What Is Yin Yoga?
Yoga Is Not Just Stretching
Ok, for all of you out there who think Yoga is just about stretching… well frankly you are wrong. It is union of the body with the mind, with the breath, with the spirit, and with your environment. It is the relief of physical and mental tension. It is self-discovery. It is the pursuit of the ability to settle the mind anywhere, under any circumstance. One of the vehicles we can use to reach this intended state of “Samadhi” is through asana practice. Through breathe the body naturally opens up and allows us to go deeper into the poses and deeper into our minds.
The Two Types Of Yoga
There are two different strains of yoga: the Yin and the Yang. Yang yoga is typically what westerners are more familiar with. Yang style yoga is more active, more dynamic, it identifiably works the muscles and has a heavy emphasis on the cardiovascular system. So what about yin then?
Yin the counterbalance to the yang practice. Yang is hot and fiery, while Yin is cool and calming. The Yin practice is meditative with an emphasis on getting into the deep connective tissue, fascia layers and joints.
In the yin practice we move slowly, and with intention, allowing the body to open up naturally. Instead of using the body to enter the pose, we use the pose to enter the body making this a great practice for any level and any age.
How Does It Wotk?
Through the practice beginners may hold poses for anywhere from 2-5 minutes while more advanced practitioners may stay in one position for up to twenty minutes. Yin is all about the sensation. It doesn’t matter how the pose looks, if you are feeling it, you are doing it. As we hold for time and breathe the body naturally opens up and allows us to go deeper into the poses and deeper into our minds.
The stillness of the body and the focus of the breath permit a stillness of the mind. In that stillness we can experience the sensations of the body and explore the emotions that tend to bubble up during the asana. We simple acknowledge the shifts of energy and thought, breathe, and move on. This allows for the state of meditation to occur where the body enters a state of relaxation where we can release the negative emotions and physical tension we carry throughout our busy lives
What Do I Need To Practice?
The great thing about yin yoga is that most of the poses are on the floor so you don’t really need much equipment other than a quiet space you can stretch out in. However, a mat, a pillow a strap, some blocks and a link to our weekly free class can be useful!
Every Thursday at 7pm EST we host a free online yin yoga class. Enjoy from the comfort of your own home.