On the surface, a Yin practice might seem uneventful.
In Yin yoga, one of many types of yoga, sequences are a series of slow, long holds and mat-based postures that stretch out the connective tissues and fascia in the body.
It’s a practice for all level of yogis. Unlike Vinyasa and other yoga styles, in Yin all you need to do is relax in the pose. But this, as most of us know from meditation, often isn’t as easy or comfortable as it sounds!
To do Yin is to give over control – such a rare and therapeutic concept in our modern day lives.
The term “yin yoga” comes from the Taoist tradition. Yang relates to movement, creating heat in the body. Yin is about finding stillness and cooling the body. And, the theory goes, we need both to find balance and be our most optimal selves.
If you workout at the gym or spend your days sitting in front of a screen, Yin will bring significant rewards.
The benefits of Yin Yoga
Like all yoga practice, Yin has a different effect on everyone.
Some students find immediate benefits like more open hips and a calmer, more centered mind. Others find the postures and meditative state to be some kind of torture…
When we pause and hold Yin postures – which often target the hips, pelvis and lower spine – we can experience feelings, sensations and emotions that are easy to avoid in our fast-paced world and yang classes.
If this happens to you, before you make a decision to stick with Vinyasa, try to attend at least three to four Yin classes.
Yin is the perfect antidote to the constant emailing, texting and social media updates.
As one of the leading teachers in Yin yoga, Bernie Clark, says: “Yin yoga is not meant to be comfortable; it will take you well outside your comfort zone. Much of the benefit of the practice will come from staying in this zone of discomfort, despite the mind’s urgent pleas to leave.”
When you commit to Yin and make time to sit, to just be still, you will notice what your mind and body has to say.
Research shows that as well as having a positive impact on the mind and reducing feelings of stress and anxiety, the practice increases circulation, improves flexibility, releases fascia and improves joint mobility, and balances our internal organs – improving the flow of chi or prana the body.
Ready for Yin Yoga at BodyMindLife?
We run regular Yin classes at all BodyMindLife studios in Surry Hills, Potts Point, Redfern and Bondi Beach! Often held in the evenings, Yin classes are ideal to stretch out following a dynamic flow on the mat or session on the Pilates reformers, and will help you wind down so you can head home and slip into bed for a deep REM sleep.