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Yin Yoga, What Is It?

A lot of the yoga practiced in studios across the U.S. is what’s known as “yang” styles of yoga—vigorous, fast-paced classes like vinyasa, power, and Ashtanga. But there’s another equally important style that’s completely opposite: yin yoga.

Yin is a restorative type of yoga practice which incorporates principles of traditional

Chinese medicine with asana, or postures, that are held for extended periods of

time (up to 5 minutes). The poses are primarily on the floor and gravity is used to

hold the pose in place. Bolsters, blocks and straps are used to assist in the deep

stretches and through yin we learn to relax deeply and surrender to what is

instead of fighting against it.

The postures stimulate energetic channels of the body known as meridians in

Chinese medicine and nadis in Hatha yoga. The poses apply moderate stress to

the connective tissues of the body—the fasciae, tendons, ligaments and joints.

Meridians are energy channels that our chi (our life force) run through and

blockages in the meridians cause disease. There are six yin and 6 yang meridians

and they bring harmony, balance and wholeness to create optimal health.

Blockages in the meridians can be physical or emotional.

The practice of holding a pose for an extended period of time teaches us to sit

with and observe uncomfortable emotions, thoughts and physical sensations as

they arise. Yin is a “come as you are” practice and is a path to rebalancing our

inner nature and through yin we learn to relax deeply and surrender to what is

instead of fighting against it. During yin we focus breathing deeply into the poses.

Yin yoga offers a wealth of benefits that may help you alleviate pain and tension,

relieve stress and anxiety and improve your overall well being. Yin improves

energy flow and enhances the flow of chi in the organs. It also increases

circulation, improves flexibility and teaches you how to be fully present in your

life. Practicing mindfulness on an ongoing basis improves emotional regulation,

leading to a better mood and the ability to handle stress better.


It's a great way to wind down from the week Namaste!

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