...is a restorative-style yoga founded by Kaya Mindlin that is inspired by the Svaroopa Yoga lineage.It comprises of strategic poses and sequencing that specifically helps resolves deep-seated spinal tension and tightness. As these tensions resolve, we are ultimately peeling away layers of emotional protections that we have put up as a result of our upbringing, conditioning, and traumas. 

 

Spinal Release Yoga (SRY)...

 

 

Its aim is to release and decompress deep spinal muscle tension that contributes to symptoms such as:

 
  • Low back pain

  • SI joint dysfunction

  • Sciatica

  • Chronic hip tension

  • Spinal disc injuries

  • Pelvic floor issues

  • Digestive issues

  • Migraines and headaches

  • Menstrual issues

  • Low energy and fatigue

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Insomnia

  • Upperback, neck and shoulder tensions

 

Unlike other styles of yoga, SRY does not aim to particularly stretch or strengthen muscles. Instead, it is a practice of surrender and letting go, so that the deep muscles of the joints and bones can release their grips to free up your body’s energy and to give you more sense of ease. Muscles are meant to give you movement, but when your muscles are so bound and tight, their uses and energy are not directed efficiently or effectively. By releasing these deep muscles, you free up their potential energy to give you more freedom and vitality throughout your body.

How do you know if your deep spinal muscles are tight?

There is usually a sense of DEEP achiness, soreness, tightness, and tension that some movements, stretching, massage, chiropractic work, and acupuncture can only temporarily relieve. Even with stretching, it doesn’t feel like you are able to target the tightness.

Deep spinal muscle tension can also show up as overall restlessness in the body, as these muscles are trying to find ways to release themselves.

If you feel an inexplicable sense of fatigue, despite getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising as suggested, it can be that your deep muscles are too tight and tense to support your other daily movements (see above).

What to expect:

With SRY, you move through a series of 4-7 poses in a session (usually supine and/or seated) that decompresses your pelvis, lower spine, upper spine and ribcage respectively. The ultimate effect of a consistent and long-term SRY practice is to allow your body to let go of its tension due to long-term accumulated stress, so that you can open up space and opportunity for the body to return to its baseline for healing.

What it IS:

  • A restorative-style practice with lots of propping and support for the body

  • A slow, introspective, and methodical practice

  • A practice great for those who have had temporary relief from PT, chiropractor, acupuncture, massage, etc, but still feel the effects if an old injury/pain on and off

  • Slow medicine - you may not feel its effects the first session or first 5 sessions, but the work is happening at a very deep and subtle level (Read: tight muscles are NUMB muscles, so at first you may not feel much)

  • A practice of surrendering and letting go, in particular the ego and the busy mind

  • An opportunity for the body to open up space to return to its equilibrium state, unaffected the external stress

  • A practice to increase vitality, joy, and creativity

  • A practice to resolve the busy mind

  • A sustainable practice that is effective for resolving pain, anxiety, and insomnia (and other symptoms described above) in the long-term with consistent practice

  • A practice that can slowly hone the mind for deep meditation overtime

 

what it is not:

  • A workout to achieve a certain aesthetics

  • An athletic endeavor

  • Deep stretching into joints and/or ligaments

  • Vinyasa/Flow that is fitness-based

  • A quick fix

 
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That is not to say that you cannot practice other styles of more “active” or “strengthening” types of yoga with SRY. The effects of SRY is that it helps you release tight, bound-up muscles (read: its healthy state) so that you can retrain your muscles to work healthily and properly (without always staying in the tensed position). Once an individual is able to allow his/her muscles to find equilibrium (relaxed) state, then he/she can proceed to strengthening poses of SRY to slowly build strength in healthy ways.


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Adapted from my teacher, Kaya Mindlin's, website:

SRY is different from other restorative forms in its approach to the SPINE. The practice is "deceptively gentle". We get a person lined up in a very meticulous and specific way to RELIABLY enable the release of the absolute DEEPEST and most problematic tensions in the body, the tension in the muscles that attach to the spine. Along the way, we are mapping the emotional patterns and the pathways in the subtle body, unraveling blockages all for the purpose of mental quietude, the dissolution of blockages and ultimately awakening or Self-knowledge.

 
 
Yoga practice is ultimately more a way of non-doing than doing. It is more a way of undoing. It is doing less, turning within, letting go, and surrendering. Yoga means discovering the healing essence that can draw us to higher awareness naturally, in which we can let go of stress, our anxiety, our negativity, our traumas...all these emotional factors that disturb us and keep us down. Inner yoga is that in which we move from activity to surrender, and to cultivating the flow of grace.
— Dr David Frawley
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Open your body gently, yet deeply from the inside out.  This approach is based in the ancient description of yoga mastery: "abandon all effort, and contemplate the infinite". 

We literally release the bound up super-tight tension in the muscles attached to the spine - especially the uber-tight pelvic and thorasic muscles. This results a decompression of the whole spine, a realignment of the body, improved internal organ function, and a subtle body transformation and channel rejuvenation that easily "drops you in" to a deep inner experience of quietude, surrender, peace and self-awareness. 

Precise angles, soft blankets as props, and hands-on adjustments ensure therapeutic poses that release deep layers of spinal tension. As a result of "core opening", blockages throughout the body dissolve while pain and old mental patterns melt away.  Ancient teachings from the yoga tradition are woven into every class, and each class focuses on a particular theme.