Frequently Asked Questions

What is Yin Yoga?

In Yin Yoga, our goal is not to become perfect. Our goal is to become whole.

Wholeness has many layers in our western culture. Yin Yoga is based, in part on: Taoism, Chinese medicine, Buddhism, Mindfulness, and Yoga rooted in Eastern traditions. And, with consistent practice of Yin yoga you will feel the balance and focus returning; that same balance you had when you were born. You will notice mobility returning to your body and a stillness in your mind.

The Yin classes offered on this site seek wholeness with a balance between Yin and Yang energies. There is Yin and Yang energy in everything we think, say, and do. However, our western culture emphasizes Yang energy over Yin.

Without Yin energy we can feel “off” and out of balance, wondering why we are not able to experience the highest version of ourselves. That inner balance is always there for you to experience and tap into. With the guidance of your certified Yin instructor, you will be able to return to that serene balance with ease and as often as you choose. You will feel stress dissolving and your body softening as you move through class. And you will notice mobility returning to parts of your body that may have atrophied over time.

The practice of Yin Yoga focuses on your connective tissue which is everywhere in your body. Connective tissue is in the tendons, muscles, joints, organs, cells of the body. By the time we reach the age of 25 years, our connective tissue begins to lose its hydration. When this happens, the mobility in your body begins to lessen. As we age. our connective tissue begins to move from the consistency of a wet sponge to a more immobile leather like quality. You notice you cannot move like you could in your younger years. Yin moves your body back to hydration and with consistency, back to mobility.

What can I expect in Yin Yoga classes?

Your relaxed Yin experience begins with calming breath techniques, then moves on to relaxing postures which allow gravity to open your connective tissue for more mobility throughout your body. Class ends with complete relaxation in savasana in the form of a 15-minute guided meditation. At the end of the final meditation, you are invited to stay in your relaxation if you like. Then, you are home and safe and may roll off your mat and on into your cozy bed relaxed, balanced, refreshed and ready for the next day.

We start class slowly…Then, we taper off. Welcome to your new life.

Is online yoga for me?

During our covid isolation we learned that we could create a yoga community, a “sangha”, online just as it is created in person in a yoga studio. We have students from across North America and Hawaii and Canada as well as Columbia South America and Indonesia.

The Yin Yoga classes offered by Janet are for everyone of any age and any ability. Perhaps you would rather not be around so many students in a packed studio. Check out this yoga option! Everyone is welcome!

If you are stiff and believe you have no flexibility, Yin Yoga is the class for you! This is the yoga class where you will find strength and flexibility as well as calm serenity in your mind and body.

How flexible should I be to join a Yin class?

And if you feel flexible in your mind and body, Yin Yoga will provide you with the life balance you have been seeking. The Yin feeds the Yang activities you practice regularly, and the Yang feeds the Yin in your life. We need both.

All levels of practice and every age are welcome and included in Yin Yoga. Each student enters class with a Zen “beginner’s mind”; meaning we as yoga students are aware that we cannot know everything; what a relief! Each student seated on their mat then enters the present moment as they arrive on their mat for just over an hour. Every level of Yoga student experiences the loving, compassionate healing experience of Yin Yoga. There is never any judgment, criticism, or comparison. Our uniqueness is our strength.

This is a transformational Yoga journey without an end. Each student comes to class with an open mind and an open heart of self-compassion and with time, we all develop more self-love, self-compassion, self-forgiveness, and kindness. Self-care then becomes a normal part of a healthy lifestyle. Each student breathes into a relaxed mind and body, without judgment, without criticism, without comparisons.

There are no balancing postures in this Yin Yoga class; you will be on your mat seated or lying on your back. You are on your mat, relaxing, releasing stress (conscious and unconscious), moving in present mindfulness as you follow your breath. Your connective tissue throughout your body will begin to open and hydrate for more slide and glide mobility. You are always in control as you move at your own pace. You are your best teacher. You are your best guru.

Why do we hold the postures longer in Yin Yoga?

The live zoom Yin classes presented on this site focus on returning your connective tissue to its previous mobility, no matter your current age. Your muscles relax with gravity as your connective tissue opens and hydrates.

In Yin we hold the postures longer than other forms of yoga (2-4 minutes) because when we remain in the postures longer, there is a phase change that occurs in the body around 90 seconds into the posture. This phase change allows the fibroblasts around your connective tissue to attract hyaluronic acid, nature’s moisturizer to your connective tissues. This natural moisturizing brings mobility to the body with patience and consistent practice.

What is suggested to bring to Yin classes?

When you come to class it is suggested that you arrive on your mat a few minutes early to begin to settle your “monkey mind”.

There is no specific clothing or yoga gear required in these Yin Yoga classes, however, for your comfort you may want:

A yoga mat.

2 soft blocks (hard cork blocks tend to be uncomfortable and better used in other forms of yoga).

A yoga bolster (if you do not have one, you can create one by rolling up a yoga blanket or a bath towel like a tight sausage).

A yoga blanket or a light blanket for the final guided meditation (your body temperature may lower in the final meditation).

An eye pillow or a folded washcloth to cover your eyes in the final guided meditation.

Is there meditation in the Yin classes?

In Janet’s classes there is always meditation: beginning, middle and end of each class. Class begins with 10+ minutes of various relaxed meditative breathing techniques which ignite a seed within you for calm and stillness. Breath work moves the mind and body away from the fight or flight sympathetic nervous system into the parasympathetic nervous system. This allows us to transform the mind body from a day on “autopilot” to the present moment where life actually happens. After all, the present moment is all we have.

