Yin yoga is a slow-paced, meditative style of yoga, incorporating principles of traditional Chinese medicine, with asanas (postures) that are held for 1-5 minutes long. The sequences of postures stimulate the channels of the subtle energy body known as meridians in Chinese medicine and as nadis in the yoga tradition. There is a deeper philosophy to yin yoga however that can help us understand the world and life better. With steady practice and the correct understanding yin yoga is the perfect gateway to our spiritual development.
Yin yoga stems from ancient wisdom of Daoism. Dao (the spiritual path to the Divine) creates Yin and Yang, opposite and complementary principles in nature, the universal energy that is the base of prenatal and postnatal development.
Yin could be described as stable, immobile, feminine, passive, cold, and downward moving.
Yang is understood to be changing, mobile, masculine, active, hot, and upward moving.
In the body, the relatively stiff connective tissues are considered yin, while the more mobile and pliable muscles and blood are yang in nature. More passive asanas in yoga are considered yin, whereas the more active, dynamic asanas are described as yang. By balancing Yin and Yang in the body one can achieve a life of harmony.
Yin yoga poses apply moderate stress to the connective tissues of the body, the tendons, fasciae, and ligaments, with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility. Its goal through increased body awareness and observation of our inner world is peace and surrender. There is no perfect asana, what matters is how we feel in a position.
The benefits of yin yoga include increased flexibility, circulation and body awareness, improved sleep, a regulated nervous system, reduced stress, and anxiety. It is recommended for both beginner and experienced practitioners.
In 2020 I was honoured to participate a 100hr Yin Yoga and Chinese Meridians Yoga Teacher Training led by Annie Au (E-RYT 500, YACEP). This amazing course brought me so much understanding about the human body and I’m ready to bring this new knowledge to the yoga community.
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