We’ve all heard the saying ‘you are the yin to my yang’ but do you know what yin really means? And do you know what Yin Yoga is?
Well, let me tell you now, yin and yang are the opposite to each other.
Just like female, male. Dark, light. Cool, warm. Smooth, hard. Soft, Rough. Busy, still. Quiet. Loud.
And in life, we need both of all of these things. Because both of all of these things create a BALANCE.
Therefore, bringing that practice of yin yoga into your life can create a huge amount of balance.
Definition of Yin
The actual definition of the word yin is: the passive female principle of the universe, characterized as female and sustaining and associated with earth, dark, and cold.
So, in relation to Yoga, yin is the calmer, slower, more meditative form of the practice.
And this is quite the contrast to a more yang practice, where there are a lot of flows and standing on your feet. Yin yoga involves holding postures for anything from 1-5 minutes. You may hold a posture, which at first may not feel like much, but after 5 minutes in that shape, you really, really will.
Physical and Mental Benefits of Yin Yoga
Physically the practice of yin yoga does wonders. It improves flexibility, improves blood circulation, releases the deep connective tissue – fascia – and improves joint mobility.
Mentally, the practice of yin does even more wonders.
I will not lie to you; the most challenging part of yin yoga is being able to remain deeply connected to the practice, mentally.
Because holding postures for such long periods of times means that you are faced with complete stillness. And it is in this stillness where the mind will trick you, it will start to think about the things on your to do list you haven’t yet completed, the washing you haven’t done, what you’ll have for dinner, what happened last night when you were out. It will start to think about what the future holds for you, what you’re doing with your life blah blah blah blah blahhhh.
The essence of Yin Yoga
So the real practice with yin and the essence of it comes with staying deeply connected to the physical sensations that arise from the postures and focusing on the breath.
And it is these two things that will take you out of your head and into your body….mhhhhhmmm.
What a luxury that is, to be able to take time out of your busy daily life, take time out of your head, for an hour of your day, to just breathe and feel. Because this is something that we all NEED to fit in.
In the definition of the word yin that I spoke of at the beginning, refers to yin as earthy, because it forces you to slow down, dark because it brings up a lot of feeling and emotion and cold because in comparison to a yang practice where there is a lot of heat in the body created, yin is far more cooling.
And so as a result of practicing yin yoga, I can absolutely promise you that you will leave a yin practice feeling lighter, softer, more open and clear. Not just physically, but also mentally.
Join me for some Yin Yoga
I hold a beautiful fairy lit, candle lit, yin yoga fortnightly on a Sunday evening 6.00-7.00pm. Please see here for more information, because you do not want to miss out!
It is an especially great thing to implement into your week now that we are coming into the colder months, to nourish and ground you before the week ahead.
I hope you get to join me.
P.S. Click here to sign up to my fortnightly newsletter, with upcoming events, yoga videos and audio meditations. You will also receive your first FREE yoga video right into your inbox.
And be sure to share this with any friends / family that you may think benefit!