sets the stage for kind of why when I found the work of Paul Grilley, I was like so blown away.
In the Iyengar tradition, there was a lot of this sort of one-size-fits-everybody thing. There was a little bit of talk about proportions, like long arms, long legs, small torso, short torso, and things like that were acknowledged. But they still just gave you props to try to make you look like everyone else.
So it was very aesthetic. It was very much like, what does the pose look like? And I had run into some issues with that myself because I now know, from studying with Paul that I’m genetically, quite internally rotated in my hips. I also have a good degree of external rotation as well. But in a lot of the poses, I would run into issues with that because the words that the teachers were using, Were geared toward people who are externally rotated.
And so it would feel backward in my body. There was even a pose that I would constantly get this pinching in my hip. So extended side angle pose. If I brought my hand to the floor, I would get this sharp pinch in my hip joint. But if I kept my elbow on my knee, then I didn’t feel anything. And so I could put my hand on a block and that was a good fix.
But I didn’t understand why the pinching was happening. And when I tried to ask my teachers, why am I feeling this, this big pinching, the answers I got weren’t very knowledgeable or skillful. I got told I had “tight hips ‘, and that couldn’t be further from the truth because the only area of my body when I started taking Yoga, the only areas that were genetically more open were my outer hip butt, IT bend, my inner thighs, and my groin.
So those were only, my only gifted areas. Everything else was earned with years of Yoga. So I knew that it wasn’t tight hips.
So I started wondering what it was. I wasn’t getting good answers. So, fast forward a bit, I’ve graduated from the program. Grateful for that program. I think it was, even though it was a little too one size fits all, but it was a very good program, especially for your first teacher training. I loved all the knowledge that I learned there with props.
That really, helped me in my future teaching, learning about all the props, and becoming a bit of a props ninja. So that was all great, but I left that first teacher training like a lot of Yoga teachers do, from what I hear when I work with them. You leave your first teacher training and you feel like you don’t have enough anatomy knowledge and you don’t have enough sequencing knowledge. For new teachers sequencing is confusing and you don’t feel like you have enough anatomy knowledge.
This is super common. You also don’t get nearly enough philosophy that’s a rant for a whole other time. And you know, although we definitely wanna include philosophy and study philosophy, if we’re gonna say that we’re yoga teachers you know, that doesn’t prevent you from safely leading a physical asana-based class. So I felt like there were these limitations.
And so, after graduating I was in the bookstore, in the yoga section, just looking around, and I saw a DVD that said Anatomy for Yoga. I didn’t know anything about Paul Grilley it was his DVD I just saw. Anatomy for yoga and I was like, bingo. I mean, if I’d seen a DVD that said how to sequence for Yoga, I would’ve bought that one too.
Cuz I was just at that point where I was like, I need to do more study. I need to immerse myself in this stuff more so that I have a better understanding. So I bought his DVD Anatomy for Yoga. It changed everything when I watched that DVD program (now it’s streaming).
And when I started watching it, I realized that there was all this information that was missing from my first program. The fact that we all have different bones, that we don’t work the same on the inside.
This was the first time I had ever heard this. And if you think about it, it’s kind of hilarious because you know, we can look at each other. And see that we have different eye colours and skin colours and features and heights and weights and all of those things. And yet somehow as yoga teachers, we’re trained that we’re all the same on the inside, that like inside of this meat suit, our skeleton is all the same. Like yours and mine are the same.
What this program taught me was this was totally untrue that we were all different. So being able to watch this DVD and have these aha moments, not only when it came to my own practice, my own body, but seeing all of the variety of students in that program and the different bone structures was a total game changer for me.
I am so grateful that I discovered that DVD fairly early on in my teaching journey, I think it was maybe a year or so after I graduated. So the seed was already planted.
So all of these alignment cues that I’ve been taught, may or may not be accurate. They might work for some people, not for others. They might be completely the opposite of what somebody else needs. So I watched that DVD presentation numerous times and really started playing with my own body and then watching my students and noticing how, when I gave certain cues, it would look different in everyone’s body and they would be feeling things differently.
In the past, I would give a direction and I would see that there would be people in the room that weren’t doing the direction. And I would think, oh, they must have misunderstood my words. I’ll say it a different way. And sometimes that is the case. I’d say it a different way and they’d get it, or they wouldn’t. And I was always very confused by that.
I realized, after watching this program, oh, maybe they can’t actually do what it is that I’m saying because they’re built differently than I am.
So, this was a game changer, and if anyone is listening to this and you are a yoga teacher and you have not invested the tiny amount of money that it is to watch that presentation you can get it here
I think you could probably get it as DVD still too if you wanted. But if you have not viewed that information, I cannot recommend it enough. It is a total game-changer for all the teachers that have to watch it.
That was my first introduction to Mr. Paul Grilley.
