WHAT IS YIN YOGA
On the other side of activity is stillness. On the other side of control is surrender. On the other side of agitation is peace. Yin Yoga is the “other side” of the more commonly practiced active (Yang) styles of yoga. While the yang styles of yoga target the muscles, Yin yoga on the other hand targets “the other half” of the body, the deep connective tissues or the yin tissues of tendons, ligaments, fascia, bones and joints. It is a slow paced, soothing, meditative style incorporating long held passive postures. Think of it as a therapy for your joints, tissues and mind!
Yin yoga is based on the Taoist concept of yin and yang, opposite and complementary principles in nature. Yin is the stable, unmoving, hidden aspect of things; yang is the changing, moving, revealing aspect. In the body, the relatively stiff connective tissues (tendons, ligaments, fascia) are yin, while the more mobile and pliable muscles and blood are yang.
Yin yoga provides an opportunity to slow down, to go within, and to go deep in a world dominated by yang energy: where stimuli bombard us 24/7.
Physically, Yin Yoga restores and maintains the natural mobility of the joints. As people grow older, their bodies lose flexibility, tension increases, circulation is inhibited, and tissues begin to atrophy and deteriorate. Yin yoga can stop or even reverse this process greatly, thereby slowing the aging process. It also mobilises the fascia. Fascia is a connective tissue, structurally like a clingfilm that wraps around all our muscles and organs, offering support and reducing friction during everyday movement.
Energetically, Yin Yoga opens the body’s meridian system (energy channels), which enhances the flow of chi and supports emotional equilibrium.
And as this practice emphasizes stillness and silence, Yin Yoga prepares both the body and the mind for deeper experiences in meditation.
THREE TATTVAS / PRINCIPLES OF YIN YOGA
Like the other styles of yoga, the practice of Yin seeks to create a deeper and stronger union between the physical, mental and pranic bodies. In order to achieve this goal, the following principles need to be adhered to:
Find an appropriate edge: Move slowly and gently into the pose, and look for an appropriate amount of intensity, never stretch so far as to cause pain.
Stillness: Consciously try to release into the pose, and to remain still, without fidgeting or shifting position too much. Only if we keep the muscles quiet, we can allow the effect of a deep stretch to sink into the connective tissues.
Hold the pose for long: Yin postures are generally held for long, ranging from one to ten minutes. Yin tissues, being stiff, appreciate long, gentle pressures in order to be stimulated to grow stronger
Sound healing works on vibration. Everything is a vibration and we tune our body like we tune an instrument. The sounds generated by Tibetan Singing Bowls are a type of energy medicine that promote healing from stress, depression, anxiety, insomnia and sometimes pain relief also. Sound from Tibetan Singing Bowls entrain the brain to move into the Theta brain wave frequencies that induce deep meditative and peaceful states.
WHO IS IT FOR
This session truly is for all. Experienced yoga practitioner, or “not flexible enough to do yoga”, this session will help you relax, let go and sink into stillness.
I am a certified Yoga teacher and sound healer. I have studied Hatha Yoga at the Sivananda Ashram, Kerala and have been trained in Yin and sound healing at Rishikesh and Nepal respectively. My classes are usually a mix of both yin and yang to create a balanced flow that is both strong and energizing yet soft and calming.
Yoga has literally changed my life for the better in every way, and so it’s my desire and passion to share this powerful practice with as many people as I can.
My love for yoga, further deepened my interest in meditation. But, like a lot of people I struggled to establish a seated meditation practice. My body often ached while I sat, and I’d struggle with restlessness. I realized that to develop a daily, seated meditation practice, I needed an interim step between movement and stillness.
After having attended my first ever Yin class, I felt I was offered a “meditation in motion.” It was a mesmerising, new experience for me, and it hooked me instantly and I decided to go for a Yin Yoga teacher training as well. The more I practise yin, the more I embrace slowing down and connecting to myself. For me a healthy Yin practice has led to a healthier Yang and meditation practice and a healthier life as well. And I wish that for everyone.