Bernie Clark Exclusive Interview on His Personal History in Yoga & New Book Release

Sebastian & Murielle :Hello Bernie, you are an essential figure in the world of yin yoga but not many people know about your background, would you tell us a little bit more about yourself and what did you use to do before yoga and how did you come to Yin Yoga?

Bernie : I have always had an interest in the sciences; in school and high school – and in university I studied physics and computers. I ended up with a degree in physics from the university of Waterloo, but I never practiced as a scientist. In the company that I worked at, where I was in management, I got to work alongside engineers, scientists and mathematicians. I noticed very early on in my business career that it was very stressful and I asked one of my manager how he dealt with the stress, and he said he meditated. So in my early twenties, to deal with the stress of commerce and business, new babies coming along and mortgages, I started to learn meditation. I started originally in the Zen tradition, and for about twenty years that is the form of meditation that I would do. I was also very active in sports like hockey, tennis and golf but one day I decided it was time to join a more meditative community so I joined a meditation centre.

Sebastian : in Canada?

Bernie: Yes in Vancouver. I joined a centre that was both a Zen centre and yoga center and it was the first time I really sat with a group of people, so it was like a sangha. However, the owner said I should try yoga as well. I was there for the meditation and I was not too interested in the yoga part but one day she said to me the magic words…. she said: “yoga will really help your golf game” and as I was an avid golfer I said ok I will try it. And it did make a big difference in my golf game but now after sixteen or seventeen years of doing yoga, I do not golf anymore, I do not play tennis anymore, I do not play hockey anymore – I just do yoga, so actually, yoga killed all those things, so I am not actually sure it was a good thing …

Sebastian : laughing

Bernie :  The owner got me into the asana part of yoga but as I grew to understand what yoga really was, I realized I had been doing yoga all along through meditation. Now I was just adding asana practice to help me with the meditation. I started first in the Sivananda style because my teacher had that background, but then I gravitated to Ashtanga and I really loved it because I was kind of the type A personality. I loved the sweat and the strength. I would do Ashtanga every mornings, 6 days a week for many, many years; I took teacher trainings with David Swenson and Tim Miller.

Sebastian : did you meet Pattabhi Jois, or go to India at the time?

Bernie : I did not get a chance to meet him personally, but I once was in a class he led: it was in a group of hundreds of people so he certainly would not know me and I never went to Mysore but that is fine. I found I could learn quite well from Western teachers who studied with Indian teachers, rather than with the Indian gurus directly: the Western teachers had already gone through the translations and the cultural changes. I found working with the western teachers to be very beneficial for me, and I have no craving to go to India. I have already been to India a dozen times trough my other job so I know what India is: its culture, the shock, the heat, the poverty and all that … I do not have the drive to go to India for yogic purposes. There is a lot offered in the west and there is more than enough to learn here.

One day I just stumbled into a Yin Yoga class, it was actually part of a Thai yoga massage training that I was taking and the teacher, on the very last day, offered to the class, “how about we try a Yin class today?” Nobody had heard about yin yoga then, it was in December of 2003. He taught us a yin class and we all loved it! The next day, on the way home from that training I stopped into a little yoga studio which had a little bookstore section. There was a video, by someone named Sarah Powers, called Yin Yoga. Synchronicity! I bought the video and watched it every day for about three months and thought this is great! I was still doing my yang, Ashtanga practice, but I noticed the Yin practice was helping my Ashtanga; I was getting deeper into the poses, was more flexible and after three months of doing Yin I was more flexible in some poses than I had become even with five or six years of Ashtanga. I decided I had to meet Sarah Powers. She was coming up to a conference in Seattle that spring, which is close to Vancouver, so I went down to the conference and spent the weekend with her. After that I attended a couple of her other retreats (meditation retreats) and other classes, and through Sarah I meet Paul Grilley.
Paul and Sarah offered a combined ten-day teacher training program in California

Sebastian : it was in 2004….

Bernie : yes. I got to meet Paul through Sarah. Paul came to Vancouver couple of times so I got into Yin more and more. Paulie Zink came through town as well so eventually I came to meet all the founders of Yin yoga.

Sebastian : Auspicious story…
Your book, the Complete Guide of Yin Yoga and especially the second edition has been widely acclaimed in the yin yoga world and beyond, what got you writing the book in the first place?