Then one day, I was walking down the street, and I popped into a Yoga studio just to see if they had any bolsters for sale. I walked in and before I even made it upstairs, there was a corkboard on the wall and saw a poster with Paul Grillley’s face on it saying Anatomy and Yin yoga workshop coming up
I couldn’t believe that he was coming. I had no idea what the hell Yin Yoga was, but I was just like, I’m so in.
It was in that workshop, that began my love affair with Yin Yoga
The workshop was a combination of learning anatomy stuff. We went through that presentation a little bit, but in a slightly different way than in his DVD and then practiced yin yoga.
And I realized partway through the practice how different Paul’s approach was. So there were a few things that I came up against when I first started practicing yin. One is that I was used to practicing styles where you did as much as you possibly could (I was, and I was a recovering A-type personality)
So I was going into these Yin shapes at like 100% of what I could do, which was a big mistake because what you can do a hundred percent for a minute, it’s not the same as what you can do for five minutes. So I quickly realized about, two or three shapes in, I’m gonna have to back off a lot here.
And so I did, I backed off and I started taking less strong versions of the poses so that I could actually hold them for the duration of time. So that was the “aha’ number one. ‘Aha,’ number two was that Paul wasn’t correcting my alignment like I normally would’ve been in workshops. So here’s an example for those of you that are teachers.
The pose in Hatha is called Supta virasana. In yin, they called saddle. Because I’m genetically internally rotated. I can turn my feet out in that pose with no issue whatsoever. In fact, it feels quite natural. In my Iyengar training, when I tried to do that, I would get all kinds of lectures about how I would ruin my knees and blah, blah, blah.
And they would put me up on a bunch of support and then strap my legs together so that my knees could point straight and I wouldn’t turn my feet out when I was in that shape. But then that meant I felt nothing. So, for example, we would often do that as a prep in a backbend workshop. In order to, you know, open up our legs, the front of our thighs and the front body.
So while everyone else is opening their front body, I’m laying around in basically what feels like a restorative version, simply because they’re obsessed with me not turning my feet out or my knees not turning in.
So that was, again, one of the big aha moments when studying with Paul. So I’m in the workshop and we’re in saddle pose, and the reason I’m always tempted to turn my feet out is because I have a very high instep on my foot.
That bone that’s on the top really sticks out a lot.
I also have a really high arch, so if I bring my feet into the traditional position, I often get so much pressure on that bone that I get foot pain and no quad stretch. So I can’t feel what the intended area of the poses is because I am in so much pain.
And so my solution was always to try to sneak my feet out to the side because genetically I can do that. My bones allow for that quite comfortably. So when I was in this yin workshop, especially holding this pose for like five minutes, I was like, oh my God, my feet are dying.
So rather than coming out, I just came out enough that I could kind of sneak my feet out to the side, and then I laid back again and I noticed Paul never corrected me. I was waiting for it the whole time. I was like, he’s gonna walk around and he is gonna say, don’t turn your feet out like that. You’re gonna wreck your knees, blah, blah, blah.
And he never did. And I thought, well, that’s odd.
I also remember this feeling of releasing deep fascia. It feels so different in your body. The sense of a kind of spaciousness is a hard thing to put into words, spaciousness is the best word I can come up with.
But that feeling in my body was so different than anything I had experienced that I remember after the first day of the workshop thinking, oh my God, I am gonna be so sore tomorrow. And, typically I was used to being sore if I took a weekend workshop or an intensive, I was used to being pushed enough that, I would’ve some sore muscles.
So I was fully expecting to be really sore after that first class, but I wasn’t. I felt amazing and I felt this sense of spaciousness in my body, nobody was correcting my alignment. I also felt this sort of, deep settling inside of myself from having the still and quiet time and the long holds of those poses without a teacher talking to me.
So in Iyengar Yoga, we did lots of long-held postures too but it was usually there was a lot of detailed instruction.
But when Paul taught us this workshop, we basically got into whatever version of this shape that worked for us, and then we were just there. And he wasn’t babbling incessantly, he was just holding quiet space.
And that was incredibly unique to me. I had already been, attending beginner meditation courses and developing a meditation practice kind of right before this workshop. So that pre-dates, the yin workshop. But that’s what it felt like to me. I was like, oh, this is like small meditation in each of the poses.
So the sense of spaciousness in my body, the aha of not being corrected. And then on top of that, The nervous system response that I was having. That sense of deep, quiet and still and peace, hooked me from the second class.
I was like, that’s it. This is amazing. I am going to start doing Yin regularly.
At the time, my home practice and my teaching both were Hatha-based. I had let go of a lot of the so-called Iyengar alignment cues. So I wasn’t comfortable calling myself Iyengar influenced or Iyengar inspired because, after watching that DVD with Paul, I’d already removed some of that stuff.
So I was teaching Hatha Yoga, and I was practicing Hatha Yoga. After that workshop, I bought Paul’s DVD, and I bought his book. Then I bought Sarah Power’s DVD and book later on too. Not long after. I took that DVD home and I started adding that DVD into my home practice a couple of times a week, sometimes two, three times a week.
