I am absolutely thrilled to see that Yin is becoming a more and more popular class at the studio every week.
This practice has profoundly changed my Yoga journey as it shows us where the yoga is coming from inside us, rather than being lost in the shape on the outside.
Yin provides such a wonderful balance to the more active practices we do, which are muscle contracting, blood pumping and faster paced. In Yin you keep the muscles soft, staying in the poses for a long time and encouraging the body and mind to slow down and relax. Time being the magic ingredient.
The great thing about Yin is that any posture can be modified and made accessible to any body. The postures themselves aren’t the goal and don’t have any aesthetic value. There’s no ideal ‘form’ to achieve which can be really liberating! Without the need to perform, you can relax be in a pose and truly notice what’s happening in and around you. We are simply trying to be in this moment with our full awareness in the body.
Through regular practice you can maintain or recover the natural movement in the joints and your flexibility will improve, regardless of what kind of body you have, what age you are or your current level of strength or mobility. Staying muscularly passive for long periods of time gently stretches the connective tissue, which gets stiff and immobile as we age. There is a high concentration of connective tissue around the hips and lower back, which are the areas most Yin postures are targeting.
The long holds are also thought to target the energy meridiens which run through these areas of connective tissue, improving the flow of Chi (also called prana), which in turn increases the body’s vitality and capacity for self healing.
While this is all fantastic, the best thing about Yin is that it creates the conditions for meditation-becoming quiet, still and aware of the present moment. Meditation encourages stillness and teaches you to observe whatever is going on internally without any resistance or judgement, which is also what a Yin practice will teach you.
I think the power of Yin comes from the space it creates. Its all about finding the gaps. Observing the fidgeting mind. Becoming aware of the sensations in in your body and the emotions you are feeling. Through connecting with the breath and observing and accepting the feelings which come your way both physically and emotionally, you change your relationship to them. Being gentle is the key and this practice helps you cultivate kindness and compassion for yourself.
I read a great quote the other day:
“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time”.
It takes time….and being here…with nothing to do…nowhere to go…nothing to get…no one to be…there can be a real experience of release.
Give yourself the time to relax ,enjoy your practice and get to know yourself a bit better.
Yin is definitely IN!!!!
Lets get on that mat!!