Updated: Sep 3
Updated: Feb 16
Yin yoga stretches and targets both the deep connective tissues between the muscles, and the fascia throughout the body. The aim is to increase circulation in the joints and improve flexibility as the poses stretch and exercise the bone and joint areas Yin yoga is a modality of Yoga emphasizing on the connective tissue: joints, cartilage, tendons, bones. While most modalities of yoga work on muscles, through constant change from one asana to the next, and/or with rhythm and speed; In Ying Yoga the work is done deeply into the fascia and/or connective tissue through holding the asanas for periods of time between 3 and 20 minutes (even longer for experienced practitioners). The transition between asanas is slow, but with time it can become rhythmic. In Yin Yoga the practice is done through three steps: 1. You communicate to your body to find the right position; this time is for your body to find the position that implies work out but still comfortable to hold. It’s important to take the time to find it since you will be there for a while. 2. You find that posture. 3. You hold the posture for the length of time that is pertinent for your body and your level. In ying yoga, we played with the edge of the asana: a posture comfortable and safe enough that we can hold for a length of time but challenging enough to give the body the recognition that is working out. Finding that balance is one of the key points in this practice, finding that middle place. The asana in Yin Yoga should be a position that: our body can hold, is safe/stable enough to keep for a length of time and is not painful or shaky. This posture can be awkward , providing the body with a some level of stress. This is a beneficial stress that prompts the body to elongate, to twist, to tense and to compress. Tension and compression are the two main principles in Yin Yoga. We play with these two: checking the body to see how far it can go or where the body finds it’s edge in a safe and not aggressive. When we do Yin yoga we are activating energy flow through the different meridians. Depending on the asanas we practice, we unblock and prompt energy flow in different organs: liver, kidneys, stomach, spleen and so on. A consistent Yin Yoga practice aids healing and detoxing of internal organs. Opening the meridians facilitates the elimination of toxins.
As in any other yoga modality, the breathing is paramount in Yin Yoga. It is an opportunity to do long, deep breaths. Through breath awareness, we also can understand how the body is setting into the posture, if the body is struggling, if we are going farther than we need, if we need to pull back or move deeper into the asana. The breath needs to be deep and no shallow, easy and fluid through the practice.
YIN YOGA IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO EMBRACE YOUR UNIQUE BODY.
In this practice we are not looking for flexibility, we are looking for stiffness, for this place where we meet the edge and the resistance, is in that place where we embrace our unique body and needs. There is not competition towards the perfect posture and not standard length of time to hold it. Through a consistent practice of Yin Yoga, we gain recognition and intimacy with our own anatomy. Is in this recognition that we allow and improvement of the relationship with our body, conducive to more feelings of self-appreciation and self-love.