Yin Yoga – Mind, Body And Soul
I would like to welcome you all on this journey to learning all about Yin Yoga. It encompasses the physical, mental and emotional well being. Yin Yoga allows you to soothe your nervous system, learn to relax, be in a calm space and truly create a balance in your life.
About Yin Yoga
Yoga is ancient spiritual and physical disciplines and philosophy stemming back as far as over 5000 years.
The benefits of yoga include increased strength, flexibility, more energy and are just some of the attributes that should be more than enough to roll your mat out and start working on your core, learn a handstand and break out in a complete sweat!!! However, in saying this, we are all not searching for this. There is still some of us that just want to stretch without the exhaustion to go with it. This is where we bring in YIN YOGA. Calm the mind and stretch the body focusing on emotional, physical and mental well being.
Yin Yoga described by leader and developer Paul Grilley as “ The Quiet Place “.
Let us have a brief look at the yin and yang differences :
Generally speaking yin has the characteristics as inward energy that is feminine, still and dark. Yang is characterised as outward energy, more masculine, hot, bright and positive.
Yin and yang come in pairs just like the moon and sun, male and female, cold and hot, passive and active.
Yin Yoga can compliment an already active lifestyle or help people with mental overload. The term Yin Yoga comes from a Taoist tradition- yang relating to movement – repetitive and creating heat. Yin concentrates on finding stillness and cooling.But we need both to have balance within and stay in tip top condition.
Yin Yoga focuses on longer stretching of the tissues that surround the body’s moving parts. Its based on stretching deeper connective tissues, tendons and ligaments as well as deep fascia. This is often referred to as the “ yoga of the joints ” Yin yoga offers the opportunity to ease and release tension, blocked energy and bring peacefulness into the mind and the heart.
Principles of Yin Yoga
The principles of Yin Yoga as defined by Bernie Clark are :
1. Come into the pose at the appropriate depth, Only go to the point where you feel resistance in the body. Give the body a chance to open up and then go a little deeper.
2. Resolve to remain still. Once you have filed the edge – settle with a pose.
3. Hold the pose for a time. Once you are at the edge all that is left is to be quite still. The tissues being exercised require reasonable traction in order to be stimulated properly.
When practising Yin Yoga, Sarah Powers teaches:
Stillness in the body
like a majestic mountain
Stillness in the mind
like a calm mountain lake
Stillness of the breathe
like a deep blue of the sky.
Why Yin Yoga you ask ?
Yin Yoga reaches deeper into your mind and body.
The physical benefits include :
Regulating needed energy into the body ;
Increasing body mobility to the joints and hips;
Preventing stiffness of joints and connective tissue in releasing of fascia;
Balance to internal organs and systems;
Improved Digestion; and
Healing effects to the mind:
When the body is in that still state of mind in silence, certain feelings will arise. Sadness, excitement and anger. You enter into a meditative state and enter a greater sense of inner peace;
Helps to alleviate stress and anxiety;
Sleep is improved; and
Positive effects on mental, physical and emotional well being.
When is the best time to practice?
The best time to practice Yin Yoga is when the muscles are cool. The morning is an absolutely perfect time but in saying that late in the evening there will be a more calming effect on the mind and the nervous system an allows rest and sleep to come easily. Although anytime of the day is fine, the physical benefits for the tissues will be greater in the morning.
Lets have a look into Chakras and Meridians.
The energy points within the spiritual body through which prana – your life force or life energy travels. If you could actually see the chakras you would be able to see each primary chakra as spinning vortex or wheel of energy that spins inwards from the front of the body towards the centre point at the chakra on the kunilini and then spinning outward from the same point from your back.
Yin Yoga has a positive impact on the energetic body by cleaning the chakras. These energy centres allows the flow of the prana through the body helping to promote physical, mental and emotional well being and restoring balance.
These are described as channels or pathways that control the flow of energy to and from various parts of the body. Yin Yoga might be ideal in assisting with helping to unblock the meridians and allowing QI( energy ) to move more freely throughout the body and bringing more external and internal strength.
Example of Yin Yoga poses:
Knees to the chest;
Tadpole with a twist;
Melting Heart; and
I hope that this has given you an insight into what Yin Yoga can contribute to your physical, emotional and mental well being and inspire you to creating a more calmer and balanced lifestyle that you deserve.
Keep smiling and shining.
Breathe in the air
breath of life
all the way to the bottom
of your stomach
and exhale chaos
– Tara Sutphen
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