My yoga teacher used to tell me the best way to find more balance in my busy daily life is to do more Yin Yoga. And step by step I welcomed this mediative practice into my life.
Meanwhile I allow myself more to relax, do nothing and just enjoy the present moment. I found ways of letting go of stuck emotions and a turbulent mind. Yin Yoga helped me a lot to allow my self to surrender to the present moment.
“Hahhhh” Exhaling is a big part of this practice. Let’s dive a bit deeper into it…
1. WHAT IS YIN YOGA?
Yin Yoga is a meditative and reflective yoga practice based on seated or lying asanas that are held for long periods of time. The concept of Yin Yoga consists of postures derived from traditional Hatha Yoga and complemented with various influences from Indian Yoga, Chinese Taoism and insights from Western science about the body structure and the function of the internal organs.
2. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF YIN YOGA?
Yin Yoga has holistic effects on a physical, emotional and psychological level. The entire body becomes more flexible with regular practice. By staying in the poses for a long time, shortened muscles, rigid ligaments, connective tissue and glued fascia are re-energized and stimulated. Certain meridians get stimulated. You may be able to localize tension or pain in your body and then specifically release it through the exercise by allowing your body and mind to let go. Connective tissues become more flexible as well as muscle flexibility gets increased.
On a psychological level, stuck emotions can be released. Since Yin Yoga is a meditative approach to your inner life with a simultaneous focus on your own anatomy, energy flows are stimulated. It helps to rest the mind.
3. HOW TO PRACTICE?
Be open for your inner world! Yin Yoga is a calm and meditative yoga practice which will support you to surrender to your emotions. This can be quiet challenging. Some people start crying. This is a positive sign. Allow your emotions to come up, welcome them and then slowly let go of anything that doesn’t serve you anymore.
Staying longer in the asanas support the process of letting go, you open for the new and learn a lot about yourself. Although Yin poses are relatively comfortable for the body, holding them for a long time, usually between three and fifteen minutes, can also become a physical challenge for many yoga students. Allow yourself to sink deeper into your tension. Work with your breath to relax into your pain or uncomfortable feeling. Sink into the pose step by step. Allow yourself to come back into the present moment. Try to find your stillness.
Use as many tools as possible, for example cushions, blankets, straps, blocks and sandbags. These props will help you to deepen your practice and to stay longer in the poses to feel more comfortable.
4. ARE THERE ANY MISTAKES TO AVOID?
Not necessarily. Just allow yourself to experience yourself during a Yin Yoga class. It may take time until you start to feel comfortable with it and start to relax your body and mind. For some people Yin Yoga can be too meditative and they even leave a class. That’s ok. Don’t be too harsh on your self. But don’t give up either too fast.
Obviously if you feel sharp pain during your practice, slowly get out of the pose. Don’t stay in there because the teacher tells you to. Listen to your own body and to your nervous system.