Bernie : The genesis of the books came really from that teacher training I did with Paul and Sarah; for some reasons the thought just occurred to me “I wondered if anyone has got the URL:” because I knew Paul had his website and Sarah her website. So when I got back home I checked and nobody had it. I thought I might as well buy it and planned that one day I would probably give it to Paul. I did not think anything more about it, I bought it with a two year lock on the name and then a friend of mine who studied with me in Vancouver, (she became a studio owner in Shanghai in China) asked me to come to China to conduct a teacher training especially on Yin Yoga. I decided to pull together various things that Paul and Sarah had taught me, created a little course and headed there (it was a week long training). Wen I came back I thought, “well maybe I could put this on the website.” So I started to create the website: I started putting up the slides that I presented at the teacher training course in Shanghai: it was a very primitive teacher training course but I realized the slides did not describe themselves, they were pictures, so I had to write a narrative around the slides. When I started to do that it became the basics of YinSights, my first book. But people were saying it was great to have all that information on the web site, but there was too much stuff to look at on a computer screen; they wanted to be able to print it out. So I made a PDF so people could download what was on the site. But then people complained that the PDF of three hundred pages was too large for their home printer, so I published the book. It was self-published via Amazon. I figured out how to do pagination, made the pictures flow around the words, learned how to do photos edits, tables of contents and indexes, how to do bar codes for the ISBN numbers… that was an amazing experience! Finally I came out with it in September 2007 – my first published bood: YinSights

Sebastian : YinSights, yes I was one of the many person who downloaded it from the Internet and I remember it was a big format book

Bernie : yes eight and a half inches by eleven inches in the PDF format.

Murielle : really nice book with a lovely drawing on the front cover

Bernie : A friend of mine, Louise LeBlanc, did that little drawing of the yang mountain and the Yin river…

I had no intention of ever do anything more with the book, I just kept the website going. Over time people asked questions so I created the forum where people can ask specific questions and I can respond that way rather than emails. Emails are nice but that is always just one person seeing one person’s view; with a forum, lots of people can read what other people are interested in and contribute to the discussion. Eventually, the website grew over the years and one summer, for my summer vacation, I had the idea of video taping the main asanas. I put those up as YouTube videos: these videos explained, just like in the book, why would you do this pose? What are the benefits of Asanas? Who should be careful? What are the contraindications? How do you get into the pose? What do you do when you are in the pose, what are the different options? How do you get out of the pose? What are the targeted areas? So all that is available either on the videos or online in the book.

Sebastian : yes, a lot of information and practical advice

Murielle : incredible resources

Sebastian : We know you are about to release a second book, could you give us some pointers of the content and the story behind?

Bernie : Yes, the book I am about to release is actually the third book. The first book was YinSights, and the second is The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga. What happened there is that the publisher who did Paul Grilley’s book approached me and asked, “How would you like to do a second edition of YinSights as it is about three or four years old?” I thought – yes, there are some things that I would like to change in YinSights. I had gotten feedback from readers and had stuff I would like to add, based on four more years of my own experience. So I said, “ye” I would not mind doing a second edition,” but he put a caveat on it by saying it had to be only 275 pages. YinSights is 400 pages so that meant I had to leave some things out. So I basically took the back part of YinSights, which describes how to do the practice and it’s benefits, and that became The Complete Guide To Yin Yoga.

Sebastian : and you left the philosophy on the side…

Bernie : yes I left all the other stuff alone. The publisher also asked me not to reprint YinSights, in order to just have the Complete Guide to Yin Yoga available. If people still want YinSights, they can still read it all online. It is still there on the website and they can still download it as a PDF, but the hard copy book is not available. The Complete Guide came out in December 2011, but I always felt like the first part of YinSights was also valuable, and a lot of people liked the history and the philosophy there, so at the back of my mind I kept the idea that I should do another book on the first part of YinSights.

This has become my most recent book: From the Gita to the Grail: Exploring Yoga Stories and Western Myths. It took me over a year and a half to write it. It is pretty much a combination of workshops I used to give to teacher trainees on the history and philosophy of yoga going right back to the early days of the Aryans coming into India. It includes some of the ancient Vedic stories of the creation of the universe, making a distinction between our Western viewpoints of religion and spirituality versus the Eastern viewpoints; there are very different. In the East, there is a thing called “non dualism” where we are all part of one, the divinity that created the universe. When we say “Namaste” it means the divine in me salutes the divine in you: if you go up to someone in India and say, “I am god,” they will shrug and say, “So what? So am I!” But in the West if you go up to someone and say, “I am god,” they might nail you to a tree: they will crucify you because what you said is blasphemy. In the West, there is God the Creator and His creation, and we are not the Creator: the clockmaker is not the clock! In the West we have a dualistic view point of philosophy and in the East we have a non dualistic viewpoint.