Anytime I was on my moon cycle, anytime that I, wasn’t feeling well, if I was, you know, coming down with the cold or recovering from something, I would switch to a Yin practice. I was still doing my Hatha I was also doing some Yin and so that’s how I practiced for a little while.
I wasn’t teaching Yin yet, but so the odd time right before Christmas, I would say, Hey, let’s, we’re gonna do this. I would take it literally right from the DVD, and be like, we’re gonna do this, you know, Yin Yoga for your hip sequence or spine sequence.
If people really were really tired or if there was a class where I had to teach but I wasn’t feeling well, I would often switch it up and just spontaneously add in a Yin sequence. But it was pretty rare.
Fast forward a couple more years and I am diagnosed with chronic fatigue.
I had been going to traditional allopathic medicine doctors for quite a while to try to figure out why I wasn’t feeling well and I wasn’t getting any straight answers. I was getting, well, all your tests show you’re within the range of normal, whatever that means. And yet I was exhausted and I was dealing with brain fog and I was, there was a whole bunch of symptoms.
I had been trying to get help through traditional allopathic medicine and not getting any answers. So I went to an acupuncturist and she said to me ‘well, that’s interesting because in Chinese medicine all your symptoms point to the same thing.’
So after seeing a Chinese medicine doctor/ acupuncturist, I was told that I had chronic fatigue so I was put on a regimen of acupuncture, herbs and supplements.
While this was happening, I was still teaching full-time, teaching Hatha Yoga and I was exhausted.
All of the energy I had, went into me travelling to my classes and teaching. I wasn’t doing the practice with my students, but I would still demonstrate and then come out. That was literally all the physical gumption I had at the time.
And so my home practice had to shift. So I went from doing Hatha Yoga most of the time with a side of Yin to doing almost completely Yin Yoga with a side of restorative.
That’s when my love affair with Yin Yoga deepened even more.
Any teacher can tell you that you can learn things, but until you embody it, it’s sort of surface-level learning. So I dove into practicing yin almost exclusively, and then a little bit of restorative and meditation became my practice.
So I went from, you know, doing Hatha Yoga and when I was on my moon cycle doing Yin Yoga to doing all Yin, and when I was on my moon cycle doing restorative.
And so I really deepened my relationship with this practice and fell in love even deeper.
At the same time though, I started to feel like, the Yin that I was taught traditionally from Paul was all sort of from the waist down. And I, as a former hairdresser had all this stuff going on in my neck, my shoulders, my upper back, my wrists, my forearms.
I started thinking, you know, yin gives me such a sense of relief and spaciousness in my body. But I wish there was stuff for the upper body.
And so I started taking upper body shapes that I already knew, and I started doing them in a Yin way. Meaning I started holding them longer and using props where I needed them so that I could get comfortable. And that was my third big aha in Yin.
Adding in this upper body practice was a game-changer for me. I’m so densely tight in these areas that it was so therapeutic.
So fast forward, a little bit more into the future, and I, of course, wanted to study with Paul Grilley in a more, in-depth way and a longer way ever since I walked out of that workshop.
But he was only teaching in California. And you know, as a Canadian, when you pay for training in US dollars, it’s oh my gosh, expensive. Not including flying down there and you know, all of your expenses and stuff being in US dollars it’s a lot of money.
As a fairly new teacher, I just didn’t have the bank to rush away to California and take that time off as well.
Also when you’re self-employed, it’s not like I have holiday pay, so it just wasn’t financially feasible at the time.
Then I was very lucky and I received a little gift of money from my parents.
This isn’t something that they had ever done before, but my stepmother literally just said, Hey, one of my stocks did. Well, we’re gonna give each of you kids just a little bit of money.
Now whenever I get an unexpected gift, I always feel like to just throw that in my savings account or just throw it on, you know, debt if I have it at the time or just buying a bunch of groceries with it doesn’t kind of honour the gift that it was.
I needed to do something special with this gift. And the first thing I thought of was studying with Paul. So I took that money and signed up for what was the first of many trips to California and started studying with Paul Grilley.
And that was, (of course) even more of a game changer to actually be there in an intensive way. We were at a retreat center, so we were not distracted by the outside world. We were just there and studying and resting and that was it. It was an incredible experience. So that was my first trip and then I went back numerous times.
I now hold a 500-hour, teaching certificate, from Paul Grilley and will continue to study with Paul as often as time and funds allow, COVID has thrown a little bit of a kink into that. We’re just at the time of this recording just kind of coming out the tail end of that.
So I look forward to being able to study with him again as soon as possible.
Paul and his wife Susie Grilley are what I would definitely consider my true teachers.
When I went to study with him, I was very skeptical (I always am) of teachers that have a big reputation because I think we’ve seen over and over again in the Yoga world, how many teachers have fallen from grace and there’s been so many scandals.
