We love to hear how the trainings have impacted our students and how their yin yoga journey has continued after they leave our circle. Below is some of the feedback we have received over the years.
Yin yoga has given me a new way to be alone with myself and better find acceptance of myself in a way that feels perfect to me. The tangible positive changes this practice gives to my body is enough of a gimmick to motivate me to do the internal work I have found myself avoidant of in my neglected pursuits of typical meditation.
To observe my thoughts and discomforts and release attachment and judgment. To me yin yoga is to meet resistance with patience and compassion, to find rest at the precipice of discomfort.
In this practice I have found myself good enough and that is perfect. - Sarah Robin “Aurora” Andrus
After having taken Module 1 and 2 with Biff I was very much looking forward to Module 3 this year in France: the Storytelling Module While Module 1 taught me the basics about Yin Yoga and accompanied me on my personal path to become an even more mindful teacher to my students, Module 2 took me on a journey still deeper inside of me, to discover the four archetypes that live there and are part of me and everyone: the warrior, the healer, the visionary and the teacher. I learned about their advantages and shortcomings and understood the meaning of them in my everyday life, which has very much transformed since then. I now encountered those four archetypes with their special characteristics again in Module 3, where I learned about their roles in the youth, midlife and elder stories. The path of my life seems so much clearer now to me, the decisions I had taken at different times, the challenges I had encountered all made even more sense now, learning about the warrior accompanied by the healer, both shaping our youth stories, the visionary who becomes the main player in the midlife stories and the teacher who creates our elderly stories. It was very helpful to understand that symbolically my life was divided in those three parts, and while I encounter those archetypes each and every single day in different situations, new stories are created. Biff invited us to look at our stories objectively, at the canvas we had created, detach from the stories in order to see them and their teachings the way they are without any projections. The tool to do so is the story telling, which is described as one of the oldest healing tradition, our journey or tool towards softening and opening. “Once we see things the way they are, we wash our love clean of all the stories….we reach unconditional love.” It became also very clear to me through the teachings in Module 3 that my own path as a person defines my teachings in my yoga classes. By letting go of my own stories, I can help my students to let also go at a deeper level of their stories and this way find their own path in life. -Deedee
"I feel that the word ”training” would actually not be the right word for the six days that I attended at Shantiland with Biff, Marta and all the other wonderful people I got to meet from different places of the world. Rather it felt like a warm place, a genuine space for anything and everything to take its needed space and be. I believe that this is the truly beautiful thing about Biff, his compassion and generosity of heart is truly humbling. He has so much wisdom but still sees the beauty in learning and exploring, and his wonderful way of teaching is like a living dialogue with lots of seeds to be planted and watered along the way. Also, Biff and Marta are such a beautiful team of teachers, they both have so much important to share in their different ways. My heart is filled with gratitude for the days I got to explore the yinpath with Biff and all others, it was a soothing and rejuvenating experience that also happened to take place at a very difficult time of my life. Thank you for all the words shared, the silence that softly spoke and lots of heartfelt laughter" - Pia, Module 2, Sweden 2016
The days with you changed me in a very positive way. This is not what I expected when I signed up for the Yin Yoga Level 2, it was so much better! I'm feeling lighter and happier and I belive that I'm a better mom, partner, friend and yoga teacher after this training. When I got back home I went straight to the library and borrowed books by different poets and it has brought a new dimension to my classes and to me as a person. I have also noticed that the poems really can reach the students in a different way so they can be in contact with their feelings in a new way. Yin yoga is a beautiful tool to make our world a better place. - Pernilla, Module 2, Sweden 2016
De retour de Toscane où Biff et Marta nous ont accompagnés durant une semaine de pratique du yin yoga, portés par le flot du TAO, bercés par la musique de Marta et les poèmes de Biff. Une semaine à vivre et transcender l amour et la bienveillance autour du feu sacré, en cercle comme les peuples du monde premier. Un moment extrèmement fort partagé par tous et chacun d entre nous. Me voilà ressourcée, rechargée, désaltérée à la source, merci merci merci...... - Fabienne, Tuscany 2016
"I am pleasantly surprised at how Biff's yin yoga teachings correlate with the principles of Classical yoga. For example he asks his students to stay in the pose and let go of all the effort and resistance which is in line with the classical principle of Sthira Sukham Asanam. This literally means "Steady and comfortable (mentally and physically) pose is asana". He also mentioned that every individual needs to find his own correct alignment which is also true as per classical yoga teachings. I am glad to see that his yin classes, even though modern in their approach, reflect the essential classical principles of yoga." Yogi Ram, Founding Director Arhanta Yoga Ashrams
It was a tuesday night Yin yoga class... a collegue and an unexpected friend joined the class...a small intimate group, I was the facilitator... a playlist of mantra softly playing in the background... talking as if I were one to one, suggesting a non judgmental listening, surrendering into the earth beneath in a deep acceptace... words recalling images of nature, connecting with breath... then words of the great Kabir...and when I got to the sentence :"kabir says : student what is God? He is the breath inside the breath" "he is the breath inside the breath"... I really felt the Divine inside my breath...within myself...a sense of pure expansion, joy, peace,light in my heart...no more separation with the Divine... Elena Fanfani
