Yin Yoga

What is Yin Yoga ?

In Yin yoga we learn to relax, be patient, be quiet and focus on the skeleton and its joints, compressing of the bones and pulling on the skin tissue to stimulate the meridian lines that lay beneath the surface. In doing so our main organs are revitalised by removing stagnant energy/blockages, particularly within and around the joints by the chi/prana that we pool in the stillness to release and move freely within the body. Yin is about yielding stillness, holding poses for 2-5mins.  Poses are mainly on the floor and taken to an appropriate depth (70-80%) using props to support you when required so as to not build tension in the body. It's different to restorative yoga; we're moving the body to different poses and feeling the pulling of the tissue or compression of the bones in different shapes.  Many names of the poses relate to animals, such as caterpillar pose known as pashimotasana in traditional yang style yoga (seated forward.) Reaching deeper into the body tissue such as fascia, ligaments, tendons and joints where it’s harder to stretch and open. 

What are the benefits of Yin Yoga?

  • Calming and balancing to the mind and body
  • Coming back from injuries (gentle yielding practice)
  • Regulates energy in the body
  • Increases mobility in the body, especially the joints and hips
  • Lowering of stress levels 
  • Greater stamina (auto immune diseases)
  • Better lubrication and protection of joints
  • More flexibility in joints & connective tissue
  • Release of fascia throughout the body
  • Help with migraines
  • Deeper Relaxation
  • Help coping with anxiety and stress (depression)
  • Better ability to sit for meditation
  • Ultimately you will have a better Yang practice – introducing Yin will create a more well-rounded practice as well as a better-rounded version of the awesome you!

Why is it different to a usual class?

The difference from a usual yoga class is that in a yin practice we are holding poses for at least several minutes and stretching the connective tissue around a joint.  Yin yoga also focuses on the seven main chakra's described as subtle wheels of energy within the spine and stimulates the meridians to heal and revitalise major organs such as the kidneys, bladder, heart, lungs, small and large intestines, stomach, spleen, gall bladder and liver.  The yin practice prepares your body for meditation and allows time to explore the physical, emotional and thought body. We allow the body to invite us into the pose rather than have the ego/mind force the body to be a certain way. Our Yin practice can be like a meditative flow from one pose to the next using the breath to keep us anchored to the present moment.

Any time we can find to be still and be present in the here and now, we can get closer to the source, get closer to finding the intimate relationship with oneself of true nature. Deepening our self-awareness. A balance of yin (stillness) and yang (flow) creates a perfect union of yoga. Chita Vritti Nirodah - To still the fluctuations of the mind. Calm Body, Peace in the Mind and Love in the Heart. Buddhist philosophy is also used as a vehicle to develop an awareness of the beauty within your true nature and intuition. Trusting the intelligence of your heart, safe in the knowledge that the true answer lies within you. As you develop in self-realisation and dare to show the world who you really are, the true answer to your problem will emerge from the depth of your being - a place that is naturally pure, full of wisdom and love.

By Terri Montgomery

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