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Find the yin to your yang ☯

Updated: Dec 31, 2021

Yin and yang

The word ‘Yin’ is often used in relation to feeling calm, relaxed and zen- but what is Yin yoga? I recently completed by Yin yoga teacher training and I would love to introduce you to this style of yoga. Yin yoga has been hugely beneficial to introduce into my practice, as I have found it has been a way of finding peace and stillness within yoga, to balance the often frantic and busy world we still find ourselves in!

What is Yin yoga?

The term “yin yoga” comes from the Taoist tradition. Yang relates to movement, often repetitive movement, creating heat in the body. Yin is about finding stillness and cooling the body- we need both to come into balance to stay in optimum health.

Yin yoga is focused on slowing down without the ‘yang’ element of yoga where we move at pace between poses and sequences. Yin is a quieter practice and teaches us to sit with stillness as we hold poses for a duration of time (usually between 2-10 minutes, sometimes longer). In life many of our focus is on doing more, achieving more and focusing on moving forwards which can be exhausting mentally and physically. Yin teaches us to move at a calmer pace, stretch slowly and mindfully and to simply let go of any tension we are holding.

Yin yoga is focused on elongating and stretching the fascia and connective tissue. This tissue is different to muscles which are thought to be the ‘yang’ of the body. Connective tissue includes ligaments, joints, bones, the deep fascia networks of the body and the meridians. If you gently stretch connective tissue by holding a yin pose for a length of time, the body will respond by making them a little longer and stronger. This comes back to the principle of the exercise – to stress the tissue so the body will respond by strengthening it.

What are the potential benefits of Yin yoga?

There are many benefits of yoga for our overall wellbeing. Yin yoga may help to:

  • Calms the nervous system

  • Lowers the heart rate

  • Balances emotions

  • Prevents joint rigidity and stiffness

  • Improves flexibility

  • Creates a sound foundation for meditation

  • Improves mental clarity and focus, encourages mindfulness

  • Helps to reduce stress and anxiety

What do I need to practice?

Very little! You just need some space to lie down and a few props from around the house including blankets, cushions and a rolled up towel. Having a warm space to practice is helpful as it allows the body to be warmer, ready for prolonged stretching.

Who is it good for?

Yin yoga is suitable for anyone beginners and those with experience of yoga. This style in particular is a more restorative practice than other forms of exercise. Yin can also be a great starting point for anyone interested in meditation as it has such an internal focus.

Class Information

My Yin/Relaxation Yoga begins next Wednesday 5th January 2022 online 7.30-8.30pm.

Sign up to unlimited online classes for January for £22 a month here

This includes access to 3 'live' weekly classes and recordings to these classes.

Pay As You Go as a single class online for £5. Book online via the website here

Yin Yang ☯️⁠

"The ancient symbol of harmony reminds us that life is a balancing act and most fulfilling when we learn to embrace its dualities."

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