Yin yoga is based on the opposing and complementary principles of the Taoist concepts of ying and yang in nature. Yin is the unmoving and hidden aspect of everything, while yang is the moving and revealed aspect. Tight connective tissues in the body are yin, while more mobile and flexible muscles are yang.
Yin yoga is a slow, gentle practice that involves holding poses for several minutes at a time. Unlike other forms of yoga, which often focus on strength and flexibility, yin yoga targets the connective tissues in the body, including the joints, ligaments, and fascia. By holding poses for longer periods of time, yin yoga allows you to stretch these tissues and improve your range of motion.
Yin yoga usually consists of prolonged, passive floor poses of the hips, pelvis, inner thighs and lower spine. These areas are particularly rich in connective tissues. The poses are practised for five minutes, sometimes longer.
The duration of a yin yoga class varies between 30-40 minutes and each class has a different focus: hips, spine, legs, upper body, chakras, breath and mind.
Benefits of yin yoga
Balances and calms the mind and body
Reduces stress and anxiety
Improves joint mobility
Stabilises internal organs
Improves prana flow
Who should do this practice?
If you feel tired all the time or have an overstimulated and irregular energy flow, this practice is for you.
In modern society we are all available 24/7 and overstimulated. We have minds that are constantly processing the information that comes our way. Our minds try to process information without realising the value of the information. In order to calm down, we need our mind to stop and relax a little. Yin yoga is a great way to balance all the movement of life.
Yin yoga and the body
This yoga practice works on yin tissues, also known as connective tissues. Connective tissues respond better to slow and steady movements, so in this yoga, poses are practised for longer periods of time. Practising poses for a long time helps the connective tissues to become longer and stronger. The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen the body. Different yin yoga poses stimulate and heal blockages in the body. In this way, the internal organs are also balanced.
Yin yoga and the mind
The moments of space created by holding the poses in the class for a long time create space for things that want to emerge in the mind. Anxiety, happiness or boredom that we suppress when we are on the move can come out with yoga. Yin yoga gives you the time and space to allow these feelings.
In a yin yoga class the instructors will encourage you to allow all emotions to be there, but not to identify with them. Your instructor should guide you to become an observer of all the emotions that arise. The body expends a great deal of energy to contain repressed emotions. Allowing emotions to arise will free your body. In this way you allow your mind to clear subconscious emotions, giving your system the opportunity to work on clearing blockages in your body.
Yin yoga tips
Practise your poses slowly and gently. Do not expend maximum energy on your pose, do not be so insistent that your body suffers.
Consciously release the pose. Try to remain still without making too many changes.
Start by holding the pose for 1-3 minutes.
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