YIN Yoga Class
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Yin Yoga is a slow-paced and passive yoga practice where postures are practiced statically for an extended period of time, ranging from two to five minutes. Most of Yin Yoga is practiced on the floor with passive poses that mainly work the lower part of the body – the hips, pelvis, inner thighs, lower spine.
Yin Yoga offers only 25 poses.
We enter a pose, let go of all tension, muscular effort and surrender to the pose while letting gravity do the work. By doing so, we work towards "our appropriate edge," relax the muscles and apply moderate stress to the deepest layers of connective tissues of the body -tendons, fascia, and ligaments- improving the health and mobility of joints.
Is Yin Yoga right for you?
The first principle is to come or find our appropriate edge. This principle intends to work deep into the connective tissue. Yin Yoga does not work the muscles. There is usually no warm-up before class. We should practice yin yoga when our muscles are cool, so they don’t steal the stretch away from the deeper tissues.
We move slowly and gently into the Asana and look for an appropriate amount of intensity. Once we find our appropriate edge, we move into our second principle, resolve to be still.
Resolve To Be Still
When we resolve to be still, we stay for a length of time and give our body a chance to open up and invite us to go deeper. After a minute or so, usually, the body releases and greater depth is possible. But not always. Listen to the body and respect its requests.
You do not need to go any further if you are already feeling a significant stretch, compression, or twist in the body. Going further is a sign of ego; it is not doing yoga. Staying where you are is embracing yin.
Hold For Time
As long as we are not experiencing pain, we remain in the asanas. Shart or nagging pain means you should get out of the pose and adjust. Burning sensations, limbs falling asleep or sharp electrical pains are definite signs of coming out immediately. However, dull, achy sorts of sensations are expected, and only you can know what you are feeling; be your own guru at these times and develop your wisdom. Come out when you are struggling to stay at this edge. If you feel your muscles tensing, you are struggling!
As we hold for a time, playing to our edges is not only physical ones; we also have emotional and mental edges. You may find that you are unconsciously holding back from going deeper because if you went slightly further, you would be flooded with painful memories or feelings. You may not be ready for these yet. Honour your edges wherever they appear.
three kinds of stillness
We seek three kinds of stillness:
The stillness of the body … like a majestic mountain
The stillness of the breath … like a calm mountain lake
The stillness of the mind … like the deep blue of the sky
Benefits of a regular Yin yoga practice
Calms and balances the mind and body
Reduces stress and anxiety
Releases fascia and improves joint mobility
Balances the internal organs and improves the flow of chi or prana
Yin Yoga and meridian theory
One of the unique aspects of Yin yoga is its incorporation of the body's energetic lines, known as meridians. These are similar to the concept of the nadis from traditional yoga philosophy.
While this is not a visible force, it is suggested that yin yoga stimulates and targets different organs via specific postures. Yin Yoga sequence is sometimes designed to the corresponding meridians.
It is also suggested that when we hold Yin Yoga poses for longer periods of time, it stimulates hyaluronic acid production in the body and joints, therefore increasing the abundance of pranic energy for healing and health.
It is believed that when there is a blockage in a meridian or energy channel, disease sets in. One of the meridians' main functions is to promote the flow of chi or life force energy throughout the body.