Yin Yoga: The Other Half of Your Yoga Practice

Dec 18, 2023

Yin yoga came into my life late in my practice, during my first training, and I will be honest, I did not like. At all. In fact, I struggled to stay in the room for the "whole" 60 mins. But the days that followed had me intrigued as why this was. So I returned, and by incorporating both yang and yin my practice feels a lot more complete. It was the part that I was missing all along.

If you are looking for something more in your yoga practice and you are not sure what that more is, Yin might be the answer.

Yin and Yang

In traditional Chinese philosophy, the yin and yang symbolise balance and the interplay of opposites. While yang yoga (think Vinyasa or Power Yoga) is all about movement, heat, and building strength, yin yoga is the quite the opposite. It's about stillness, patience, and going deep within. This can be applied in your life too. The more yang like your life is (the masculine, active, busy, scattered, always moving) the more you need to balance it with yin (the feminine, quiet, rest, slower pace).

It's not a Slow Flow Practice

I often get the question if yin is just a slower flow of Hatha and no, yin yoga isn't. But you could say that a slower flow is a more yin-like practice than say Ashtanga for example, I understand where the confusion comes from. However, Yin is a stillness practice with longer, passive holds of poses, mainly on the floor. The poses are held for a minimum and 3-5 mins targeting the fascia and joints in the body. By practicing in a yin way, we apply stress to tissues which normally doesn't receive stress. And all tissues need to be stressed in order to stay healthy.

Your Yin Yoga toolbox

1. Increased flexibility:

Unlike its dynamic counterparts, Yin Yoga targets the connective tissues – ligaments, tendons, and fascia. As you linger in each pose, you give these tissues the love and attention they deserve, leading to increased flexibility and a more fluid range of motion.

2. Juice for your joints:

Achy joints, might be gone! Yin Yoga nourishes the joints, promoting better lubrication and mobility. It's like giving your body a tall glass of water after a long, dehydrating day.

3. Meditation:

Every pose is a mini-meditation in yin and in such is one of the best ways I know to get introduced to it. I have found as a teacher, that it is much easier than going into meditation from a seated, upright position. Holding poses for an extended period encourages a meditative state. As you breathe through discomfort, you learn to be present and become more self-aware, cultivating mindfulness that extends beyond the mat.

4. Stress Buster:

Life throws curveballs, and sometimes it feels like we're juggling way too many. Enter Yin Yoga – your stress-busting superhero. The slow, deliberate pace of the practice triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation and reducing stress levels.

5. Balancing Act:

In a world that often feels like a tightrope walk, Yin Yoga brings equilibrium. By targeting the body's meridian lines, it helps balance the body's energy flow, leaving you feeling centred and harmonised.

All original content © Anna Tullgren Yoga 2024. All rights reserved.

All original content © Anna Tullgren Yoga 2024. All rights reserved.