Yin Yoga: A Rest and Digest Practice Video
Yin Yoga: A Rest and Digest Practice

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Yin Yoga: A Rest and Digest Practice

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In this Yin Yoga studio session with Bernie Clark, we will discuss the difference between the sympathetic nervous system, also known as the “fight or flight” system, and the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the “rest & digest” system. Bernie will discuss how to activate the parasympathetic and turn off the sympathetic systems; a critical component in our Western culture which is very yang-like: full of stress, burn-out and depletion. This practice will explore how to use yoga and breath to turn off the stress and start to rest and recharge the body. The entire practice is done close to the ground, so no yoga mat is required, you just need some space to spread out. The postures will be simple and accessible to everyone, but this does not mean that the practice will be easy; there will be some challenging moments.


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McLaren, posted on February 20, 2016

A wonderful practice by Bernie Clark. Gaiam TV, I would love to see new videos posted by Bernie.

ellenmccallum, posted on August 28, 2015

This is a great class and Bernies insights into the breath were clear and powerful - I'm sure they will stay with me and help in moments when I want to switch off my stress response - good laughs too!

celiaa07, posted on May 22, 2015

This class has some deep holds and is very accessible, the instruction throughout is nice and informative.

Platties, posted on December 22, 2014

I come back to this one again and again. I've been fortunate enough to take Bernie's class many times and in this very studio. This feels like home. It's so much nicer (to me) to experience this online and in the studio setting where it's so natural with the sighs and the chuckles and the groans - it's perfect. I do enjoy the sessions with just Bernie as well, but it's in among people where he shines brightest.

debohara, posted on October 28, 2014

Wow, loved this class. Two weeks ago I sarted a new job that involved a lot of pressure to learn a lot of information fast. I was so busy and my practice sessions were only 15 minutes…better then nothing. Today I finally had a day off and this Yin practice called to me. I was amazed at the amount of stress that ooozed out of my joints like clouds. I feel so much better. Thanks for this class. I want to practice at least once a week. Namaste.

bernieclark, posted on January 20, 2014

@yoga4all See you very soon!

yoga4all, posted on January 20, 2014

My favourite of all the yin classes you lead on-line Bernie! So excited to be coming in Feb. to study with you.

dwp31, posted on January 8, 2014

Great Relaxing practice. Perfect for the end of the day. Also nice to do once every two weeks. Feel great after this practice

energiayoga, posted on December 19, 2013

Wow. Amazing. Great to do once a month. Loved it!

IrinkaYoga, posted on December 4, 2013

thinking of adding about 10 minutes of yin yoga to a Vinyasa class - would you recommend to do it in the beginning to trigger more relaxed practice, or at the end of the class?

katierz, posted on December 4, 2013

Loved the class. After moving all weekend my body needed to release and relax. Hopefully this got a few kinks out! The information you give while in the poses really helps to understand how the practice effects the body, love it!

lm2, posted on August 25, 2013

love the deep relaxation brought on through this practice. thank you!

bernieclark, posted on August 15, 2013

@bonniekayser You are welcome! It is great to know that you plan to spread the knowledge. Cheers, Bernie

bonniekayser, posted on August 15, 2013

Not only is this practice healing for body, mind and spirit, it is also rich with information on the physiological effects of yin yoga. I'm looking forward to bringing this understanding to my own teaching practice as a high school art teacher. Thank you!

saljawood, posted on April 6, 2013

Another great class with Bernie. Lucky Vancouver students...

racheldubois, posted on March 31, 2013

Fantastic yin yoga practice for me and my husband both. We do yin yoga together every single night. Please do more videos Bernie!

sunnylion, posted on February 11, 2013

This was such a wonderful, informative and restorative class! I'm really falling in love with Yin yoga! Thank you.

skodimer, posted on February 11, 2013

fastest 78 minutes ever. This is the second class I took with you. I am becoming more aware of how I clench my muscles and this is helping me in my Ashtanga practice. This is a wonderful practice.

vavava, posted on January 31, 2013

This an amazing discovery. Stress just melt away. Thank u bernie, for this wonderful practice that opens a new universe for me

angela_2, posted on December 18, 2012

I've been experiencing left hip pain for about a year now. I do short sessions of yin yoga with you Bernie as often as I can. If I can do it 3 or 4 days running, all pain is gone. Today the first 30 minutes of this class helped me immensely. I'm a big fan and mostly just do Yin yoga these days cause it feels so good! Thanks for all you do, Bernie!

