Light on Yin
When I was asked to write a blog about Yin yoga, I wanted more than anything to shed some light on this lovely practice. I could probably write several pages on the what, how, and why of Yin yoga, however writing a book is very different than writing a blog! The intention for this blog is to share how Yin yoga balances our more active practices, and how it benefits other aspects of our lives.
I would like to take a moment to touch on Vinyasa yoga, which is probably what most of us have heard about or practice presently. In a Vinyasa class students move through a flowing sequence of asanas, or postures, that connect the breath to movements, while building heat in the body. This type of practice is loved by the muscles! The muscles respond to the repetitive movements found in a Vinyasa class, which allows them to be stretched and strengthened.
Yin yoga beautifully complements our more active (Vinyasa) yoga practice and our active lifestyles because it is a more cooling practice. When we have too much of one thing, we naturally become imbalanced. One of the goals of yoga is to move towards balance, creating harmony in our bodies and system as a whole. Think of those days that are jam packed with things to do, full of running around and a ton of stimulation. Those days can leave us feeling drained and depleted. On the flip side, when we have those days where we are relaxing and sitting all day, we may feel the urge to do something, anything that moves us. That is why balance in our yoga practice and our lives is so important in restoring our body, mind, and spirit.
Yin yoga is yoga for the joints and deeper connective tissues. Postures are held anywhere from 1-5 minutes to allow time to reach these deeper areas, releasing tension and stress. The postures in a yin class mostly target the hips, pelvis, and low back. This practice is passive yet intense as we are opening deeper areas of the body to promote healing.
When our joints and deeper connective tissues are strengthened and nourished through a Yin practice, we receive greater range of motion in these areas, which also encourages these areas to stay healthy and happy. As we hold certain postures for some time, areas even deep into the organ system are reached. Whatever is in excess (tension), releases out, and whatever is lacking (weak), is nourished. As we get older our bodies start drying up! The thought of that is an interesting one; however, it is true…especially for our joints and our bones. Practicing Yin encourages these areas to stay healthy, which in the long run will increase their vitality.
The nature of the practice creates a strong inner focus, allowing us to become fully in tune with ourselves and our own rhythms. It empowers us to fully inhabit our bodies no matter how we may be feeling or what we may be dealing with. This not only supports us on our mats, it also trickles out into our daily lives.
What’s next? Come to class, roll out your mats, and see how this practice can be a delightful complement to your daily lives! Class is held every Monday and Wednesday evening at 7:45 pm.