Yin Yoga: Country StyleThe Mane Intent
Cait Lynch serves up yin yoga — country style. What a treat it is. Earlier this year, I participated in a yin yoga class hosted by Cait in her beautiful century barn near Warkworth in Northumberland Hills. Entering into this sacred space on a very hot day, I was treated to a sensory experience featuring the deep sound of cello music, a warm wind, fresh air, and a cozy cat that knew no boundaries. I was also treated to Cait’s expertise as a fitness and nutrition coach.
Cait skillfully and gently guided us through a series of yin yoga poses that invited us to clear our minds, open our hearts and be grateful. Yin yoga is a slower paced type of yoga with each posture being held for a period of time. It’s intended to increase flexibility but it also boasts benefits for those of us whose story includes trauma. Trauma is held in our bodies. It sticks to the very cells and connective tissues that hold our bones together and keep our internal organs in place.
The human nervous system depends on our autonomic nervous system to help us stay balanced and safe. It also controls our survival response of fight, flight, freeze (and appease) to threat and stress. If a traumatic event or chronic stress has us stuck in a survival response, then we often suffer from high blood pressure, sleep issues, irregular breathing, addiction, digestive issues or chronic fatigue. Emotions shaping and defining this story of trauma are held deep in our body. Our muscles and the cells that support our connective tissues also hold on to this stress, energy and difficult memories.
When we engage in yin yoga, we are invited to stretch our muscles out and hold the pose, while calming our nervous system and practicing self-care. It’s an opportunity slow down our brain chatter and immerse ourselves in sensations resident in our bodies. Yin yoga can help us move to place of presence, gratitude and calm.
Lying on the boards of Cait’s beautiful old barn, gently guided by the sound of her voice and moved by classical music and a chorus of birds around me, I found myself present with my own river of emotion flowing just below the surface. I witnessed what bubbled up. What bubbled up was a deep sense of gratitude for Cait’s gift and the fitness and nutrition experiences she offers to our community.
Cait and I share a number of interests: horses, coaching, writing and wellness. We also appreciate the symbolism of Rosie the Riveter, a poster that represents feminism and women’s economic advantage. It’s an image that adorns my office wall and one prominently featured in her barn.
In 2000, Cait contracted Lyme Disease. In 2003, she shifted her focus from training horses and riders to wellness. Today, she describes herself as a nutrition, fitness and equestrian coach, operating Custom Fit Vitality from her spacious and open century barn that boasts a beautiful panoramic view of the countryside.
Cait has published a book titled Nourish that “asks you to dig deeper into your health and wellness puzzle, helping you discover answers to essential health questions.” Cait also hosts The Point Is, a podcast with Laureen Pardington, a yoga instructor and wellness enthusiast. You can find it here.
About the Author: Jennifer Garland is the Owner/Program Director of The Mane Intent, offering Health and Wellness Workshops and Individual and Team Effectiveness Coaching. Jennifer’s intent is to bring horses, donkeys and humans together to explore new possibilities and find new meaning in lived experience. Learn more about Jennifer’s corporate experience, lectures, awards and publications, here
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