11 Sep What Is Yin Yoga?
The term “yin yoga” comes from the Taoist tradition. Yang relates to movement, often repetitive movement, creating heat in the body. This can be attributed to most of the modern new wave yoga practices we are seeing in many studios. Power Yoga, Rocket Yoga and Bikram are just area that are common place in many studios throughout the UK. We seem to be naturally drawn to movement, speed and intensity but it’s so importance we don’t neglect our stillness. Yin is about finding this stillness and cooling the body. One of our most universal Laws is that of balance. Everything should be in balance for life to thrive and so as with yoga we need both movement and stillness to come into balance to stay in optimum condition.
Yin yoga can complement an already active life or help those who feel distracted by a busy mind. Let’s face it we are constantly emailing, texting and posting social media updates, trying to keep up with the speed and pressures of daily life and if we are honest at times it’s all to much. Yin Yoga is the perfect cure for this feelings.
Yin yoga is practiced sitting or lying on the floor. There are no planks, no warriors, no core work. No dynamic sun salutations! Don’t worry there are plenty of the asans that you may have known from your other classes too – forward bends with legs together or apart, lunges and gentle backbends. There is a key difference in yin yoga, is that they are held for a longer period of time to increase flexibility in that part of the body. Instead of holding for five breaths, as in an ashtanga vinyasa class, in a yin class they could be held for between two and 20 minutes!!! Usually the poses are held for around 3-5 minutes. On a physiological level these longer postures give the muscles time to “turn off” and enable the practice of yin to help work on connective tissue such as ligaments and tendons. Our bodies are made up of yang and yin tissues. Muscles are yang, so in order to be strengthened they must be challenged with yang activity (repetitive movement, creating heat remember). Shorter holds, dynamic stretching (eg sun salutations) and running, general exercise etc target yang tissue – muscles.
Longer, static holds enable us to access yin tissue – fascia and connective tissue. We need the combination of yang and yin to keep the joints healthy. Teeth are an example of a very yin part of the body. If you wanted to change and shape the position of your teeth, you wouldn’t knock or hammer away at them quickly, but rather apply extremely gentle pressure over a long period of time – months or years (braces).
This makes it a perfect accompaniment to those who are taking other more intensive exercise such as running, gym classes or even another yang practice such as vinyasa or power yoga.
On a psychological and emotional level Yin Yoga allows the body to drop down into the parasympathetic nervous system (calming), and therefore becomes very healing and nourishing. Make no mistakes in thinking that Yin yoga is easy, boring or unchallenging! Yin is without doubt one of our most beautiful practices and unlocks new challenges with practice.
Come and try a heated Yin practice at YogaLife studio. Click the link below & after registering use promotional code freehotyogapass1 at the checkout to claim your FREE class!
Yin Yoga Sundays 11am www,yogalifeuk.com
Summer Field Village