The reason I love teaching Yin yoga is that it is all encompassing mind-body practice. While practicing Yin you are working at a physical, energetic, mental and emotional level to create a greater sense of inner peace and balance.
Yin differs greatly from other yoga styles which are more Yang in nature. These styles target the muscle tissue creating heat and movement in the body, improving posture and alignment and increasing heart rate and cardiovascular activity. On the other hand, Yin yoga targets connective tissue through long, steady stretches that get beneath the muscles to the deeper layers of tissue between the muscles and the fascia and work to calm and stabilise our nervous system.
On a physical level, the aim of Yin is to increase circulation and improve flexibility in the joint areas by working different parts of the body that we wouldn’t normally tap in to – this is a perfect complement to other styles of yoga and muscle training!
On an energetic level, Yin helps us to regulate the body’s flow of energy through the system – it can be like doing a subtle acupuncture treatment in your body and gives you that dreamy afterglow feeling when you leave!
On a mental level, people sometimes find the long holds uncomfortable during Yin, however this is kind of the point. Yin encourages you to slow down and calm the mind and sit through the discomfort without fidgeting. It is a great ‘mind trainer’, that can help you to deal with other discomforts in your life.
On an emotional level, Yin works by helping you to release trapped emotions stored in the deeper levels of fascia tissue. You see, we tend to store our emotions in various parts of our bodies, and memories, anxieties and tension linger in cells stored deep in our tissues. When we go into a yin yoga pose it opens a part of the body that has been left untouched for a while, and these deeply stored memories and emotions can resurface. Try to remember, that feeling into these emotions, staying still and dealing with whatever comes up, one breath at a time, is often rewarding and can help you grow.
This practice is a beautiful way to experience yoga by reconnecting to your mind and body in a gentle, compassionate way. It provides a safe place for your mind and body to enter to gain greater personal growth through a meditative and blissful experience.
Come along to one of my classes to experience the joy of Yin for yourself!