So I’m always a little bit hesitant to kind of dive in with my heart. I’ll study with them, but like, I’m not gonna call them my teacher until I’ve had an experience of them as a person at their ethics, their morals, and you know who they are as people. And studying with Paul and Susie, it was incredible to me how incredibly knowledgeable they both were and at the same time, incredibly humble and funny as fuck.
Their humour is awesome. So the perfect fit for me and that’s what I always aspire to be as a teacher.
That’s what I value in a teacher, a depth of knowledge that I don’t have, the humility to say, I don’t know when you don’t know. Are you always constantly learning and studying yourself and can you make me laugh and keep it real?
So, needless to say, I resonated immediately and continued to study with them for years. And those are probably some of my fondest memories of being, being there in person with them, studying.
Can’t wait to do it again.
Ok, back to the upper body stuff I started adding some of these upper body things in even before I started studying with Paul, simply because of a need in my own body, you know, now that I was at that time exclusively practicing Yin. But, I was feeling like I was really kind of limited to just like from my lumbar spine down
And there were these other parts of my body that could desperately use a little Yin love. so I had already been, adding longer holds to anything I did with my neck, with my shoulders, with my upper back, laying around on props like blocks and bolsters for minutes at a time. BUT Not in a restorative way.
And to be very clear, sometimes people think as soon as a Yoga bolster comes out, it’s suddenly Restorative Yoga. That’s not the case. But in a way I was feeling a stretch and an opening and a release from that I would normally in yin, but was able to be held into place by the props so that I could experience those things.
That’s how my practice evolved with Yin and was studying with Paul. So now we’re at the point in my, in the timeline where I had 400 hours with Paul at the time. I decided to give up my whole life my security my safety my familiarity and my student base, and moved from Calgary, Alberta to, a little Island just off the west coast of Canada.
For a few years, I wanted to study two areas more in-depth at that point, having been a Yoga teacher at that time for several years and kind of wanting to dive into some deeper study.
It became very clear to me that I wanted to do some kind of really intensive immersive study. The two areas that I wanted to focus on were Yoga therapy (we’ll come back to that in a moment) and I was intrigued by Chinese medicine. Like, I was just like, what is this miraculous thing?
So I was interested in studying Yoga therapy, deepening my knowledge and my skill level in Yoga. Even though I had already been teaching Yoga therapeutically to people with back pain, I wanted to kind of dive deeper into Yoga therapy and I wanted to study Chinese medicine.
At the time when I looked at Yoga therapy programs in the city I was in, there were only two. One was being taught by a teacher who, I’m not gonna sugarcoat it, I just didn’t have any respect for ethics. I studied a little bit in my first teacher training and did not resonate with her teaching style at all.
So that was clearly off the table, another one that wasn’t registered at the time with the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Although I didn’t know if that was important for me to be a registered Yoga therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists, but thought if I’m gonna spend all this time and money, I at least wanna have that option, right? When you start studying Yoga therapy, it’s very intensive. It takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of money, a lot of study, a lot of dedication.
And I just thought if I’m gonna go through all of that and then not be able to register, that might be an issue. It just became something that I kept thinking about, but I couldn’t quite do it. Also, while I was still in Calgary, I started looking into studying Chinese medicine and I started looking at all the different acupuncture colleges
When I reached out to them, however, the only option that these acupuncture colleges had was every day, Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. There was no way to take it part-time. There was no way to audit a class or two and see if you liked it. It was like you either had to be kind of all in every day, it’s five days a week or not at all.
And that wasn’t gonna work for me. Because I already had, again, like I said, this very abundant teaching practice. I was already teaching a full roster of classes that I ran myself That was full with a wait list, to give all of that up to study something that I was interested in but wasn’t sure I necessarily wanted to be a Chinese medicine doctor or an acupuncturist seemed like too much of risk.
So that’s where I was at when I was in Calgary, feeling frustrated that I wanted to learn more in these two areas, but feeling sort of, you know, kind of cut off from being able to do so.
And then I decided, to move. You know, as I mentioned, some people’s midlife crisis is buying a sports car. Mine was moving, giving up all my safety and security, back home and moving to an island. The city that I was born and raised in, which is Calgary, Alberta, never really felt like home for me.
In a lot of ways. And although my friends and family were there and my student base was there, so it was very easy. It was very comfortable. I wasn’t really happy with where I was living. I was mostly living there because that’s where I’d always lived and that’s where I was raised. I moved in my early twenties to Vancouver, British Columbia, and loved it.
But I ended up coming home briefly because of the death of, someone close to me, and then just kind of ended up getting a job and meeting a guy. And before you know it, it was many years later, and I was still in Calgary. I had always intended to move back to the coast. So one day after complaining about having shovelled my sidewalk for the seventh time that day in a Calgary winter, I just, I just could see myself from the outside and was like, you know, you could be sitting here in your eighties on this couch complaining about shovelling the sidewalk where you could move.
So I decided to pack up my life and move to Victoria, British Columbia, which is a little island just off the west coast of Canada. And I decided to move here.