Throughout the years I have been giving this history and philosophy of yoga presentation, and that became the basis for the forthcoming book, which will be released January 1st, 2014.

Sebastian : a promising title!

Bernie :
It is a way to explain to people in the West what these stories of the East meant to them and what they could mean to us

Sebastian : is it mainly based on duality and non-duality, like Advaita philosophy or is it broader focus?

Bernie : it is broader than that: the basic thesis that I have put forward is that all these philosophies are just maps and the thing to realize about a map is that a map is never the territory. For example, if you have a map of the United States, it is not the United States. It is just a representation of the United States. You could have a map that shows you where all the coffee stores like Starbucks are; if you are a coffee drinker that is a really good map, it is very useful, but I do not drink coffee… so that map to me is useless but there might be a map showing where all the parks are and I love to walk in the park. To me that is a good map, to somebody else it is not a good map, but neither map is right. The question is: what is your intention? If your intention is to find a Starbuck, my map is not going to help you at all but if your intention is to find a park, the Starbucks map is not going to help you. Now, along comes a genius, named Einstein, who creates a map that shows you both parks and Starbucks. He sees a little more clearly and creates a better map that is useful for more people. You see, all these philosophies from East or West are just maps, none of them are the TRUTH, none of them are meant to be reality anymore than a map of the United States is the United States, rather it is simply a map of the United States. Yogis and other spiritual teachers in the East had their inner yogic experiences and they came back and told people about it: that tale is a map; it is not the experience, but the hope is that by following their map you can get to where they were and that makes the maps useful.

Sebastian : sure, As I heard Paul saying before “if you did not experience it it is not true” a quote from Kabir.

Bernie : Sure! People in the West have had their experiences and they came back, and in their Western languages, said: “Well here is my experience, my map.” Some people experienced god as dualistic; this is the sixth Chakra where the lover beholds the beloved. As Rama Krisna, the 18th century Indian saint, often like to say: “I love sugar but I do not want to become sugar; I love to worship Kali but I do not want to become Kali.” That is at the level of the sixth Chakra. Me and my god, I want to worship my god, that is a very useful map

Sebastian : there is a separation there

Bernie : Right, there is a subject and an object. The point of the seventh Chakra is: you become your god, you become your beloved. In the East, the prime idea is that we are all one; in the West we do not have a seventh Chakra, our map stop at: there is God and there is you and you are to worship God. We have different maps in the West. Jesus said, “I am the way to God.” Jesus, through his divinity is related to God and through his humanity we are related to him, so Jesus relates us to God. In the West religion is a relationship to God. In the East religion is an identification of god: you are god and your task of task is to realize that you are god. This is very different from the Western philosophies.

Neither map is right, neither map is the TRUTH: which map is useful to you depends upon what your intention is … do you want to go to Starbucks or to a park? This map is good for this; this map is good for that. The point of my book is that there are all these different maps and one does not have to argue which one is right, there is no need for fundamentalism or dogmatism; for arguing that, “my way is the right way”. The fundamental question is, “Is my map is useful?”

Thus, this book explains how the different stories from East and West all have maps underneath: we do not realize it, but we are all following maps, and those maps were given to us when we were very young: by our parents, by our schools, by our society … if you can shed some light onto those hidden map, we can ask if this map is still working for me? Or do I need a new one? If you need a new one, which map do you want to follow? That depends on your intentions. That is the point of the book

Murielle : very good approach, it sounds fascinating … looking forward reading it
Paul Grilley mentioned that you made it impossible to copyright the name “yin yoga”, can you tell us more about this clever idea?

