“Here’s Why I’m Suddenly Totally Obsessed With Yin Yoga”

Can't I just stay a beginner forever?


Susan Barrett |

I’ve never fancied yoga. I mean, why would you put yourself into a position that makes awkward expulsion of air more likely? On purpose?! So yeah… Not exactly a 40-year-old with digestive issues’ cup a tea. That is, until I stumbled largely unwittingly into a yin yoga class at myUTOPIA Premium Boutique Lifestyle Centre…

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Yoga blocks, like this bamboo one, are a great tool if you need support during poses.

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It happened to be my first sesh at myUTOPIA (check them out on Insta) – Sage Yogi Colleague Amy Hopkins recommended yin as a superb beginner class. She was not wrong. Because now, while I do want to sample the gazillion other cool classes myUTOPIA has on offer (everything from chilled kundalini to power yoga), I haven’t been able to stop myself from slinking back to the same yin yoga mat I started on. I’m kinda obsessed. Here’s why…

It’s soooooooooo slow

But, like, sloth slow. Your instructor gently guides you through each pose, which you hold for anything from 45 seconds to two minutes. The reason for this delicious delay is this: by holding a deep floor stretch for longer, you can access the tendons, ligaments and deep fascia (connective tissue that envelops your bones, muscles and organs, helping you to maintain posture, control body position and make smooth, coordinated movements). The result: increased circulation in the joints, improved flexibility and a seriously seductive sense of wellbeing.

READ MORE: “I Did A Naked Yoga Class – And This Is What It Was Really Like”

May I also mention that both instructors I’ve had the pleasure of dissolving into the floor with (Tanya Shields and Lexi Bosman) have the most dreamy voices. Ever. How is this possible? Sorry – I now realise it’s better not to ask questions during yin. It’s more about accepting everything exactly as it is. Being okay in the world. Being so still in the moment you can legit feel your spirit animal snuggling into your armpit. (I swear I spooned with mine on Tuesday.)

So it’s ideal for beginners…

This is me looking like I just drank all the wine after my very first yin yoga class. I knew then what I still know now: I want to stay a beginner forever. But the pros should definitely try it too. You’ll just hold the poses for longer – up to five minutes or more.

Because it basically puts you in a trance

I’m suddenly convinced that I would be an excellent candidate for a cult. (I am not implying that yoga is a cult – just that yin has that lovely dazy thing about it that makes you believe… in the world again, obvs, not Manson.) For one perfect hour in your day you can actually feel at peace. Between traffic and deadlines and exiting Pick n Pay without the one thing you actually went in for, you get to have 60 uninterrupted minutes of pure unadulterated me-time sans expectations from anybody or anything. And that, my friends, is worth more than a yoga studio membership will cost you.

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I find a yoga strap allows me to get MUCH deeper into poses. Highly recommended for beginners.

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You also won’t want to shout at your boyfriend for that small mistake he made anymore…

PMSing hard and upset with my bf for making me think he was dead (actually, his cellphone just lost signal… and yes, I realise I am that girl) I almost skipped a yin class. But I went. And it made all the difference. The release of tension was so profound that when next we spoke on the phone (immediately after class, as luck would have it), instead of being self-righteous and snippy, I blurted out how happy I was with today, declared to the entire parking lot how much I liked him and floated all the way back to the office, phone to ear, giggling like a schoolgirl.

READ MORE: “I’ve Only Been Doing Pilates For A Month – And Discovered This Incredible Sex Benefit”

Because it was a small, insignificant mistake. Not worth hurting my body – and relationship – over. And there is soooooooo much more happiness to access in this world, right? Right??? I’ve got my zen badge now – and, trust me, I intend to wear it.

Keen to give yin a go?

You don’t need to bring anything except yourself in your fave lycra – myUTOPIA provides everything else for you. PS: They also offer Pilates – which I really rate. Visit the myUTOPIA website to check out their schedule, email journey@myutopia.co.za or call 021 202 2271 or 079 959 4491. They’re situated on the 1st Floor, The Cruise Terminal, Dock Road, V&A Waterfront. You won’t regret it.

READ MORE ON: Fitness Fitness Advice Yoga