Class then moves into relaxing Yin postures and students are encouraged to continue to follow their breath. This allows students to remain in the relaxed state of the present. Class is then concluded with a 15-minute guided meditation to further release any tension, worry or anxiety that may be holding on consciously or unconsciously.

We practice on the mat so that we can take our Yin experience into the Yang world.

Why do we begin class with breath work?

In our Yin Yoga classes, we begin every class with Pranayama: the yogic practice of focusing on the breath. In Sanskrit, “Prana” means breath/vital life force and “Yama” means to gain control. In this practice the breath is as important if not more important than the healing, relaxed postures. Breath control is mind control. Breath control allows us to enjoy life more fully.

Beginning with the breath brings each student together in the present moment, in a sense of sangha or community, leaving the past and the future behind for just over an hour. After all, the present moment is all we ever have. The present moment is our experience if we choose to turn off our mental “auto-pilot”. And, in the present moment we unite as a community for enhanced health and wellbeing.

As we breathe together, we lower our heart rate, lower our blood pressure and lower our stress level (and therefore, lower our cortisol production) and our left prefrontal cortex begins to make the happy hormone, serotonin. We begin to move from the sympathetic nervous system of fight or flight into the parasympathetic nervous system. This allows us to return to our natural state of balance between Yin and Yang.

“To one who finds stillness, the whole world surrenders”. Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Why do we always end class with a final guided meditation?

After the relaxing Yin postures, the final guided meditation is a chance for your mind and body to assimilate what you just completed. It is a chance to let go of any remaining conscious or unconscious tension still in the body. It is a chance to begin to explore the universe within. This is also the time to enhance your imagination as well and let go into complete relaxation. And, since you are already home and safe, you have the option to stay in your final savasana as long as you like or close out your class. Your choice.

If I have past injuries and or traumas, or if I am managing an addiction, is this class appropriate for me?

This is the perfect class for you if you have experienced traumas or are experiencing PTSD and or addictions. This class allows you to practice getting in touch with your mind and your body so that you can begin your healing journey.

We now know that the body keeps score and if you have ignored or stuffed down past traumas or current addictions, the pranayama and postures often allow you to gently release those thoughts, words and actions that are no longer serving you in a positive way. This is called the unfinished business of the heart.

We practice, practice, practice Yin Yoga on our mat finding self-compassion, self-forgiveness, self-love. Eventually, this practice becomes your self-care, and your self-care becomes a habit you can take off your mat and bring into your Yang world. Here you find a balance you are seeking in your mind and body. Here you gain control over your mind and body and you find the self-love you may have lost along the way. Here you find your strong inner warrior. Here you find your inner guru.

Who is teaching the classes?

Janet Seidel is a certified Yin Yoga Instructor as well as a longtime Reiki practitioner.  She is also certified in the practice of Yoga Nidra and was taught by Sreedevi K. Bringi who taught at Naropa University in Boulder.  Janet moved to Boulder, Colorado in February 1988 from Oklahoma.  She loves the progressive environment of health and wellness the Boulder community offers and has a passion for sharing Yoga at a level everyone can enjoy and experience. 

She was drawn to the consistent practice of Yin Yoga after a snow skiing accident which left her with a broken back in February 2017.  The practice of Yin was and remains an integral part of her recovery and her return to life and the world of Yoga.  From her pain she was guided along a long journey of healing and learning from those areas that had been missing in her life as an attorney.

After her accident, she experimented on her mind and body with many healing modalities including but not limited to yoga, meditation, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic manipulations, float tanks, sound healings, water exercise and more.  All this combined knowledge focused her Yoga teaching on sharing the healing possibilities of Yin Yoga with everyone.  There is never an end to our healing; it is a life journey into awakening which can begin with your first class. 

As she began healing from the accident it was 2 years before she could lie on her mat in savasana without excruciating pain as well as regain her ability to experience healing Yin spine twists.  The practice of Yin Yoga allowed her to return to walking with a regular stride rather than walking with a slow shuffle.  Her pain levels lessened over the years with the consistent practice of Yin Yoga and meditation.  Her practice also showed her ways to lessen and often dissolve physical and emotional pain. 

When the covid shutdown began in March 2020 and studios closed, zoom classes opened Yoga opportunities for everyone who found it too far or too tiring to drive to a yoga studio after working all day.  Now, you can enjoy Yin Yoga in your living room, no more commuting across town with your yoga essentials.  You have everything you need at home.  Janet’s love for zoom teaching Yin Yoga opens the yoga world to anyone with a phone or computer. 

After her ski accident, she was forced to retire from the practice of family law, and she has never looked back.  Janet’s passion is to help students see the way toward alleviating pain in their lives.  This can be as simple as finding the balance between Yin and Yang in your life; finding a middle path to bring grounding into your life.

Yin Yoga along with its meditative qualities is also a pathway for healing from traumas, PTSD, and addictions of all kinds.  Yin allows yoga students to get in touch with their mind and body on a deeper level as well as learning to live in the present moment. 

Yin Yoga is what you may have been searching for to change your mind through neuroplasticity, thereby changing your body and emotions.  Yin allows you to relax and ultimately “let go” of toxic thoughts, words, and actions.  Relaxing into Yin allows the mind to become clearer and more focused as you move toward a life of healing and fearless self-compassion.   

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Janet Mountain Yoga