Bernie : laugh… Well, this came up with a talk with Paul one day: we just were talking about so many different styles of yoga being copyrighted, there is Yogalates, Iyengar yoga, Anusara, etc., and we were wondering what would happen if anyone ever tried to copyright or trademark yin yoga! I knew enough of corporate law that I did not think it was possible, because yin is a descriptive term like the color white (you cannot copyright white), but sometimes when people put terms together in certain ways they might go to a trademark office and say, “I own this,” and that would then restrict a lot of other people from hearing the teachings on yin yoga. So we got the idea that maybe we should apply for a trademark on yin yoga, and try to trademark the term. One or two things could then happen: either we would be given the trademark, in which case my idea was – if I ever got the rights to “yin yoga” as a trademark, I would just make it freely available to everybody via my website, and that way, if you do not enforce your trademark, after few years, you loose it: it becomes public property like the word zipper, every one zips up their coat. Zipper used to be an actual trademark term, but because it got so commonly used the original company lost their trademark to it. On the other hand, if the trademark office turned us down, then a precedent would be set: if anybody in the future ever tried to copyright or trademark yin yoga ,a search would uncover the fact that somebody else requested this several years ago and were turned down, so the new application would have to be denied as well. A friend of mine who actually co-leads some of my yin yoga teacher trainings (her name is Diana Batts and she actually was an IP lawyer in Canada) helped me put together the application to the U.S.A. trademark office. We paid the two hundreds dollar fee along with the application: they came back saying we cannot trademark “Yin Yoga” because it as it is a descriptive term. If it would have been a name of a person like Bernie’s yoga or Paul’s yoga it would have worked but yin is just an adjective, same as white.

Sebastian : that was a very smart move especially nowadays in the world of yoga where everyone wants to own something so to keep it free and available to everyone is a very altruistic gesture.

Murielle : yes, for sure..
We have read that you have practiced Zen meditation, could you tell us how your interest in meditation blends with your yin practice?  if it does….

Bernie : oh yes, very much so, yin is a quieter practice therefore it lends itself more to meditation. Through my practice, it has changed over the years, when I first started Zen I was very strict, formal, very much like a Japanese samurai type of practice, but over the years, it kind of mellowed, it is more of a Zen-lite. Probably the biggest influence on me in the last ten years has been Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk that lives in Plum Village in France. He has a monastery in California called Deer Park. I spent some time there and twice he went to Vietnam and invited his followers to go with him, so twice I have been to Vietnam, traveling up and down the country with him and hundreds of other followers. His approach to Buddhism is something called Engaged Buddhism; it is not something where you sit in a cave by yourself and just meditate for your own benefit, but teaches you to apply your meditation it to the world; to help others. He is a Zen master but it is not Japanese Zen, it is more the Chinese Chan style, and it is basically mindfulness, which is paying attention to what is happening. I find that is exactly what yin yoga is.

Bernie : you are in the pose and you start to feel the stress and you pay attention to it, rather than trying to run away from it mentally and think about what you are going to have for dinner tonight; you notice what is actually happening, what am I feeling? where exactly is it? is it hot, is it cold? is it throbbing? is it still? is it sharp? is it dull? By paying attention, we become more and more mindful

Sebastian : labeling the sensations in order to keep watching them instead of feeding them?

Bernie ; yes you label it but you do not judge it, you just notice what it is. Judging is a layering on top of the reality that is more of a subjective experience: “Oh that is bad,” or ,“Oh I like that, this is good.” This is simply sensation

Murielle : and also it adds depth to the practice in a sense that it actually brings the mind to the practice like a mind training

Bernie : yes so you are less distracted, more in the present moment, which is a wonderful training for life

Murielle: completely, it can be applied into one’s daily life

Bernie ; When you get angry, you notice “oh, I am angry.” Describe it: what is anger like? “My heart rate is fast, my breathing is short and shallow and I feel flushed and hot and I am getting tensed” … that is anger, this is what it is and you just notice it; you do not have to feed it, you do not have to make it better, you do not have to push it away either – yin is not about pushing away the sensations but noticing them, allowing them. There is a time in life when it is appropriate to be angry, but now you are aware of it, you recognize that consciously, and you can decide if it is my intention to stay angry, or is my intention is to let go? For example, if you see a small child being beaten, you can use the energy of anger to help the child. Yes, it is appropriate to be angry right now because it is going to give you the energy to get in there and interfere, to help that child. Anger is neither good nor bad, it is how we react to it.

Murielle : yes, we can observe in our own body by being mindful the impermanence of sensations, emotions as they arise, change and eventually dissolve, which is something you can apply in your daily life for people that have not had the chance to be exposed to these teachings

Bernie ; yes all three characteristics of existence the Buddha talks about are there in the practice: Anicca, Anatta, Dukkha are all found there

Murielle : it is a blessing to have the practice and to be able to practice it

Sebastian : thank you for your insights Bernie: Anicca, Anatta, Dukkha Impermanence, Non-self and Suffering being the 3 pillar of the Buddhist philosophy

Murielle : regarding the website which is an excellent source of information, including an open forum, how did the actual forum came about?

