Yin yoga compliments Yang yoga (dynamic style). Yin and Yang represent male and female aspects of yoga. Yin yoga is slow and meditative and is used to focus on our joints instead of our muscles. To get deep into the tissues and fibres.
There are very few standing poses in Yin yoga so the positions focus on stillness and relaxing into them.
We start with a warm up and then mindfully move into different positions which last at least 5 minutes (in some classes they can last up to 20).
Beginners to Yin can find the class quite a challenge for the mind as well as the body. The mind can become restless when the body is holding a pose for a period of time so the challenge is often keeping the mind under control by focussing on the breath and the subtle nuances of the pose, the sensations in the body as they arise. However as we begin to master Yin yoga and practice it more regularly we will find that it will have a profound effect on our dynamic Yang practice.
Props and bolsters to support the body can also help to facilitate a stronger, longer held stretch and ensure that it isn’t painful to hold for an extended length of time.
A Yin class, like all others ends with savasana, students can experience a profound sense of silence and deep inner stillness when deeply rooted in their bodies, connected to our own breath. We begin to take control of our thoughts and learn not to judge and become distracted by each morsel of chatter that the brain throws at us. We learn to come back to the breath time and time again.
Students should find that at the end of their Yin practice they leave their mat feeling calm and relaxed, strong and energised both in the body and the mind.