While yoga practiced in the West is mostly yang or muscular in nature, the lesser known yin aspect of yoga is vital for a balanced approach to a physical and mental health.
Yin Yoga is an inside journey through the body. It’s finding stillness within and can be a meditative form of yoga. Most poses/asana’s focus on the lower part of the body, where we all hold a lot of tension by spending so much time sitting in chairs all day. In Yin Yoga we get into the pose and stay there 3-5 minutes, sometimes even longer. By putting temporary, stationary stress on the body we reach the deeper layers, the connective tissue and the fascia which are not affected during the active forms of yoga (yang) but are both needed to find balance.
Yin Yoga is sometimes referred as ‘acupuncture without needles’ since it’s reaching the meridians, the energy lines in the body which are all connected to our stomach organs and overall well-being. We can balance the energy system, based on TCM (traditional Chinese medicine theory).
We have an opportunity to release suppressed emotion that are stored in the body, by staying still and breathing into what we feel. Not running away from it, but staying with it so the energy can move again. It’s important in this active, dynamic and demanding world and lifestyle (yang) that we connect with stillness within (yin) to feel balanced and connected with yourself on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. The main differences between a yin and yang practice are that yin postures should be done with the muscles relaxed and be held a long time.
We are used to push ourselves to limits in this achievement oriented society.
In Yin Yoga we have the opportunity to learn to be still, to let go and to be with whatever comes up, which can continue benefiting in your daily life as well. You are invited to explore your natural edge and make a journey through the body, which can be combined with mindfulness and breath awareness.
Yin Yoga is for everybody, of all ages, styles and backgrounds.
Yin & Yang
~Yin and Yang are like two rivers constantly meeting, one side continually changing into and becoming the other~
Like everything in life, both yin and yang form of exercise are necessary, and they supplement each other.
Yang Yoga focuses on the muscles and Yin Yoga focuses on connective tissue.
The fundamental characteristic of yang exercise is rhythmic movement. All form of yang exercise, such as running, weightlifting and swimming, alternately contact and relax the muscles. Most popular forms of yoga are Yang: Ashtanga Vinyasa or Power Yoga. Exercises that create gentle traction of the connective tissue are yin.
In yoga classes the focus will be on Yin or Yang, or a combination of both.