I have participated in many Yin Yoga classes and the experiences are so different! Why, and what exactly is Yin Yoga?

 
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The word 'Yin' in the Yoga world can be referred to the yin in quality or a style of practice known as the Yin Yoga. Meditation or restorative practice are yin practice in nature and this co-exist with the polarity of other Yoga practice which are more yang in quality. One cannot exist without the other. Meanwhile, Yin Yoga practice refers to a particular theory or style of practice.


Yin Yoga is intended to bring balance to yang practices that generates heat and muscular engagement. It helps balance the nervous system, encourages slowing down and invites parasympathetic activation.


By promoting the harmonious balance between the yin and yang energies, Yin Yoga addresses stagnant energies and energy deficiency.


Yin Yoga can be emotionally and physically challenging as this passive style of yoga requires long periods of holding in shapes. Sitting and staying in all these various poses may awaken physical and emotional sensations that can be quite challenging but rewarding as one learns to accept and surrender to what that arises.


The intention and primary focus of Yin Yoga is the stimulation of connective tissues such as the ligaments, joints, bones and tendons. The purpose of Yin Yoga is really not to stretch, but more so to stress and load them so they become more resilient and hydrated.


How about if I'm super flexible? Can Yin Yoga benefit me? Yes, apart from flexibility and mobility, Yin Yoga practice maintain and rebalances the super hydrated, elastic and resilient tissue, by not going as deep (maybe 50%) but to maintain the stillness and by relaxing into the pose, without muscular effort and by allowing gravity to work its magic at the targeted area. Sustain stress rather than stretch is the key for flexible people.


"Most forms of yoga today are dynamic, active practices designed to work only half of our body, the muscular half, the “yang” tissues. Yin Yoga allows us to work the other half, the deeper “yin” tissues of our ligaments, joints, deep fascial networks, and even our bones." – Bernie Clark.


Some Yin Yoga classes may incorporate breathing techniques, energy work, slow tai-chi like movements, restorative props, soft calming music and focussed more on the lower body areas like the hips, lower back, legs although other parts like shoulders and neck occassionally get some love and attention as well. All Yin Yoga classes are meant to slow down the thinking mind and learning just to 'be'.

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Fun facts

Yin Yoga for a 9 year old? Yin Yoga is structured to stretch connective tissues which got tight or deformed with age. A 9 year old will most probably not have that issue. He is most probably experiencing tightness of muscles in the process of growing. It is 100% normal. Practicing Yin Yoga is not a solution.

*All informations provided in this website are not meant to treat, diagnose or replace those of a certified physician, physical therapist, doctors, chiropractors etc.