Skillful Means Podcast
#14 Yin Yoga for the Physical Body (Part 2)
Mar 12, 2020 · 37 min
Play episode

Continuing the conversation on how Yin Yoga affects the physical body, Jen and Sarah Jane talk about the physical benefits of the practice, immediately zeroing in on the elephant in the room: the edge.

What is it? Why is it important? Is it safe to spend time there? How might we describe it to students so they can safely encounter it, so they can find their sweet spot?

In the course of this discussion Jen coins a phrase: ujayii bypassing. If you don’t immediately have an idea what that might be, you might be doing it, and missing out on an important aspect of yin yoga asana practice: feeling.

No discussion of yin yoga would be complete without delving into sensation and the practitioner's attitude or relationship to it. And what about pain? Is it possible for a practice to help us redefine or diminish it?

Jen thinks Gate Control Theory may be at play in the way in which yin yoga asana minimizes her back pain. Sarah Jane muses whether yin yoga could have made her stronger. (More likely it improved her proprioception.)

Finally, Jen and Sarah Jane wend their way toward the healing effects of embodiment practices on trauma and body image, and how well suited yin yoga poses are to this work.


Not Too Much and Not Too Little,” an article in which Bernie Clark explains the “Goldilocks position” 

Gate Control Theory and the Brain,” a recent article on Very Well Mind 

The Neurobiology of Pain and Yoga as its Medicine an article on helping students reframe their relationship to painful sensation using internal methods and asana.

Enhancing Proprioception and Interoception in Yoga, Jen offers some practical advice for yin and yang teachers.

Overcome Trauma with Yoga (video) from Bessel van der Kolk on KripaluVideo

How Yoga Helps Heal Trauma: A Q&A with Bessel van der Kolk” on

Center for Trauma Embodiment and Trauma of the Justice Resource Institute is the epicenter of trauma-sensitive yoga and yoga teacher training

Paper from David Emerson et al. that codified principles of trauma-sensitive yoga, which Sarah Jane incorporates into her yin yoga instruction

Yoga, Body Image, and Self-Acceptance: A Review of Yoga & Body Image” in Yoga International by Jennifer Mattson

Body Positive Yoga with Amber Karnes

Dianne Bondy Yoga is For Everybody

Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu