Yin & Yang Yoga

Course Description: “I would be the type of person, I would spend some time on the beach, and I knew I was there because I saw my foot prints, or else I would not have known I was there. Yoga grounded me because of the breath and movement.” -Anonymous

Welcome to a fall of delving into a balanced yoga practice! We live in a yang society, where much of what surrounds us is “go, go, go.” This can be wonderful and enlivening, and equally out of balance without giving attention to our yin, or more restful energy. In this series, the first half of the class will be focused on building heat within a flow state, encouraging muscle strength and endurance. The second half will involve allowing for us to melt into some “delicious” and relaxing forms, opening ourselves to the experience of letting go and resting. With a trauma-oriented lens, this class is an opportunity to meet your body where you are at and be guided through being in charge of your choices throughout the experience. Trauma-based yoga is for everyone, and it’s aim is to create a safe, comfortable space for all who wish to practice. This includes choice-based guidance on how you wish to move and breathe. It also involves invitations to notice sensations as they come up in your body. The practice intends to step away from the power-based dynamics that can come up in a teaching setting. The hope is to create a welcoming setting where we can together explore both yin and yang energy within our bodies and minds. Moving, sweating, deepening, relaxing, staying curious — this class will have a little of it all and would both be perfect for those who are new to yoga and those who are experienced within the practice!

About the Instructor: Dasha, a registered yoga teacher, is a student, yogi, climber, artist, and mental health activist based in Montreal. She spent the last year working in a wilderness therapy program in Utah, mentoring youth with mental health difficulties. Camping outside for a week at a time with these students, Dasha learned that our relationships with our bodies can greatly influence the mind, and vice versa. When Dasha taught yoga in this healing setting, it quickly became evident that there is more nuance in one’s mind-body relationship once having dealt with high stress or trauma. She sought out a trauma-informed yoga training and ended up learning under the guidance of the Center for Trauma & Embodiment (where Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score was previously a partner). There, Dasha resonated with learning that trauma-informed yoga practice – with its invitational, body-aware language and intention for creating a safe setting – can be beneficial to everyone. Dasha teaches vinyasa, slow flow, hatha (alignment-based), and restorative classes. She brings together knowledge from her personal practice, yoga teacher training, and trauma-informed training when sharing a class. It is typically reflected that Dasha has a very calming, easygoing, and understanding presence. Dasha sees yoga as one of the resources we may access to find peaceful embodiment. To her, yoga is not a practice to be perfected or a practice within which we are to be judged. It is simply a place to return to our own bodies, wherever we may be.

Location: University Centre (in-person) – Classroom TBD

Required Materials:

  • Yoga mat
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Computer, laptop or tablet
  • Thin blanket or towel (optional)
  • Yoga blocks and strap (optional)