Yin Yoga & Sound Healing Retreat

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St Louis Wellness Center

425 Marshall Avenue

Shambhala Meditaton Room

St. Louis, MO 63119

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Yin Yoga & Sound Healing Retreat with Chris Yonker & Willow Beseda

Why a Retreat class? Taking an extended period of time for this practice will enable you to drop in and relax on a deep level in a mini retreat experience. Holidays are a busy time when it is easy to get overwhelmed and stressed out. We are at our best when we are well rested and revitalized. It is then that we can bring focused attention to our experiences. Chris Yonker interweaves the insights and practices of Yoga, Buddhism, & Taoism into an integral practice to discover and enliven the body, heart and mind. Her yoga style blends both a Yin sequence of floor poses to enhance the meridian and organ systems and release the fascial systems, combined with an alignment-based slow flow. As you surrender into being during your Yin practice Willow will weave in a beautiful sound concert that will enchant you into a meditative and enlightened state. She intuitively will play the crystal and tibetan singing bowls, native american flute, celestial chimes, drums and sing vocal harmonies. Experience a heart blossoming and deeply nourishing practice.

We will begin with sharing the heart opening medicine of sacred cacao truffles, raw chocolates, and with an intention for awakening an attitude of gratitude, and creating harmony and peace within the body mind heart. We will end with a guided meditation and savoring a warm cup of herbal tea.

* This event is appropriate for students of all levels.

Limited to 30 students / $45 prepaid ticket

* Retreat located in the Shambhala Meditation Room at the St. Louis Wellness Center in Webster Groves, MO

"Our true home is not in the past. Our true home is not in the future. Our true home is in the here and now. Life is available only in the here and now, and it is our true home. Mindfulness is the energy that helps us recognize the conditions of happiness that are already present in our lives. You don't have to wait 10 years to experience this happiness. It is present in every moment of your daily life. There are those of us who are alive but don't know it. But when you breathe in, and you are aware of your in breath, you touch the miracle of being alive. That is why mindfulness is a source of happiness and joy."

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

All of our yoga practice has the ability to wake us up. It can help us to face whatever is happening in our lives with greater clarity and trust. Additionally yin yoga has a number of other benefits.

Reasons to Practice Yin Yoga:

Balance Your Active Practice

The practice of yin yoga requires us to embody a more yin state in the mind and physical body. Yin qualities are more passive, receptive, slower and deeper. In contrast yang qualities are more active, externally focused, faster and hotter.

We can find balance in our yoga asana (posture) practice when we have both yang and yin practices.

In yin yoga we hold postures for longer periods of time (usually between 3-5 min) in a passive and receptive way. Most postures are done on the floor and focus on the lower half of the body and the deeper structures and tissues which are considered the more yin parts of our anatomy.


As we hold the yin postures and soften the musculature we are given access to a deeper layer of tissue in the body that is usually protected when we engage the muscles in a more active practice.

The long holds put gentle pressure on the connective tissue, and the tendons and ligaments, which helps toincrease moisture content in the tissue. Greater fluidity in the tissue and joint sites helps to increase flexibility, mobility and lubrication. Greater flexibility, mobility and lubrication helps all kinds of physiologic and anatomical functions.

Circulation and Cultivation of Prana

Greater moisture in the tissues also helps to free the flow of prana or Qi. Prana or Qi circulates throughout the body in channels called "meridians" or "nadis". Prana cannot be seen by the naked eye - it makes up what is called the "subtle body" or "energy body".

In our yoga practice we can learn to identify and work with this energy body for greater healing.

Through pressurizing specific areas of the body yin yoga helps us to cultivate a more resilient subtle body as well as move any energetic blocks that may be causing physical or emotional symptoms.

Stress Reduction

Many of us live such busy lives. Because of the barrage of stimulus we encounter on a daily basis in the form of media, cultural influences, and addictive foods our sympathetic nervous systems are on hyper-drive and we can find it difficult to relax.