So as I was deciding that I wanted to move. I started thinking about it and I thought, you know, if I’m gonna move to a brand new city, I mean, when is there a better time to go back to school? You don’t have any students, you don’t have any clients, you don’t have any classes. That’s the time to dive into some of this deeper study that you might wanna do.
And so I started researching Yoga therapy colleges. I stumbled across a college called Pacific Rim College. And at the time, they had Yoga therapy listed in their offerings. But then when I went on their website, I couldn’t find it. So I reached out to them via email. They had replied Oh, that was a program they used to have, they no longer had, but they did have a Traditional Chinese Medicine Program.
So that started getting me thinking.
I did later stumble across a Yoga therapy college that is here in Victoria that I did end up studying at but I hadn’t discovered them yet.
So I started thinking, well, this is a great opportunity to study TCM and the way that they did their semesters with the Chinese medicine program, you very much could do it part-time or study full-time.
And I just thought, that’s it. That’s what I need to do. So I applied and I got in and I signed up initially for the full Chinese Medicine doctorate program. Because that’s how I roll. I’m just all in or not at all. I started, back to school, in my forties, and I hadn’t been in school since high school.
Just dove into the deep end, which is what I tend to do. And I did study Chinese medicine for just under three years. And, I realized partway through the program that although I loved Chinese medicine theory, I understood it, it made sense to me. It felt like home to me.
But for me, I was just like, Yes, of course. That makes sense, so I loved the medicine, I loved studying it, I loved learning about the elements and the diagnosis and all of that. But I wasn’t sure about needling. And so I got to the point in the program where I was having these battles with my head and heart.
My head was saying, you signed up for the doctorate program. You moved here. You’ve got student loans. You’re gonna finish this program. My heart was saying, I don’t know, maybe this isn’t for you. Or maybe you’ve done what you’re meant to do here and you know, you already have an occupation that you love and adore.
You’re already a yoga teacher. You love teaching Yoga. You don’t need to have a second career, (this was the battle that was going on with head and heart).
So I asked the universe for some signs, (which is what I do when I have this battle between head and heart). I’m like, all right, give something here so that I know which one of these to listen to.
And I asked for several signs because I’m a little bit slow to pick up on them.😂
I started taking the course called T & T, which (Techniques and Therapeutics), where you learn to needle, I only took three of those in that whole series because very quickly when I started needling, I realized it was a no.
I was like, this doesn’t feel right.
It didn’t feel scary, it didn’t feel gross. I love getting acupuncture. Like I would get it every day if I won the lottery. So it wasn’t that, it was just, it just left me going, meh.
What I did love though, was doing hands-on work with students.
We learned some in Paul’s training. I then went on to study Tai Yoga massage, and then when I was in Chinese medicine school, we learned tuina, and also some medical qigong. So it was learning, how to work with people’s bodies, hands-on and that I loved.
But the needle between me and the person is where I was like, meh.
According to my student friends, I was actually really good at it. It was smooth, it was nice, it was, but I just didn’t feel pulled to keep studying for years, something that I wasn’t excited about doing.
So that’s where I was having this sort of crisis of faith here. I had signed up for this Chinese medicine doctorate program.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue. I had discovered that there was, in fact locally a Yoga therapy program. There was a, federally recognized Yoga therapy college here through a studio.
They were totally legit! And I had looked at their programs and they had a 200 hour, but I didn’t need that. I already had my first 300. They had a 500-hour I also didn’t need that I had 400 hours with Paul (and knew I was going to continue).
What I wanted was the Yoga therapy program, but at the time I was doing my education with student loans and although the 200 and 500 were available for student loans, for some reason, their longer, more expensive one (the 800-hour) wasn’t at the time when I first moved here.
So I reached out to them and sent an email saying, Hey, I’m just wondering why it isn’t covered. I would be so in.
So that was when I first moved here. Fast forward, I’m now, I’ve been studying Chinese medicine for a couple of years. I’m starting to go, oh, I don’t know about this. So my first sign, (remember I asked the universe for signs). I had an intuition when I was crying into my textbooks before exams.
I took a break and I thought, let’s just go check out that Yoga therapy college again. I thought maybe even if it’s not available with student loans, they have grants or bursaries or there’s work trade like maybe there’s another way that I could get a discount on this or get a scholarship or something.
And I landed on their website and they said, there was a we’re pleased to announce that our 800 hour is now available with student loans.
Sign number one.
Thank you universe. However, it was only at the time available with BC student loans and I needed Alberta student loans.
For the Americans: Alberta is a province. BC is a province (kind of like your state). And so. Student loans are provincial.
I thought, well, that sucks. But then I thought, well, maybe Alberta student loans would cover it. So I reached out to Alberta student loans and just sent an email saying, Hey, there’s this school I’d like to go to. They’re covered with BC student loans. I’m just wondering if there’s a way to cover it with an Alberta student loan.
And she said, oh, yeah, you just have to send an email to this email and it was the designation branch and give them some details of the program, contact information, and they’ll look into it and decide whether or not it’ll be covered.
