I’d been looking forward to Yin Yoga class tonight. I have found, since starting to bike so much, that I am not all that interested in the more physical yoga classes, I’m looking for the ones that are either primarily meditative or…yin.

Yin is hard to explain, really. If you saw us in yin class, you’d think that we were either passed out/sleeping, or just hanging about in weird positions. And you’d probably wonder what the point is, since it doesn’t look like we’re doing anything.

But see, that’s what yin is all about. It isn’t about the power, about active positions, it is all about letting gravity work on a posture that you relax into and stay in for 5 or more minutes. And it is amazing what it does. There is a saying in yin yoga…be one with the pain. I think Rich can attest to both the surprising amount of “stuff” that happens when we’re doing nothing but slumping (one of the common “poses”), as well as the surprising amount of benefit we feel after. (I dragged him to a yin class last time he was visiting.)

I always feel better after a yin class. Physically and mentally. The first posture is usually tough, the mind spins and spins. By the end, I find it easy to lay there in a twist, or in whatever passive pose we’re in, primarily just noting my body’s responses, doing periodic body scans to see if I’m holding tension anywhere and can release it. And then when class is over, I can never believe that an hour and fifteen minutes just went by. As one of my classmates said after tonight’s class, “I always feel drugged at the end of yin!”

Our teacher asked us tonight to share the peace, if we can. So that’s what this post is an attempt to do. Sharing my experience in yin class tonight, and encouraging everyone to make a space in their life where they can be still, let their mind be still. It doesn’t have to be yoga, it doesn’t have to be an hour, it can be five minutes doing anything. The important part is to take care of ourselves, and part of that is to make space in our lives for quiet.

It isn’t always easy; modern life is filled with appointments and plans and rushing here and there. Everyone in our lives expects instant access to us via email and cell phones, and if you have kids the craziness compounds. And it is the christian holiday season to boot, which means more plans than normal, worse traffic, more obligations…

So, despite it all, find that space, that quiet, that peace. Take a bath, get a pedicure, breathe deeply while you watch your kids sleep. Whatever it is, do that for yourself.