Why we need Yin yoga now. We are all living at a pitch point in history and these last few years have been challenging on every level––individually and collectively. From living through a pandemic to times of war and strife, how can we find a balance inside and out? While yoga can’t solve all these major issues, it can help us create more space in our reaction time to find reserves of inner strength to handle the external events we cannot control.
Yoga’s many benefits, from increasing physical strength and flexibility to quieting the mind and balancing the emotions, come with consistent practice. Many forms of yoga, from the more active Yang practices like Ashtanga and Vinyasa to more passive styles like Yin and Gentle Hatha nourish us. But sometimes, when the world has so much active Yang energy, a more pacifying Yin practice helps us slow down and soothe our nervous systems.
If you’re new to Yin Yoga, this week we’re sharing a three-class introduction with Yin Yoga expert teacher Caitlin Rose Kinney. The classes are appropriate for all levels of experience. Yin consists of three tattvas or principles:
Find your edge in the posture.
Settle into a sense of stillness.
Hold the posture for an extended time, usually one to five minutes.
Yin yoga’s emphasis on only doing a few postures and holding for a longer time targets the ligaments, tendons, and fascia, as well as the internal organs like the kidneys and adrenal glands. Instead of working on the muscular level, this practice goes deeper for powerful relaxation and calming of the nervous system. Most postures are seated or lying down and can get intense!
Extended holds require you to focus on your breath and quieting your internal chatter. Because of the emphasis on hip openers, profound emotional releases often occur during class. Taking the time to get silent is a form of self-care and we all need that now more than ever. Physically, emotionally, and mentally, one of the main goals in Yin is to access a sense of surrender in each pose. If we individually grow more peaceful, our collective energy can impact the world.
Harness the stable quiet energy cultivated in Yin practice. These classes will balance out the active Yang energy that fills most of our days. You’re in incredible hands with this introductory program. Enjoy!
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