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Yin Yoga

yin yoga
Suitable for almost all levels of students, Yin Yoga is a perfect complement to the dynamic and muscular (yang) styles of yoga that emphasise internal heat, and the lengthening and contracting of our muscles. Yin Yoga generally targets the connective tissues of the hips, pelvis, and lower spine.

yin yoga

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yin yoga

Key benefits of a regular Yin Yoga practice

• Stillness: calms and balances the mind and body
• Stress and anxiety reduction
• Increased circulation
• Improved flexibility
• Fascial release
• Greater joint mobility
• Balance to the internal organs and improved flow of chi or prana through meridian stimulation

About Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga targets the connective tissues, such as the ligaments, bones, and even the joints of the body that normally are not exercised very much in a more active style of asana practice.

While initially this style of yoga can seem quite boring, passive, or soft, yin practice can be quite challenging due to the long duration of the poses, remaining in the postures anywhere from one to ten minutes!

Yin and yang tissues respond quite differently to being exercised. You need to experience this to really know what Yin Yoga is all about. After you have experienced it, even just once, you will realise that you have been doing only half of the asana practice.

yin yoga
yin yoga

Accepting the things we cannot change is the serenity of yin. The courage to change what needs to be changed is yang.

Practicing Yin Yoga

• Come into the pose to an appropriate depth
• Resolve to remain still
• Hold the pose for time

Yin Yoga deliberately targets the deeper connective tissues. To be most effective we want the muscles to be relaxed. If the muscles are warm and active they will tend to absorb most of the tension of the stretch.

Practicing in the morning will give the best physical results, as the muscles have not yet become active allowing the stretching to settle deeper into our tissues.

However, an evening practice can be quite beneficial psychologically. After an active day being able to find stillness can balance out the energies in the body. When life is busy, when we spend many hours traveling, these are all yang times of our life. Balance is achieved when we cultivate yin energies. During a woman’s menstrual period she may naturally find a yin practice beneficial.

about yin yoga

Harmony or balance in life comes from having the wisdom to know the difference. This wisdom cannot be given to you or taught to you. It will come through your own experience.

Listen to your body, go to your first edge and when, and if, the body opens and invites you in deeper, then accept the invitation and go to the next edge. Once at this new edge, again pause and wait for the next opening.

You do not need to go any further if you are already feeling a significant stretch, compression, or twist in the body. Going further is a sign of ego; it is not doing yoga. Staying where you are is embracing yin.

However, this is not an excuse to stay back and not go deep into the posture. When we work at our edges we come to the point of significant resistance.

This will entail some discomfort. In this way, Yin Yoga is not meant to be comfortable; Yin Yoga will take you well outside your comfort zone. Much of the benefit of the practice will come from staying in this zone of discomfort, despite the mind’s urgent please to leave, to move, to do anything but stay. This too is part of the practice.

As long as we are not experiencing pain, we remain. If you are experiencing any of the following come out of the pose:

• Burning sensations
• Deep twisting
• Sharp electrical-like pains

Overall if you feel your muscles tensing, you are struggling!

Further Reading

Yin on Wiki
Why Try Yin?

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