Bernie : that is a good question, I do not remember the exact time I thought of it, that was a little tricky… I am not a really astute programmer, in terms of flash programming or java script and so forth, my son helped me out quite a bit and he has had many websites, he learned how to program when he was six years old on an early Apple computer. I asked him to help me. He had a forum on his website and I thought that might be a good idea to have one on mine as well.

Murielle : Excellent!

Bernie : I thought it would be a good way to answer the questions I was being asked and offer things that are changing all the time, because the other part of the website is kind of static, it is the book, but the forum is the part where I can post newer items. But eventually I found even that was not that useful, so I started the YinSights newsletters, and for the last four years I have been publishing one each quarter: they give me a chance to talk in a bit more details about whatever topics that have been of interest for me over the last three months

Sebastian : yes, it is very popular and covering great topics as well

Murielle : there are always very good articles in YinSights newsletter and it seems that you often bring a scientific approach into it so how do you source the material?
Maybe personal interest or studies?

Sebastian : or specific readings

Bernie: when I first did the newsletter, I was a little worried that I would not have enough to say to keep writing them. But now I have got a huge list of ideas that I want to talk about in future newsletters; the ideas just keep coming up.
I often read scientific journals; I like to build the bridge between the Eastern poetic, world experience and what we think has happened from the Western point of view. I do not deny that people in the East had the experiences they had, but sometimes the terms they use to describe the experience do not resonates with us in the West: for example, when they start to talk about Qi.

Sebastian : it is hard to translate, and to explain to someone who never experienced or manipulated consciously the Qi in their body.

Bernie : yes for those people it comes from their cultural background (like a yogi who described the same energy as “prana.”) For us in the West, it sounds like you are going to join a cult, but we have similar experiences described by scientists, just not with the same poetry. It is very interesting to be able to say, “well this could apply to that” … these paths may actually get to the same points but they use different terminology, so I like to find the correspondence between the Western experiences and the Eastern experiences. I am often looking in scientific journals and see things about how movement will help us in certain ways, and it is medically proven that one needs to move to live and that is what yoga is: movement.

Murielle : you are very gifted in order to put those things together and there is so much we learn every read so very much looking forward the forthcoming ones…

Sebastian : it also helps every Yin Teacher reading your articles to implement on their teaching and bring up the topic from the newsletter into the class.

Bernie : glad to hear that

Sebastian : could you tell us what is your personal practice right now in terms ofYin or Yang exercise, Meditation..?

Bernie : it is always evolving, it is about 50/50….50 %yang, 50%yin
A lot of my yang practice is exploring things I might be able to bring into the class to my students so I am always testing things out myself and it has become very free form. Over the last few years it has gotten to the point where I just stand in front of my mat and wait for something to move me – I spontaneously erupt into some movements or some postures. I follow that and try to put some constraints around it, because it needs to be digestible and available to the students, but it is very much like Suzee Grilley’s dance: allowing the energies to express themselves.

I find over the years that my cardio vascular conditioning through yoga has declined a bit, so I do things like walking around my neighborhood where there are a lot of hills, for about one hour a day, then I will come in and do a yin practice just after that. On other days I just do one hour and half of yang practice

Sebastian : I see, so it is like you are changing your priorities on a day to day by checking your energy levels, how do you feel and you adapt to it

Bernie : everyday will always starts with meditation first and then maybe go for my walk or yoga and the day ends with meditation. I always use meditation to begin and end the day, but life gets in the way sometimes and there is not enough time for full yoga practice. On those days, I will do some sun salutations and that’s it, other time one has the luxury of an hour and half

Sebastian : so you keep it very organic apart from the meditation

Bernie : yes, my meditation practice is much more vigorous

Murielle : so you have been teaching 50h teacher training so far, have you ever thought of extending it to 100 hours?

Bernie : I am not that interested in doing that because other people have that available. Often students ask me, “What about if we want to do an advanced yin yoga training?” I reply: go to Paul or Sarah, both have 500 hour options. I do not really want to reinvent that wheel. I think my fifty-hour training is a bit intensive. I don’t follow Paul’s way of repeating things over and over again, my course is just a one time exposure and training but if you want to go further – here are the resources, read the book again, go to the website and then go and visit Paul and Sarah if you want to go further. So far, I have resisted making my courses longer, and instead concentrated on doing more of them. I started just doing one a year and every year it seems to grow: from one to two, three , four and next year in 2014 there will be five 50~60 hour trainings.

Sebastian : so you find 50h is a good amount of time to introduce yin yoga to people as a personal practice or even to be able to train teachers to teach this practice?

