Yin Yoga: Deep Stretching Of The Body’s Connective Tissues
This month I am focusing on stretching and meditation. My current weekly practice, Yin Yoga, is a great way to achieve this. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Thanks! Enjoy!
Yin Yoga is a deep, powerful, and nurturing practice which targets the connective tissues, such as fascia, ligaments, tendons, and even the bones and joints of the body. This is usually not exercised very much in a more active style of asana practice, the dynamic and muscular (yang) styles of yoga that emphasizes internal heat, and the lengthening and contracting of our muscles.
While initially this style of yoga can seem quite passive or soft, Yin practice can be challenging due to the long duration of the poses. Each posture during a Yin Yoga class is held for an average of three to five minutes to encourage the slow and safe opening of connective tissues. Your teacher will help you get into a pose; you stretch until your “edge” and then relax into various props, while observing and staying with sensation.
Yin Yoga creates a balance and peace in the mind. There is a focus on the breath, being in the present moment, relieving tension, and letting go. The Yin practice includes powerful mental and emotional benefits as its practitioner becomes quiet, still, and mindful of the present.
Benefits of Yin Yoga:
- Feeling calm and balanced
- Regulated energy levels (Chi)
- Stress levels lowered
- Greater strength
- Improved health
- Flexibility of the body’s connective tissues and joints
- Slowed signs of aging
- Greater stamina
- Improved meditation
- Deeper relaxation
Yin practice takes you deeper into where you are, not out to where you think you should be. This approach challenges us to rethink what asana is about. It marries meditation and asana into a very deep practice. Some people, especially beginners, are not interested in or willing to do this—to sit inside their discomfort and just watch their reactions instead of trying to fix or change the pose. Yin yoga challenges you to sit in the pure presence of awareness. It’s hard in a different way than active asana practice, but in a way that’s more profound and satisfying as well as more beneficial to the deeper tissues. -Sarah Powers
I encourage you to research yoga studios in your area. You must specify: Yin Yoga. Relax, reduce stress, and let peace into your mind and body.
In love & harmony,