One of the best things about winter is wearing fluffy socks and doing some Yin Yoga… and you can enjoy both (and more) in Sarah Manning’s Winter Yin IYTA Workshop.
When I caught up with Sarah to chat about her upcoming three-hour workshop In July, she had just begun a four-week adventure on her new boat in Europe.
We chatted as she sat in an internet café in Maastricht. It’s a welcome trip for Sarah, who normally resides in Singapore and has (like the rest of us) been holed up for the past couple of years.
And she’ll be back just in time to teach Winter Yin on Sunday, July 10 – live and online for the IYTA.
As I sit shivering in Sydney and Sarah swelters in Holland, she explains that warm socks are an essential part of staying healthy and balanced through the winter.
“The kidney meridian starts at the base of the foot, with the Kidney 1 acupressure point (also called Bubbling Spring), if you are walking around with bare feet on a concrete floor, you are inviting cold into your system. So you should be keeping kidney 1 warm – and wearing those warm, fluffy socks!”
Sarah’s class is all about creating balance through the elements. Because in Singapore there are no distinct seasons, Sarah tends to focus her classes on the five elements.
She also likes to incorporate the Vayus – the movement of energy through the body – water (winter element) is a descending and cooling energy, Wood (spring) is expansive, fire (summer) is ascending, earth (late summer) is stability and metal (autumn) is inward and condensing.
Sarah adds: “The Chinese meridians are sensitive to seasons, so the Daoist believe the universe around us is a complete story of something in nature that is constantly changing and moving towards (in)balance and take that same concept into the body.
“The body too is constantly in flux and stimulated by outside influences particularly vibrations and seasons and if you imagine the weather comes in and creates flood – we have an excess of something or sometimes a deficit and drought.”
The element for winter is water, which is sensitive to cold – and Winter Yin works with the kidney and urinary bladder meridians.
“Cold creates stagnation and pain,” says Sarah.
“And when we are looking at winter, we are looking at fear as the driving emotion. For example, if a trauma happens to you, that creates fear and it will affect the flow of the energy in kidney and urinary bladder.”
This coldness results in stagnation and stagnation often causes pain. This could manifest as menstrual or back pain – and Sarah says the way to counteract this is to create movement and warmth.
Sarah’s Winter Yin workshop will follow the format of her previous IYTA seasonal workshops – with around 45 minutes of Power Point presentation, followed by a practice with discussion and feedback time – an opportunity to reinforce the eight pre-existing conditions that make being a yin teacher challenging, such as: stimulating the connective tissue of the joints, how to accommodate people with bad knees, neck, back, shoulder problems, hypermobility and pre and post-natal students.
As we finish our chat, Sarah heads back to the boat – to teach a Zoom class! Covid has meant that she now has a regular Zoom schedule of classes – and she’s still teaching two a week while on holiday.
She adds: “I was lucky working with a small studio that pushed immediately into online classes and it pushed me to use technology that I wasn’t so comfortable with. It a gift as I now teach a lot of classes online.” Sarah has even created an online fertility yoga program called Be Natural – a 30-day fertility yoga program tailored to help women focus on their stage of ovulation and Ayurvedic dosha.
Sign up to Sarah’s Yin Yoga Teacher Training!
And Sarah’s running a live Yin Yoga online training program which is being run with IYTA. For more information on this please click here.