Yin Yoga is a practice that is not as popular as other forms of yoga which are now practiced in many western countries. It is slow paced in nature and requires students to hold poses for longer periods of time.
The Roots of Yin Yoga
Yin yoga was developed by Paulie Zink, a prominent martial arts expert and Taoist yoga teacher. It was introduced in many Western cities by his student Paul Grilley and Grilley’s student, Sarah Powers. Today, they are the most popular teachers in the field and because of their work, this style is now practiced in the Americas and in Europe.
Yin Vs. Yang Yoga
Yin yoga also has a counterpart, or an opposite called Yang. Here is a look at both the Yin and Yang styles:
-Yin yoga – these include relaxed postures. These are done while lying or sitting down, and are quite passive. Yin poses are done to allow you and your body to relax, softening the muscles as you go. These poses are often held for five minutes, often longer. This technique enhances circulation, clears blockages and promotes growth.
- Yang yoga – these include more strenuous poses. They are done to develop muscle tone, improve core strength, stamina and balance. Many athletic styles fall under Yang yoga.
Yin Yoga And Benefits
The postures done during class apply moderate stress on the body’s connective tissues. It stresses the ligaments, tendons and fascia. This increases circulation and improves flexibility of the body. It also increases also improves the flow of energy in the body, which is also known as Qi in Chinese medicine. Improving the flow of Qi is said to improve health, increase immuninty and promote emotional well-being. Other benefits include:
-Balances the mind and the body
-Lowers stress levels
-Promotes deep relaxation
-Promotes better yang practice
-Prepares the body and mind for deep meditation
This form of yoga is intended to be supplementary in nature, balancing the effects of exercise or other active types of yoga.
Yin Yoga and Intimacy
While Yin yoga is not the top choice for those who want to lose weight, it is an intimate practice that allows people to get in touch with their self, feelings, motions and sensations. Getting in touch with the self is something that is difficult to achieve with other fast paced exercises. It is used in many programs that deal with problems such as addictions, anxiety, eating disorders and trauma.
Is Yin Yoga For Me?
Unlike the fast-paced Yang types of yoga, Yin yoga is soft, smooth and flowing – somewhat a return to the more traditional forms of yoga.
Because it is slower in nature, it is recommended for those who are just starting out, or those who want to try styles that are much more meditative. While movements and transitions between postures are slow, experienced practitioners can still appreciate these forms of yoga because of the need to focus and stay in specific poses for longer periods of time.
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