It only took one hour of Yin Yoga before I realised that this was something I couldn’t leave behind. I wrote a little about that here. I noticed I seemed calmer and my body felt a little different, and I couldn’t really explain it. But this subtle feeling made me go back and I am so glad I did.
The practice has helped me physically with recovery, mobility, flexibility, and range of motion, it’s in my mind the best compliment to any other exercise, whether that be running, strength training or sports. Styles that primarily focuses on your muscles. Yin can make you feel a little softer, lighter even, in your body, in your bones, joints, ligaments and connective tissues primarily.
But it also has amazing effects on our nervous system, it can help to reduce stress and anxiety, enhances qi/energy flow within the body but it also brings a sense of introspection, self-awareness, self-love, that I think is so important, especially after this year we have had. It can also help to build inner resilience, perseverance and strength. Who doesn’t need a bit more of that?
Contrary to what a lot of people believe, Yin ang Yang are not opposites. They live together, they need each other and no thing is truly Yin or Yang. The more traditional styles of yoga, such as Hatha, Ashtanga and now Vinyasa are Yang like (think muscles, active, dynamic and warming) while with Yin focus on connective tissues and is slower, passive and cooling. I love how these two practices compliment each other. Just as I encourage people to get some form of movement in after sitting for long periods of time, I would also encourage you to try Yin when perhaps your mind is too Yang like.