SunshineYogini, posted on November 21, 2012

I really enjoyed this class, I really love all of the science info, so soothing. I also really like the use of a bolster under the elbows in sphinx which I haven't come across before. Shame the video kept cutting out,

mochi227, posted on August 27, 2012

Wonderful class Bernie, thank you! I love your clear instruction, your awesome stories and bits & pieces from scientific studies (GABA, sherpas!), and your soothing tone of voice. I also love your writings and feel Yinsights should be required reading for ALL teachers, not just yin teachers! I hadn't practiced yin in quite some time and this class was challenging for me, especially the half happy babies and the loooong held full happy baby. Really enjoyed the half-virasana options after the spinal twist too. Thanks so much for all you do, Bernie! Namaste.

bernieclark, posted on August 11, 2012

Vancouver would welcome you at any time! Hope you continue to enjoy some Yin. Cheers, Bernie

yoga4all, posted on August 11, 2012

Wow I'm not a big fan of yin yoga but I loved this. I felt that I was being nurtured and educated on so many levels. Loved the lesson about yin/yang muscles and sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system - all while we were holding deep poses. Yet full permission given to come out early and do one's own thing. Bernie is a master. 22 years into my practice and it's so great to find a teacher I can really learn and grow with. I might just have to trek from NS to Vancouver to study with you Bernie!

bernieclark, posted on June 28, 2012

Happy to try to answer your question: can you tell me what time in the video you are asking about (so I don't have to scroll through the whole thing)? Thanks!

Redhotyogi, posted on June 28, 2012

Absolutely love this class. I love the explanations which Bernie provides and the way in which is leaves me relaxed. One thing I couldn't understand however was exactly where to play my legs in the position after the first windshield wipers....can you provide some clarity please? I couldn't really see the class participants well enough to figure it out so ended up in kind of a swastika/Isle of Man flag type position

bernieclark, posted on June 14, 2012

Hi - sorry for the delay in responding (I was out of the country for several weeks). Of course you are right to come out of the pose if you begin to feel any pain, but what if the pain happens after the pose? We have to be diligent and be aware of pains in our body even after a yoga class. If you feel something later, try to think back to what you might have been doing that may be contributing to the current discomfort. If you can create a correlation, then start to avoid the movements during your practice.

In your specific example, you are referring to the bent knee that is pointing straight to the back of the mat: options to avoid any pain in the knee include 1) don't rest the opposite ankle on the knee (thus reducing the stress) or 2) put a block or some support under that knee. The targeted area here is the thigh, so as long as you feel something there, it is okay to support the knee with blankets or a bolster or whatever you have handy (pillows). If you continue to feel a pain in the kneecap, best to skip this pose or do a sitting windshield wiper version.

I hope this helps.

, posted on June 7, 2012

I have a question about the pose where we start on our backs doing windshield wipers, then direct one knee down the middle, while placing the opposite ankle on the knee. You mention that we shouldn't be feeling any sensation in that bent knee pointing down the middle. In my case, the knee feels fine going into the pose and holding the pose but whe I start to come out of the pose I feel a tweaking in the kneecap that subsides pretty quickly. It feels like a strain on the tendon. If this hurt going into the pose or during the pose I'd know I need to come out of the pose. But if the sensation occurs only upon releasing the pose, is this also a concern? Is there a way I can modify the pose to take that stress out of the knee?


Candied, posted on April 5, 2012

Bernie, thank you for sharing what you know. My hips haven't felt like this in years! I've found my teacher! Loved this one.

Bluus, posted on February 27, 2012

Loved the class, did not love how the video kept cutting out! As always though, Bernie's classes are a joy

purezinha, posted on September 21, 2011

Love Bernie's classes, wish there were more of them !

AUM, posted on June 26, 2011

I really love Bernie. His classes have given me a deep appreciation and love for yin yoga. I feel that his talking helps, because he provides insight and knowledge about what we are presently doing in the practice. Love, love, love it. I feel my breath is so deep and has spread throughout every bit of my body.

spaceykatie, posted on May 30, 2011

This certainly does not work for my ADD. But I'm glad for those who can find your edge here!

DebbyJenkins, posted on May 22, 2011

Absolutely loved it. Especially loved the information given during long holds of poses. Really learned a lot and made the time fly by

Moondeva, posted on May 21, 2011

I love the practice but please, the incessant talking makes it not so relaxing for me.

Umit, posted on January 24, 2011

Thank you so much! Such a wonderful class!

andrewpoff, posted on January 19, 2011

I'm a beginner and thought this was an absolutely amazing session. I felt great afterwards and the whole next day. I'm still focusing on my breathing, even when sitting around at work.

tower4pe, posted on January 13, 2011

I also cannot view this...there are a few others that do not load as well...please help?

Robin.T.H, posted on January 11, 2011

Have been trying to do this practice and am just not able to download, too many pauses, maybe not a good Internet signal! The parts I do receive the sound is just too low, with full volume on computer and video was still unable to hear Bernie. Love Bernie's videos....would these problems be solved if I purchased the vidoe?

shajorah, posted on January 11, 2011

Thank you so very much for this hip opening class. I am working through an injury that prevents me from doing any hip opening standing poses and this yin practice was perfect!!!

blacksheep2020, posted on January 11, 2011

as ever loved it bernie!, your great. give me more, more, more.

cindyjf, posted on January 9, 2011

i\'m really enjoying this style of video. The poses feel great, and i especially like the options to go further or step back. you really help to remind me (us) to listen to our bodies. thanks!

TracyLeigh, posted on January 5, 2011

Thank you so much for this wonderful practice ... exactly what I needed.

GENNETS, posted on August 12, 2014

Feels like homecoming - coming home to self within. Great balance of guidance explanation n encouragement. It will be a practice set I will use often.

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