There are so many different styles of Yoga... Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Bikram, Restorative, Kundalini, Yin and the list goes on...
So what is YIN Yoga?
Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with poses, or asanas, that are held for longer periods of time — 5 minutes or more per pose is typical. It's teaching in the Western world, beginning in the late 70s, was founded by martial arts expert and Taoist yoga teacher Paulie Zink.
But to really understand Yin Yoga, or any form of yoga, one must experience it.
and that is exactly what I did - I went and participated in a 50hr Yin training in the beautiful Byron Bay… to see why I was drawn to Yin, having not really practised it much previously.…
Generally I love to learn by doing and reading, but reading about yoga is like reading a menu when you are hungry, interesting and provoking, but until you actually partake of what you are seeing, your hunger will not be satisfied.
And I was not disappointed…
I found a gentle, slow practise that required a different level of focus from my regular yoga practise where I could feel and observe subtle and amazing changes within my own consciousness….
As there are not nearly as many asanas (poses) required in the yin style of yoga as are found in the more active practices. There are perhaps 30 or so poses at most (excluding variations). The Yin areas of the body generally targeted in the practice are between the knees and navel, the lower body. Since the poses are held longer, there are fewer poses that one can even attempt in one session, compared to the yang styles of yoga where one pose may be held for as little as five breaths.
Savasana, otherwise known as Corpse Pose, is essentially one of the most important poses of them all! In this modern world with everything at our finger tips - the easiest thing is to be ‘doing’ and the hardest is to ‘undo’. and just BE.
Duration of class generally range from 90mins up to 3hrs!
So your reading and probably thinking…. ‘why a slow holding yoga practise?’, or ‘how can that help me?’…. so here are a few examples,
Benefits of Yin Yoga
• Calming and balancing to the mind and body.
• Regulates energy in the body.
• Increases mobility in the body, especially the joints and hips.
• Lowering of stress levels and calms Central Nervous System.
• Greater stamina.
• Better lubrication and protection of joints
• More flexibility in joints & connective tissue
• Release of fascia throughout the body
• Deeper Relaxation
• A great coping for anxiety and stress
• Better ability to sit for meditation
Yin Yoga taught me how to really listen to my mind and body, I don’t get the opportunity to go in and out, jump around and find a ‘doing’ version of stillness within my practice, I undo.
Yin is such a great compliment to other styles and your own personal life, because it brings long periods of time in an uncomfortable position, which then asks you to learn to “be” to “accept what is” in that given moment. Something we can all benefit from daily so that we can make positive and nurturing decisions in our life without so much ‘rush’ and ‘pressure’. For me, I did not know how to be in my own company, I did not like to feel or be or anything that required me to have an emotion. There is something so deep about Yin that will tap into a part of you in a way only unique to Yin.
So, The questions is, can you find the YIN within your practise??