Yin yoga is the yoga of surrender, of letting go. This calming yoga style address the connective tissue. It opens up blocked energy channels or meridians (especially lower body), restoring healthy body function. Its cooling properties, slow pace and focus on deeper breath help you relax. Performing Yin Yoga poses for over 3 mins can give remarkable results.
What Is Yin Yoga?
Yin Yoga is basically a Taoist movement based yoga practice. Yin yoga is often referred to by its nickname – the yoga of surrender. Of letting go. Of everything – all the tension, tightness and resistance – and melt into a long-held yoga pose.
Yin and Yang are two contrary forces that complement each other. These forces cannot exist without each other. Yin represents cooling, calming and feminine properties while Yang stands for heating, invigorating and masculine aspects. This yoga practice focuses on the union of harmony with nature and the primordial essence or the fundamental nature of the Universe. This slower and meditative practice has gained popularity worldwide for its wide range of benefits.
Most of the yoga classes we come across nowadays are Yang in nature – with the use of strong and active asanas. However, some of us need the slow, stretching moves as well. Yin practices are generally compliant in nature and usually address the connective tissue. When there’s limitation or restriction, the body usually tends to become stiff and dehydrated. This occurs due to genetics or bone structure, excess athletic activities like cycling or weight lifting, adhesion from surgery, trauma or just a sedentary lifestyle.
Yin Yoga Benefits
Yin Yoga can help solve problems with the connective tissue, when combined with conscious breath and healthy lifestyle choices.
Controlling Mood Swings
One type of individual who may benefit vastly from this practice are ‘Hotheads’. These are the kinds who want to take a break from their daily Ashtanga once in a while and relax with the Yin practices. Their fiery temperament may not want to acknowledge their feisty mood swings. They are usually affected by rashes, inflammation, acid reflux and pain. Yin Yoga can help benefit them with its cooling properties, slow pace and deeper breath.
Opening Up Energy Channels
Yin yoga also follows the same concept of traditional Chinese medicine, focusing on energy channels or meridians that run through the fascia. Blockage of these channels usually causes dysfunction and several diseases. Different stretches in Yin yoga usually aim at removing these blockages and restoring healthy function. Most Yin classes address the lower body meridians.
Where Yin Yoga Works Better Than Yang
Yin Yang Yoga poses inherent challenges for the gumbies. These are the uber flexibles who easily touch their head to their floor or easily transition into full splits. Yin stretches come easily to them and they tend to destabilize their hips and joints. Their focus is more on strengthening the hips and joints than deep stretching. These individuals may benefit more from Yang practices than Yin.
Who Should Practice Yin Yoga?
This depends on the time of year and degree of stiffness.
- A gumby can usually do a weekly Yin practice if he is moderate and balances it with some strength practices. His meridians may benefit from the slow and smooth movements.
- Hotheads may find the practice challenging. However, the health benefits of reducing inflammation can help solve most of their problems.
Yin poses are usually performed for over 3 minutes – with proven remarkable results!