I can only talk from my little humble experience. I learned a lot during these six days but perhaps the most valuable gift I took as a teacher was to realize that more important than the meridian, the right alignment or even the pose is to realize that we are all longing to connect and to heal. Connect with each other and with all those deep emotions stored in the body that we are longing to heal. We need a safe place for that to happen. A place were no one will try to correct or fix anything, were we can feel safe to open our hearts, were we can feel held and supported. I believe that is the role of a yin teacher. It is so tempting to take the role of the teacher who knows the right way (alignment?), to feel like the one who is going to “help” the students. That is actually easy to do. But to simply provide the right atmosphere of trust, to be a witness of the unraveling process of another human being without judgments or interventions is a different story. It takes wisdom and humbleness. I really don’t think I will ever forget Biff’s or Marta’s teachings. Nor the feeling of being held by each and everyone in that circle. It was deeply healing. Gracias de todo corazón a cada uno de ustedes. Eugenia
Dear Biff, dear Marta,
Thank you a lot for the very inspiring week in Munich! Right before I came to Munich there were a lot of changes on the run. I had to close some bigger chapters of my life to open up for new possibilities. E.g. I knew I wanted to quit my job, but I hesitated because of a whole bunch of reasons. Or: I knew I wanted to change the way of our current family-life, but I was not sure if my ideas about it were suitable or even doable. Or: I knew I had to cope with my cousins’ murder, but I could not see a way to accept…
At the end of almost one week full of (moving) meditation, listening to myself and others, exchanging ideas with others, thinking again about philosophies I studied a long time ago…After all this I was able to finally forgive myself and to take decisions without expecting them to be the right ones. I re-found trust and that is surely one big thing I would like to thank you for! Thank you! I came home that Monday in August, pretty late in the evening and I was awfully tired. The children were sleeping and after kissing them I briefly talked to my husband about the experiences I brought back and that I would introduce some thoughts into our daily life with our children tomorrow. And actually that’s what I did. The next morning I started our “family-Yin-path”. I stood up early in the morning for my daily meditation. After that I started to make our “starting mandala”. I started by filling the four directions with the four elements; I went into our garden to find items (or to let them find me) which would fit into the mandala and I added them.
Slowly my family woke up and came downstairs into the living room where I sat in front of the mandala. The first one downstairs was my youngest son. He came sitting next to me and just enjoyed silently what he saw. When all the others were sitting on the floor around the mandala, we started to talk about what we saw…beauty, calmness, elements. We talked about the possibility to start over again at every single moment by accepting the (near) past as unchangeable and the present as a chance.
The next day two of my children and I returned to Germany to stay with my parents, and we took our mandala-ideas with us. The next morning we made a new mandala at the table, talking about the elements and the archetypes we can connect to. The children chose the first element they wanted to play with: earth. So we talked about the healer, we went on a long walk, looking for and feeling the earth: we walked barefoot through the forest, lied on the earth to feel her rhythm, to feel her support. The 8 year old boy found stones representing his feeling about the earth. The 11 year old girl (upcoming puberty) tried to “escape” our suggestions by “officially boycotting” them. But leaving her with her own decisions made her finding her own way of experiencing earth. She came home, helped my father and other elderly people with drinking coffee and listening to their confused stories (my father was living in a retirement home by then). When we returned to our mandala, both children re-arranged it with “earthy goodies” and we kept our wish to make our own drums for later:
The next day they chose the element fire. We searched the internet for films about the dessert and its inhabitants, we ate prickly pears while talking about nomads, camels, lizards and snakes. We searched the forest to find some snakes, but returned empty handed. Finally we found other “fire-y goodies” for our mandala. And again we kept an idea for later: the campfire to make our own bread.
Our vacation time was over and we had to return to school. Since then it is more difficult for us to stay on track. For the last couple of years I am thinking about “letting go” and how difficult it is for me to let go. Talking in Munich about non-attachment; especially non-attachment to the outcome of our actions gave me some insights in my own (re-)actions. And I took our “family-Yin-path” as an opportunity to exercise non-attachment to the outcome of my actions. The 11 year old girl gives me so many chances to learn, because at this point she refuses almost every suggestion I make. A wonderful situation to learn about non-attachment and about accepting that I cannot accept some things… Last weekend we had our day of water. Luckily we had a warm day and I had a lot of ideas for or with water. And our daughter did not want to spend more time with the elements. Finally it was warm enough and my daughter wanted to go to the river, fishing. She knows for sure that I do not fish for fun. But we went to the river. I thought that finally there is water… We put our old sandals on, just in case… When we came to the river, we tried the water and it felt good. Since my daughter likes to provoke, likes to try unusual/unaccepted things, I just walked down the river. Inspired by the warnings from other people she followed me. Finally we walked down the river for some hundred meters. We slipped on the slippery stones, we fell into the water, we tried to walk back only to understand how hard it is to walk up the river. We understood how much more effective it would be to go with the flow. We fell over again and finally we found a way out of the water. We went home, still laughing, still feeling the anxiety and the trust, still feeling connected to the earth, the water and to each other.
Only days later we re-arranged back home our watery mandala:
Some evenings, when we had some difficulties earlier that day, I start my Yin-practice by talking during meditation. My family does not answer, but they listen. The first time the 11 year old girl moaned like if she was annoyed, but still she listened carefully, while I was forgiving: forgiving myself for all nasty things I said or did to others because of my diverse confusions….forgiving others for all nasty things they said or did to me or to others because their diverse confusions… And since then they fully listen while I am “praying” for loving kindness, happiness, deep and natural peace, health and freedom…for me, my loved ones, all people in this world, all people, spirits, entities in the whole cosmos… After listening the family spirit often is calm again and the “prayer” becomes true for us. We still have one element to go: the air. And we are all looking forward to it. This is the way I practice the Yin in our family to connect (with) the people I love. Besides this also my Yin-teaching has changed, but this is not the most important to me…at this stage…