I was like, awesome. So I did that.
I sent the email.
Remember, I asked for signs several because I need several. The first sign was. Bingo. You can use student loans for the program now.
Sign Number Two. I emailed Alberta student loans and within 24 hours I heard back from a government agency that yes, in fact, they could designate it, and it could be covered.
And I was so uncertain. My head was still having trouble adjusting to this information cuz it seemed so easy and so fast that I responded to the email by saying, just to be clear, you’re telling me that if I apply for student loans for this college, this Yoga therapy college, that they are covered? And she said, yes.
So there was sign number two.
Then I’m in T&T I’m taking my Chinese medicine training still. I’m needling. I’m going, ah hmm. This does not excite me. This does not pull my soul. I do not feel on purpose with this needle between me and my student. Dammit.
So that was sign number three.
Sign number four, (because it takes a lot of them for me), was that I thought, I’m just gonna apply to that Yoga therapy college and just see how that goes.
And I applied and again, heard back within less than 24 hours that I was accepted. And they were very happy to have me join the program. And so that’s what I did. I stopped taking Chinese medicine.
I went as deep into Chinese medicine as you can before all of the courses are related to actually using needles and doing acupuncture.
So I took all of the foundational stuff and went as deep as I could without needling. I even took some of them a couple of times. Qigong and the medical Qigong and tuina. I actually took those twice because I loved them so much.
But then I just, that was as far as I could go if I didn’t want a needle.
So I stopped.
I started studying at the Yoga Therapy College. But while I was there, I still took a couple more courses at Pacific Rim, specifically some biomedical stuff.
I was taking some biomedical/ science courses because, as a Yoga teacher, really hard to study those things in depth in yoga teacher training.
So I started on the weekends taking my Yoga therapy certification. I did that for about the first six months when I was doing both.
That was insane. I do not recommend it, but I did it. I survived it, and then I continued on with my Yoga therapy training and graduated, got certified and became a Yoga therapist.
Partway into my Yoga therapy training, I finished the last 100 hours to get my 500-hour, Paul Grilley.
And then continued on with my Yoga therapy. One of the things that I mentioned to him in that training is that I was noticing a bit of a disconnect between my Yoga therapy training and some of my Yin training. Not in that Yin, couldn’t be therapeutic, the physical practice of it. But just like the language, the words and things that were being used. From a trauma-informed lens just wasn’t sitting right with me.
And I talked to Paul about it (Paul is incredibly open and humble and not at all attached to being dogmatic) and said, you know, I’m, I’m finding that some of the words are being problematic as I’m diving more into therapeutic Yoga. What do you think about this?
And he looked at me very matter-of-fact in a very Paul way and said: “Well, you should use whatever words work for you and your students.”
Just like that. And so, I started looking at the way that I could keep my love of yin, but make it therapeutic. When I took my trauma training in my Yoga therapy program, I was having a bit of a crisis of faith when I realized that I couldn’t make Yin Yoga trauma-sensitive.
Now I just wanna be very clear here. For those of you who think that trauma-informed and trauma-sensitive are the same thing, they’re not. Trauma sensitive, and I can get more into this in a future episode, has a very specific definition and it’s been defined by the trauma center.
So if you’re saying you’re a trauma-sensitive teacher that has been trademarked, you cannot say that unless you have gone through their program
So just to be clear, however, anybody who’s taken some trauma training can shift their teachings, and say that their classes are trauma-informed.
So that’s what I was struggling with. There’s no way by that center’s definition of trauma-sensitive, that Yin could be considered trauma-sensitive. And I was a Yoga therapist, but I loved Yin and I could see how much, amazing healing was happening from it.
And so I, I had a little bit of a dichotomy going on in my head, and I had to just sit with it and ask Paul questions and come up with new words. And then I realized that although Yin Yoga by the trauma center’s definition can’t be considered trauma-sensitive, it can be trauma-informed. And so I started looking at how to make this trauma-informed.
How can I make this practice therapeutic? How can I make it trauma-informed? And I did that throughout the whole rest of my Yoga therapy training.
I finished, I graduated, yay. I registered with the International Association of Yoga Therapists.
I had already been training teachers in Yin yoga way back when I was in Calgary, but I had been doing it in a one-on-one way, in a true apprenticeship model where a teacher would come to me and say, I really wanna learn more about Yin, I would mentor them.
So I would give them assigned reading books, and videos to watch. They would come to shadow my classes, and I would help them learn how to, better teach Yin, et cetera, et cetera.
So it was a very extensive but one-on-one experience. I had been doing that already in Calgary.
And then when I moved to Victoria and I graduated from the Yoga therapy program, now being a Yoga therapist and you know, highly trained in yin, I started merging these together and I ended up teaching at that Yoga therapy college for a few years, their yin Yoga module in their Yoga therapy diploma program.
Eventually, I also started creating my own therapeutic yin program.
