A 60-minute Yin Yoga session at Tribe Yoga Quartermile (1 Porters Walk, Edinburgh, EH3 9GJ, 0131 229 1619 www.tribe.yoga). Yin is a passive yoga practice from the Taoist tradition, intended to stretch and strengthen your muscles’ fascia connective tissues. Various prone and supine poses are held for up to 5 minutes in a studio that’s heated to 26 degrees C. An extremely meditative form of movement, the emphasis is on de-stressing body and mind, to leave both in calm harmony. £12.00 for a drop-in class (set of 5 for £50, 10 for £90.00).
Quartermile is a new addition to the Tribe Yoga, er tribe, complementing their New Town original.
The bare-wooded reception area is like a Zen coffee shop where the aim is to slow down rather than perk up. Head inside and it’s like a posh mini spa, with small but perfectly formed and pristine changing rooms with showers.
The single, infrared-heated studio is staffed by instructors who take their yoga as seriously as the customers clearly do. Mats are provided and towels can be hired so you don’t need to lug along much beyond your tired and weary body.
Our spy says
Each class member was armed with a mat, a blanket, a wooden yoga brick, and a buckwheat-filled bolster – props to facilitate the various poses and provide more comfortable positions.
Although the class would definitely test yoga experts, I still found the relaxed nature of yin suited to novices like me. The time held in the pose gave Tessa the instructor plenty of opportunity to round the studio and offer advice, corrections and gentle encouragement. I wasn’t rushed, could slowly test but not attack my body’s limits.
Along with the obvious physical aspect, I really appreciated the meditative nature of yin. It felt like part yoga and part mindfulness, with a focus on breathing into the stretches and areas of discomfort, breathing out my tensions and anxieties.
Some of the poses were gently taxing. For others I had to coax my body further in, being careful to use those mindfulness techniques and examine the sensations without negatively judging my lack of flexibility. Pretty quickly I was stretching places where I didn’t realise there were places to be stretched.
Yin is clearly the antidote to the fast-paced yang of everyday life, of hyped-up gym classes, of sprinting through the next Strava segment on my bicycle. I tripped out of Tribe in a bubble of all-round calm, posture corrected, face traced with an easy, peaceful smile, body and mind in flow, happy just to be.
This article first appeared in The Scotsman magazine’s Spa Spy section.