Photo courtesy of arztsamui @ freestockphotos.net
Yin Yoga is a type of yoga that is practiced with fewer poses than a traditional yoga class. The poses are held for longer periods of time effecting fascial networks, joints, ligaments, deep connective tissues and even our bones. Yin Yoga is from the Hatha Yoga tradition of yoga that I teach. When the practitioner holds a pose longer, say 5 to 10 minutes, deeper aspects of yoga can be revealed. Practicing Yin Yoga is quieter, softer, can be more mental, emotional and even more physical than your regular yoga practice. Yin Yoga works at opening up the meridians of the body positively effecting all your organs. Isn’t it amazing that here in the west we focus on the outside of the body mostly? How long will it take before more Americans embrace yoga for it’s wonderful health benefits? Well if you ask me, ignorance and pride are the first two afflictions of humankind and I doubt this will change anytime soon.
Yin and Yang are two opposites like sun and moon. Sun would represent yang or life and moon would represent yin or yoga. Yin and Yang comes from Chinese Daoism. The Dao is the middle of everything, similar to equipoise of yoga. The middle is always there but we live mostly toward one side or the other. When this middle is achieved, balance and harmony erupt toward wholeness and vibrant health. Some examples of yin and yang are, male and female, dark and light, water and fire, night and day, earth and heaven, cold and hot, even and odd. Yin Yoga is nourishing, surrendering, deep, passive and awakening. Yin Yoga can be challenging because the poses can be held for up to 20 minutes.