Bernie : it works,
it could always be more but the 50 hours are over seven days which can be pretty intense. We do have people that come who are not teachers and they just want to learn more about yin yoga so they can go deeper into their own practice. I do not pretend to teach people how to teach yoga, they get that in their 200 hour programs, but if somebody has already done a 200h program, my training will teach them how to add yin yoga to their repertoire. We get people that just want to learn for themselves and do not want to teach, and we get people that are teachers and they want to add it to their teaching are coming.

Sebastian : I agree 50 hours at the time is very dense and give enough but not too much information for the trainee to absorb and experience for themselves all the Yin Principles. So we know that Paul Grilley is more into the anatomy side and Sarah Powers more into the psychology and Buddhism side, so how would you define your own teaching ?

Bernie : it is a little more towards Paul’s style, but it also has some of Sarah’s in it. In my teacher training, I have three modules: there is the anatomical… let’s talk about the benefits: this addresses the question of why would you do yin yoga? You could do it for physiological benefits; how to benefit the body, the joints; or you can talk about it from an energetic point of view: how to enhance Qi flow and nourish the organs; or you can talk about it from a mental, emotional point, the psychological or meditative aspect. We have modules on each one of these three main benefits and reasons as to why one would want to do the practice. Knowing why you would want to do the practice then will get us into how to do the practice. It is very much the structure of my book: there are the physical benefits, the emotional, the mental benefits and here is how to do it.

Sebastian : then you cannot escape it…you just have to do it!

Sebastian : Murielle and Bernie: laugh…

Murielle : we just saw you have a new course named ‘Meditation Revealed’ coming up next year

Sebastian : it looks very interesting, can you tell us a little bit about it?

Bernie : sure, this is in conjunction with my partner Nathalie Keiller. She is a Deep Meditation teacher: Deep Meditation comes from the background of Transcendental Meditation from the sixties, and her teachers are very experienced meditators and teachers in their own right. This course is a combination of her teaching students on a one-on-one basis, introducing them into the practice of deep meditation, while I will go through more of the theory and the history of meditation, how it developed.
There are two main styles of meditation: one is the classical yogic meditation, which is more of a moving inward, a closing of the sense doors, becoming more interiorized; and there is the Buddhist meditation style, which is going more outside, being more mindful of everything. Eventually these two path can meet, but initially it seems like the two are going into different directions, one is inward, one is outward. Through this course, I will explain these different paths and how they can actually lead to the same place, and I will also talk about the Western scientific views of meditation – talking about it’s benefits physically, emotionally and psychologically. The course structure pretty much covers how to do meditation, why you do it, the benefits, some of the history, and the context of the different styles.

Sebastian : have you done this course before?

Bernie : no it will happen in February 2014 in Vancouver and it will be the first time we offer it. We are still putting that all together. It will be right at the end of my yin yoga teacher training in February, the following week, because some people will want to come to Vancouver for the yin yoga and stay so they can do the meditation course

Sebastian : at Semperviva?

Bernie : yes Semperviva is a yoga studio in Vancouver that hosts my courses.

Murielle : why do you think Yin Yoga has become so popular over time?

Bernie : it certainly has been growing! I watch on my website how many people visit the site every day, and over the years it has increased dramatically. There have been so many people that Paul and Sarah have taught that are now teaching other people. I think the reason it is growing is that it is so beneficial, people do it because they feel better and it is really the only practice that is working deeper the connective tissues. Yang yoga is all muscular and it is great, we need that, but yin is the other half. As people are getting older they need it more. In my classes, I find the demographics of the class very different from my Hatha classes: there are more older people and more men in the Yin Yoga classes than in the Hatha classes

Sebastian : oh that is very different than what we come across in Asia…

Murielle : So do you use wall yin sequence which is excellent for elderly people in your classes?

Bernie : I would like to, but my classes are too big and there is not enough wall space: once in a while, when there is something special happening like on the night of the academy awards, not many students show up to the class. On those nights I love to offer Wall Yin, and it is great!

Murielle : the first time we came across it was in your book, is this practice coming from you?

Bernie : Paul and Suzee are doing it now and I do not know where they got it from, but people have been doing wall yoga for years. All I did was to say well this is yin-like too so let’s come up with a series of yin poses against the wall. While this was new in my mind, I do not think it was really new, because other people that have been doing this for a long time

Sebastian : anything you would like to add Bernie?

Bernie : YIN IS IN!

Murielle & Sebastian : Sure Thing !  laugh.. thank you so much Bernie

Bernie : thank to you too