The sympathetic nervous system is often called the "fight, flight or freeze" mechanism. When it is activated the body ignores secondary priorities such as digestion, hormonal regulation, sexual function and memory in order to focus its energy on dealing with a stimulus it perceives as threatening.

The problem occurs when the body doesn't shut off the stress response.

Practices that help to foster a contemplative state of mind and stillness in the body can help to reset the nervous system and activate the parasympathetic response or the "rest and digest" response leading to greater states of peace and healing. Many of the yin postures and practices are designed to trigger this relaxation response.

Presence on and off the Mat

Through holding the postures for longer periods of time we train the mind and body to stay in the present even when we feel uncomfortable. The practice of slowing down and being still can have a profound effect on the way we relate to our experience. As time and gravity pull us deeper into each posture we have the opportunity to notice all of the ways we distract ourselves from being here now.

Perhaps it's our anxiety, or our perpetual negative self talk. Whatever it is - we have the chance to see it clearly and use it to gain greater self awareness. Through the practice of staying present to whatever is arising we actually start to form new neurons in the brain!

This is excellent training for the real world. When we come up against our "stuff" our practice makes us more likely to respond instead of reacting to discomfort and pain. We see our patterns clearly and show up more fully.

Preparation for Meditation

Finally - yoga, in particular yin yoga, prepares the body and mind for seated meditation.

Activation of the connective tissue opens the hips, legs, and back and works to create more space with less pain when seated. For anyone who tolerates a certain amount of discomfort during seated meditation doing a few yin postures before sitting will help to create more elasticity in the joints and tissues.

Yin yoga also prepares the mind by helping it to settle and calm before moving into a more formal meditation. Yogis can enhance this benefit by placing their attention on the breath in a gentle but concentrated way while moving through a yin sequence in order to focus the mind.

There are many reasons to practice yin yoga. I hope you try it out and enjoy if you haven't already.

About Chris Yonker--Chris first discovered yoga in the 70s and began studying and practicing in earnest in the early 90s when she became interested in teaching. She was cofounder of Big Bend Yoga Center in 1993 where she taught until 2003 when she opened Yoga Source. She discovered Yin Yoga in 2000 when she met Sarah Powers at Kripalu Center in Massachusetts. Immediately drawn to the restful nature of the yin style and its capacity to help balance the busyness of modern life she began adding it to her classes in early 2001. As her personal practice has deepened over the years it has become her joy to introduce as well as facilitate understanding of this vital practice to new students and advanced practitioners.

About Willow Beseda--An enchanted spirit who weaves western, eastern and ancient wisdom/techniques into her lifes journey. Sharing the gift of being an instrument of sound, healing touch, and loving kindness for over 9 years. She will inspire and break you free from the roots of your pain, suffering and issues in the tissues through a variety of mastered modalities of taking you out of your mind and into your body using Sound Healing, Thai Yoga Massage, Reiki, Cacao Ceremonies & Meditation. Owner of Well Kneaded Massage & Enchanted Cacao and igniter of the eternal flame of love!


What is Yin Yoga? Yin yoga is a restorative practice where passive poses on the floor are held for a few minutes to gently enable the connective tissue of the body to be safely stimulated. This helps the muscle tissue have more fluid strength and enhances the flow of the life force through the subtle energy channels. The meditative nature of yin yoga encourages release of tension and stress and connection to inner quietude.

What is Cacao? Cacao is an indiginous bitter fruit, known as raw chocolate, from South America that has been said to be food of the Gods and the medicine of the shift. A plant medicine that brings balance to the whole systems as it is an adaptogen and powerful facilitator for spiritual growth, emotional release, physical nourishment, community and oneness blessings and more! Cacao is a nutrient rich superfood containing magnesium, iron, antioxidents and so on! A magical elixir to awaken the heart chakra allowing your to dive deep within and listen to your own soul secrets and wisdom openly. It release feels good endorphins in your brain and contains ananandide which is the bliss and ecsctacy feelings. Let infinite joy, peace, and love overflow with this indiginous and sacred medicine!

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St Louis Wellness Center

425 Marshall Avenue

Shambhala Meditaton Room

St. Louis, MO 63119

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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