I wasn’t, satisfied with just doing it through the yoga therapy college, because they have, a very specific way that they have to do things both for the International Association of Yoga Therapists, but also because they are a college, they have to run their classes in a certain way to be available for student loans.
And I really wanted to give the students so much more, a 20-hour module just felt to me like you were just barely grazing the yin surface. And they would always have so many questions that were way beyond the scope of what we could do in that small 20-hour training.
And so I built out my own teacher training program which is a Therapeutic Yin training, and I’ll talk more about that in another episode.
So that’s my professional background in a nutshell.
One more thing I wanna mention is that when I decided to quit studying TCM I realized that I loved medicine and I actually loved working hands-on with people. And I had had an experience at a free student clinic with medical Qigong, um, that I went to and I was blown away by how powerful that was.
It was even more powerful for me than some of the acupuncture treatments I’d had. And so I realized that that’s actually where I wanted to continue to study Medical Qigong. That I loved Chinese medicine. I love Taoism.
And that program was sort of the next journey for me. And then COVID happened. So it still will happen, but it has been kind of just put over here for now while we kind of rebuild, regroup, recoup from, you know, the last few years of insanity that we’ve had.
And who knows by the time you listen to this, if you’re not listening to this, shortly after it was recorded, I may already have been through that road by the time you hear this.
So that’s kind of me professionally. So if that’s all you’re interested in, you could just stop here.
From here on I’m gonna talk a little bit more about me, personally, just for those of you who might actually wanna know. And then the other thing I’m gonna do is there are some sort of, uh, questions, some soulful question prompts that, um, that I have, uh, that I’m gonna offer.
When I interview people, I’ll answer those myself as well. Okay, so here’s a bit more about me personally. So I already mentioned my name, Nyk Danu. I am a fiercely independent, Sagittarius. I’m a misfit, an introvert, a bookworm, a cat charmer, a crow whisperer, a Buddhist, a seeker of truth, a peaceful warrior, pro-activist who’s not so secretly out to save the world.
So the reason, one of the reasons I became a Yoga teacher is because I believe in Yoga’s healing power. And I believe that when you take a group of people collectively and you help them in their own healing, that then they go out and be better citizens and moms and daughters and dads and brothers and et cetera, et cetera, community members, how it spreads, right?
So that’s why, that’s why I’m doing this.
I am of Blackfoot and mixed European settler ancestry. Originally from Calgary, Alberta, as I mentioned, but I now live on Vancouver Island in Victoria, British Columbia with my beloved who at the time of this recording, we’ve been together for 25 years.
I value honesty.
I face my fears and I seek out adventure.
I am an activist through and through, and I’ve been an activist since before people even created the term social justice warrior. So just to be clear, I’m saying I’m an activist, not a social justice warrior.
When I was 14, I got driven home by the police from my very first solo protest in a grocery store in the tuna aisle holding up signs of bloody dolphins.
So you get the idea. So peace, the environment and animal welfare are at the top of my list. I have always been the type to stick up for the underdog, and I will never hesitate to champion a cause that is close to my heart.
I squeal for antiques, vintage clothing and music. I love spoken word poetry.
I love Philosophy, and shadowy poetry as well. I value meaningful in-depth conversations that open my mind to other people’s points of view and to new ideas.
So I’m all about hearing about diverse points of view and perspectives that may not be my own, so that I know that my opinion is actually based on hearing and knowing a whole bunch of information, um, before I make up my mind about things.
I bore easily with small-talk gossip. I have no space for it, no interest in it. When I’m not teaching a Yoga class or working with Yoga teachers, I’m likely curled up with a book or a podcast, maybe walking along the ocean, searching out for a quiet walk or a log to sit on and settle in when I feel the need to be entertained.
I like my entertainment with a s a heavy dose of geek. So when I watch stuff, it’s typically like Star Trek, anime, fantasy stuff, or is filled with superheroes.
I’m a true introvert. I definitely embrace solitude. I love people, and I need a good amount of time by myself to recharge after.
But when I do venture out into the busy world outside of teaching, you’re likely to find me treasure hunting at either a flea market or a thrift store, or maybe an estate sale or a vintage fair.
You can also spot me at tattoo conventions or comic book conventions. I love a good, uh, mineral or crystal show, and occasionally I’ve just gotta bust out the red lipstick, get all dolled up and head out in search of a good gig.
Love, love me some live music, some other little nuggets about me. Um, in the Myers-Briggs personality type, I am an INFJ, and I am a true INFJ which apparently is rare. We’re like 1.5% of the population, although I question that because I have a whole bunch of them around me.
So I wonder, am I just attracting INFJs or is that stat a little on the low side? Who knows?
I’m an empath.
I’m a highly sensitive person, and when I say a highly sensitive person, I’m talking about the actual definition of a highly sensitive person. I’m not talking about taking things personally.
In fact, I very much do not, but just energetically highly sensitive.
I’m neurodiverse, so I have ADD and also dysgraphia.
OK then let’s get into some of the questions that I will be asking my guests. So I thought it’s only fair if I answer them too.
Coffee or Tea?
Hmm. It depends both and yes, all of them. So, uh, I prefer matcha, generally speaking, if I’m looking for something caffeinated, although I definitely do still occasionally consume coffee. Mostly espresso in the form of lattes. That’s my coffee of choice. I also like a dirty chai, so if you’ve never heard of a dirty chai, that’s like a chai latte with a shot of espresso. Most of the time my caffeine is matcha or green tea. I also drink all kinds of other teas that aren’t caffeinated, but speaking of caffeine, those are my go-to’s. Matcha more than coffee, but still sometimes coffee. And the occasional dirty chai
Favourite ice cream flavour?
Hands down maple Praline, no question. That’s the one.
One thing people often get wrong about me?
I often have people say that I look tough or that I’m intimidating, but actually when you know me, I’m like the biggest softie with the biggest heart who’s easily moved to tears. So exactly the opposite of what some people say my outsides look like on the inside.
When I’m not practicing yoga, I am?
I already went through this, so you’ve already heard my list of fun things.
One weird fact about you?
There are probably tons of them, but one that I can think of right now is my partner will often laugh and say that I sit down and eat a bowl of pickles the way most people would eat a bowl of ice cream.
So I have a serious obsession and love for pickles. Only, dill only tangy, not sweet. No Gurkins or sweet pickles, just dill tangy pickles. My favourite ones of those are what they actually call hamburger pickles.
A pop culture vice?
Well, I mentioned a few of them already, but I would say Star Trek is probably the one that stands out the most. Now, to be clear, I’m not to the point where I have outfits and go to conventions. Although I would go to the conventions, but I can’t, just can’t be bothered with the outfit. But that’s mostly just a lack of organization and laziness on my part. So I love Star Trek, starting with the OG first, then the Next Generation. Then my next favorite would be Deep Space Nine. And then I like, I like some of the newer ones a little bit, not as much.
What the world needs now?
What the world needs now is love. It’s always love. Almost every problem that I look at in the world could be fixed with love. If we truly just looked at each other and saw ourselves in others. If we paused and asked the question before we acted, what would love to do? The world would change?
So what the world needs now is love.
One thing I wish people knew about Yin Yoga?
It’s really hard for me to answer that with just one thing cuz I’m a total Yin Yoga geek. So I’ll do two. I’ll do one for the general public and I’ll do one for teachers.
So for teachers, what I wish teachers knew about Yin Yoga, and I hear the stereotype all the time, is that Yin Yoga isn’t just like air quotes, ‘regular Yoga’, but with longer holds.
When you say that you really don’t understand Yin Yoga, anyone who’s done any kind of Yin Yoga study knows that there’s a whole depth of knowledge and skillset that is required to skillfully and beautifully teach this practice. And it is not as simple as, oh, yin’s just like regular Yoga with longer hold.
For the general public. I wish that they would understand that, although Yin Yoga is very simple, it’s not easy. So sometimes students come to a Yin Yoga class because they think it’s gentle or easy.
And if you define gentle as I’m not doing handstands. I’m not breaking a sweat, I’m not standing around at one foot. I’m not strengthening my core. Then I guess you could say it’s gentle. But what I think students aren’t prepared for often when they first come to a yin class is the mental and emotional aspect of holding these poses for a long time in some relative quiet.
And so this again, comes to being a skilled teacher. If when New Yin students come in, if you can kind of just give them a brief synopsis of how yin is different and how it affects the mind and things like that, that can make that transition a lot smoother. But I think that oftentimes people stroll in thinking, oh, it’s my off day from the gym, so I’ll just do Yin.
They may have great physical practice for sure, but they’re not prepared for the mental-emotional aspect because yin is like a meditative form of Yoga. So that’s something I wish more people knew that were Yoga students.
And then the last question is, is there anything else I forgot to ask you, you would like to add?
Well, I would say if you’ve made it this far, dear listener, you are interested in studying with me more, taking my Yin teacher training module then getting on the waitlist which you can do at the top of this post in my picture or below.
When registration opens I first, send out an email to the people on the waitlist with, the registration details before I put it out on social media, I send it out to the people on the waitlist.
Also, at the time of this recording, there’s an early registration discount where the first five people get a discount.
And that is only available when you sign up for my Yin Yoga Teacher training wait list.
Also when you sign up for that, I’ll still be sending you little nuggets of information about these podcast episodes, podcasts I’ve been on, or videos I’ve made for you little sneak peeks behind the curtain of the training.
If you’re listening to this and you’re not a Yoga teacher, wow, that’s amazing that you’ve made it this far.
You must be a real ‘yinny’ (Yin Yoga Lover). And if that’s the case I have Yin Yoga Zoom classes so if you’re a Yoga student, not a teacher, and you’d like to take some yin classes with me.
Okay. I think that is more than enough talking about me, thank you for your time and I’ll talk to you in the next episode.
Bye for now.