What is Yin Yoga?

By way of an introduction;- Yin Yoga  is a very different style of Yoga to the Dynamic Vinyasa Yoga that I teach as a big class.

Yin Yoga is all about awareness, breathing, stillness and letting go in the pose. Poses are supported by the use of bolsters, cushions and blankets to give you the ability to be in the pose and let go. The poses are held for between 3 and 20 minutes this will vary from pose to pose and hopefully as you progress you will be able build up the time you can stay in the pose. While holding the pose this increase the flow of energy and allows time for the fascial tissue to release.

The idea while in the pose is to surrender the body and learn to feel the effects, this can be physical or emotional. We are concentrating on the meridian lines in the body trying to unblock the energy pathways which can bring about unbalance and negative states. By releasing the energies we can alter negative mind sets and energise the physical body. By holding the poses in a supported manner we are also working on the facial tissue which is a connective tissue that runs throughout the whole of the body and connects all parts.

The idea of holding the pose allows the tissue to let go and unwind. Facial tissue can hold in emotional and physical trauma, postural holding patterns that create imbalance, by releasing these it enables the body to work more effectively and can bring about an emotional change. The meridians and facial tissue are things that you work on in many healing treatments, this type of yoga I feel is a way for you to access your own healing power so that you can use it by yourself when needed or as a support to another style of yoga.

Like all forms of yoga Yin is there to help bring about a balance within the systems of the body. If these energies are unbalance they create excessive emotions which can lead to illness and disease. Each organ needs a steady flow of energy if they become depleted they can bring about disturbing emotions and each organ has certain emotions connected to it.

By holding the poses we are putting stress on the ligaments and because you are doing this is a supported and relaxed way it helps strengthen them and makes them more supple. This increases your joint mobility so you will feel these benefits in your other yoga.  
While in the poses you will learn some breathing techniques to help calm the body and allow it to settle in the pose. You may feel quite strong emotions and physical discomfort to start with as the body learns to let go and energies are brought into balance. As you progress this will get easier and you will learn to use certain poses to help you keep in balance in your everyday life.

Yin Yoga will teach you how the energies flow throughout the body and the effects of imbalance. You will learn to focus and listen to your body and allow it to go through a process of release. It will give you time to practice with intent and how thought and time in the moment benefits the body as a physical, emotional and energetic being.