What is Yin Yoga Anyway?
Yin Yoga is a contemplative, stillness practice. Incorporating aspects of Chinese medicine, it involves holding passive poses for longer periods of time than more active styles of yoga. Practitioners hold poses anywhere from 3 - 5 minutes, with more advanced practitioners staying in place for up to 20 minutes.
The physical focus is to soften and relax muscles in each pose so that connective tissues like ligaments, tendons, and fascia can be stimulated and elongated. From an energetic perspective, this softening of the muscles and stimulating of the connective tissues can help to move prana, or chi, throughout the body. Staying in a pose for longer periods also helps to develop a meditative sense of focus. Most students report a feeling of calm and grounding following a Yin Yoga practice.
The qualities of yin are cool, dark, hidden, and slow among others. It is because of this that Yin Yoga is often (but not always) practiced in a cool room and in the morning. This is to help encourage the yin side of our being which often gets drowned out in the very busy, hot, and active yang society in which we currently live. The morning is also a time when our muscles are their coolest, allowing for easier access to connective tissues. Despite the optimal early morning practice time, many people find that Yin Yoga is beneficial in the evening. The sense of calm and grounding can help students sleep better.
Join me Monday nights at 7 pm for a Candlelight Yin Yoga class and take some time to reconnect with yourself. Contact me if this interests you, or if you have any questions.