Learn to Let Go with Yin Yoga
About the Practice
Yin yoga allows us to connect to all facets of our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies. Through yin we are provided with the opportunity to observe, nurture, soothe, and calm ourselves. Yin yoga is a slow meditative practice that targets our deep connective tissues in the body. Poses are held for about 1-5 minuets and our bodies may be supported with yoga props like bolsters, blocks, blankets, and straps. Props allow our bodies to be more comfortable during challenging poses, and assists in injury prevention in tighter bodies. Most yin poses are practiced either seated or lying down since the muscles being stretched are to be relaxed. Some muscular effort may be required in each pose to keep our bodies upright and to maximize benefits. Yin invites deep sensations in the body through it's stretching poses. When practicing yin we use each pose to access deeper tissues and many of the poses focus around a joint like our hips and shoulders. When in these poses, we connect to our breath to let go of whatever we may be holding onto, similar to restorative yoga.
Yin yoga gives us the space to tune inward and focus on the mind and the physical sensations or the body. It lengthens our deep connective tissues, releases fascia, improves joint and spine mobility, balances internal organs, increases flexibility, improves circulation, reduces stress, calms our nervous system, and provides a space for your body to deeply let go and relax. The more we work out the fascial system and connective tissues the looser and more limber our bodies will be as we age. It also allows us to rejuvenate ourselves, wipe away our fears, and cultivate compassion and love for ourselves. We become intimate with our feelings, sensations, and emotions during this practice which is often overlooked in other fast paced yoga practices. In a yin class we slow everything down to discover our minds and bodies in a new way by offering simple challenges that generate intense feelings. Yin can be a very emotional practice by releasing incredibly strong physical sensations that can trigger intense emotions. When we hold a simple posture at length it can become quite the challenge. We store our experiences, memories, stressors, anxieties, and traumas in our deep connective tissues throughout the body. We can recognize these areas by discovering where we are holding high amounts of tightness or tension. When we move into a pose that opens up a tight part of our body that may have been untouched for a while, these stored memories and emotions resurface. When this experience comes forward we can use our breath to release and let go. This can be a very moving experience! There is so much beauty behind the letting go of physical and emotional suffering, which makes yin one of my favorite practices.
I highly recommend yin yoga for older teens, adults, seniors, and anyone looking for balance in their lives. Young children may find a yin class difficult since the attention will be devoted to periods of stillness throughout. This practice is great for people looking to increase mobility and anyone dealing with current injuries or conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis. Yin is also great for athletes and people who are intensely active as it increases flexibility and may prevent future injury in other sports.
Open the heart, open the shoulders, open the hips, release tension in the body,
rejuvenate the spine, release and let go, and more!