I never went looking for Yin Yoga, it found me. Now it has become a regular practice in my life, it has deeply changed the way that I do yoga and deal with stress. Yin Yoga is all about letting go and surrendering to life. It is a deep and inward practice that teaches us how to master our mind and stretches and opens up the deep tissues within the joints. Best of all it is available to anyone and everyone, the expert yogi, the injured, the beginner, you name it you can still do it!
I have watched so many experience the physical and mental breakthroughs that come with a regular practice and I want you to know all about it. Heres 10 reasons why Yin is the bees knees….
1) Seriously improves your flexibility! Yin yoga delivers gentle stress over time. This means that the poses or Asana will target and reach the deep Yin Tissues within the body. So we are talking ligaments, tendons and facia mainly. These tissues only respond to long held gentle stresses and are now known to be more responsible for tightness in the body then the muscle fibres themselves! So if you are a developed yogi or a complete beginner, you can’t afford to miss these vital tissues if flexibility is your goal.
2) Big results with gentle poses - So no need to miss out on exercising your body if you have injuries to work with. Yin is a restorative practice and so all of the poses are done from a seated or lying position on your mat. You will learn how to use props like cushions or block to modify the pose to make the pose work for your body.
3) Take it home with you - after a few classes you begin to get a feel for the poses and then all you need is a mat, a quiet space and yourself to treat yourself to some delicious Yin time - anytime!
4) You become more self aware and conscious - this is, for me the biggest benefit here. By taking time to be still, remove distractions and bring your awareness away from the outside world, you are opening up a world of possibilities. I could, and probably will write a whole article on this but just know that self awareness is the foundation from which all personal growth and healing come from.
5) Develop focus and concentration - a workout for the mind as well as the body, Yin Yoga will challenge you to release your thoughts as they come in and bring your focus or attention onto the breath. These are your first steps into meditation.
6) Balance out your life - Yang energy is active, dynamic, doing, trying, making things happen, changing and controlling things. We are good at that, what we need to balance this out is some serious Yin time. Yin is about letting go, surrendering and allowing. Yang wants to change the world and Yin wants to accept it. A Yin class will teach you to consciously let go physically and with the mind.
7) Reduce stress, anxiety and lower blood pressure - Ever been stressed, overwhelmed, frustrated or anxious? Who hasn’t! What better way to learn how to deal with this than learning how to let go, be here in the moment and just breathe.
8) Stimulate and open your bodies energy flow - We have a flow of energy around the body much like our blood flow. When we become unbalanced in some way e.g. stressed or fearful we impact this flow. Yin poses directly target the meridian lines (channels of energy) in the body stimulating this flow. It is why you will feel so open by the end and has given this yoga the reputation of being acupuncture without the needles.
9) You time to nourish only you - I always prompt my students to savour their time on the mat. When you are there you have nowhere to be, nothing to achieve and no body to please. All that you have to do is be there, let go and breathe……
10) The delicious Yin Yoga afterglow :-) - you only need to take one look at the calmness in the faces of students leaving
a yin class to know - this is seriously relaxing. My most common feedback from students is “I had the best night sleep of my life” & “I can’t believe how calm I felt all day”
So all thats left is to roll out your mat and try some!
You can find me Wednesday nights, Friday afternoons and Sunday mornings in Leigh on Sea and Thorpe bay. Check out my timetable for more details and may your time on your mat be a beautiful journey.