Yin Yoga: Profound Stretching of the Body’s Connective Tissues
While all yoga practices trace their roots back to India, a number of yoga styles that comprise a variety of influences have appeared in the United States. One such popular style is Yin Yoga.
What is Yin Yoga?
Yin Yoga is often described as the other half of a yoga practice. Yin Yoga is a Chinese form of yoga based on the Taoist philosophy of yin and yang. Yin is the life force and power in your connective tissues such as bones and ligaments, while yang is the energy present in the more fluid-filled, softer tissues such as muscles.
The most well-known advocate of Yin Yoga is American teacher Paul Grilley, who learned the essential method from Taoist Yoga teacher and martial arts expert Paulie Zink. Grilley also studied with the Japanese Dr Motoyama, whose research suggests that the connective tissue might in reality be the key to discovering restrained energy channels within the body.
Yin and Yang
Yin Yang is basically a Chinese pictogram representing perfect equilibrium. According to Chinese philosophy, yin yang represents the duality and interdependency of the innate world. Things that come in yang are moving, changing and dynamic. In disparity, things yin possesses are immobile, inert and tranquil.
A majority of western yoga practices have evolved into yang - lots of movement, with more emphasis on stretching the muscles. Muscles are yang, while connective tissues like tendons and ligaments are yin.
In Yin Yoga practice, postures are detained anywhere from three to 10 minutes at a time. On a physical level, submissively holding postures allows for more release in the joints. Yin Yoga supports meditation; augments the meridians, or nadis, in the yogic system; and is supposed to sustain the organs, fortify the immune system and escort to poignant well-being and balance. During the practice of Yin Yoga, asanas (an assortment of positions) are performed, some of the following are:
Different Yin Yoga Asanas
- Happy baby
- Lying twists
- Sphinx and seal
- Toe squat
Yin Yoga is best practiced when the muscles are cool.
Health Benefits of Yin Yoga
Yin Yoga is effective in maintaining the perfect balance for your body.
- Yin Yoga excites the ligaments and joints to ensure the smooth extension of limbs without any deformation
- Yin Yoga stores heat inside the body. Eventually, blood will be warm and there will be no risk of increase in the number of free radicals in the blood stream
- Yin Yoga reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and occlusive blood flow in the heart
- Yin Yoga makes you feel calm and balanced
- Yin Yoga assists towards greater strength
Yin Yoga does not resemble restorative yoga. Like all yoga practices, if the tissues you are focusing on for exercise are injured in some way, give yourself a chance to heal before recommencing your regular practice.