Yin Yoga & Meditation Immersion

Review Date - 2011-11-07

Ann-Marie Ahye has come to share her special gifts and teaching with us on Vancouver Island for the past three years. Her approach is quite different than the yoga that most of us practice here. Ann-Marie guides us to self knowledge from the yin or yielding perspective. We open to grace by staying with the feeling tone and the sensate body. Usually we attempt poses (asana) with a positive attitude and we try our very best to succeed and go farther in a pose. Here we let the trying drop away and we deepen our practice from an attitude of true acceptance.

For the western trained mind and body there is an inclination to work harder and not become lazy. We take this belief system to our yoga mats and into most everything that we do. Sometimes it is to our own detriment that we expect so much of ourselves and cannot spend time with ourselves without demanding that we progress towards some ideal. In a culture which is dying from the amount of stress that we are putting on  ourselves and expecting of others, we need a practice like the Yin approach to balance our hyper-stress tendencies.

Ann-Marie speaks to the direct experience of emotions, which when brought to light can be overwhelming and frightening, but which is the portal to emotional maturity. If we repress our emotions or leave them unacknowledged we will remain unrefined in our spiritual development.

The natural cycle of things is to come into being, have their due and then die. We deny our feelings for many reasons, often just to survive our childhood experiences, and then become caught in a habit of suppression of our emotions. The natural intensity of feeling will, as it arises, begin to wither and die as organically as it began. Ann-Marie holds a space and time for us to feel these emotions. If we can meet the sensation and let our emotions run through our bodies then we may have a moment to choose to respond instead of react.

As Ann-Marie says, "Working with the body of sensation creates a long term clearing."

- Kim LeDuc

I spent this past weekend (Oct. 28-30/2011) immersed in Ann-Marie Ahye's diverse yinyoga workshop at Yoga Weyr. The practices includes postures, breathing techniques, dialogue, meditation and chanting. 

Ann-Marie is a delightful person and a powerful teacher. It was a joy to witness her sense of presence and here-ness - in her body, in her connection to others, and in life.

Each pose in this workshop was held for up to 5 minutes, allowing one the opportunity and time to connect with one's self, through awareness and breath. We were guided into approaching the edge or first layer of our held, rigid areas and to observe our emotions - such as anxiety, frustration, impatience, agitation - that surfaced with curious and exploring minds. We were reminded over and over to use various supporting breathing practices along with the feeling of "emptying" to help us release physical tightnesses and emotional responses.

In relinquishing the need to try to get somewhere in the pose and create a certain response, and in feeling and embracing physical and emotional sensations, I found that releases occurred in a natural, organic manner. This happened in easeful micro-moves throughout the body, resulting in a wondrous feeling of openness and lightness of being. Throughout this workshop, what amazed me most was that in letting go of forcing, achieving, and striving to get somewhere, easeful shifts and new alignings occurred spontaneously and naturally.

The practice of yin yoga for me is a way to learn how to live my life in my body and my mind in an easeful, serene manner. This ease is an end to suffering, and for this I feel much gratitude and joy.

- Regina Wende


For more information on Ann-Marie Ahye's work look to her website:

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