Last month i was in London to train with Norman Blair. I completed a 5 day / 30hour Yin Yoga teacher training course with him and 4 other teachers who came to share their expertise with us. Overall it was truly a enriching experience. I feel like my mind and body were both equally exercised and rested. It is unusual for me to choose to train with a man, as i prefer the more sensitive, nurturing approach which often comes from a woman. I must say training with Norman was a pleasant surprise, he is a truly sensitive and caring individual, and i’m very happy to have chosen him for this training. I love that he has selected other teachers to assist him on this course, people who have great passion in their areas of expertise. It was also nice to have different voices to listen to during the course of the week.
Norman’s yoga drug of choice is both Yin and Ashtanga Yoga. I love that he balances his own personal practice with both Yin and Yang. He also teaches both Yin and Ashtanga. He encourages integrating a yang practice into your life, as it is equally important as Yin.
Strive for balance, a personal motto i try to follow as much as possible.
Maybe i should explain what is Yin Yoga. Yin is a slow, mindful and meditative practice. I find it to be a very personal practice where you are encouraged to really listen to your body, this is much easier to do than in some other types of yoga as you stay in the shapes for anything between 3 to 10 minutes, so you really have the time to listen to what your body needs and wants. It is best practiced when the muscles are cold, so in the morning is a good time to practice yin, and preferably before a yang activity. The yin opens up the body and prepares it for the yang. You concentrate on the lower parts of the body, but saying that arms can be integrated into the shapes so that the upper meridians are also stimulated.
Yin yoga is more that just about opening and creating space within the body, you are also energising the meridians. The meridians are channels / paths which are found in the body where life-energy know as « qi » flows. This concept comes from Chinese medicine. In other types of yoga meridians are referred to as nadis which is a concept that comes from Indian medicine. Prana / life-energy flows through the nadis. This a quite a big subject, not the easiest to explain or to see or feel.
I so loved that week of training, everything about it was great, even the journey there in the morning was a pleasure. Norman like to tell stories, he’s stories are very entertaining and lighthearted. He shares his knowledge and wisdom in such a wonderful way. He’s a very special teacher!
Norman also runs a advanced 8 day Yin training where you delve even deeper into the world of Yin yoga and it’s possibilities. Perhaps one day i will return for that!
To add to his list of talents he also loves to write. He has written a beautiful book called « Brightening our inner skies, Yin and Yoga », which i spent my lazy summer reading on the hammock.