Today I took my 12 year old niece to a Yin Yoga Flow class at Devotion Yoga in Hoboken.  While we have done yoga together at home, she had never taken a formal class before.  This was the first time I had taken a Yin Yoga class and it was perfect for both of us because while there were some elements of vinyasa flow, most of the class was about stillness with lots of yummy stretching and resting in poses.

When I researched yin yoga, I found that it differs from traditional yang yoga, which emphasize the movement of muscles, in that the focus is more internal.  Yin yoga relaxes the muscles by a deep stretching of the connective tissues and restores the range of motion in the joints.  The class was very relaxing and holding the poses allowed for more self-exploration and discovery.

My niece followed along with the rest of the class and was very attentive to every pose.  She seemed to enjoy resting in the poses and got the benefits of hand on adjustments from both myself and our instructor.  During a very long reclining spinal twist, the instructor came over to me and whispered that it was not easy for a young girl to be still and that she was doing great.  I am happy that I could share this experience with my niece and that she was receptive to it.  I want her to grow up knowing that she can find that peace and stillness within.  In the midst of all the activity that young people face in their busy lives, it is important for them to cultivate a sense of inner peace that you can always return to when things are chaotic or confusing.

As for myself, I am finding that the more I explore different styles of yoga, the more I discover about myself and deepen my practice.  Yoga is not always about movement and asanas, it is sometimes about the stillness.