Monday, January 14, 2013

Let's talk about Yin Yoga 陰ヨガって何?

In last week's class, we focused on yin poses. In fact, I don't think we did one standing pose! That is unusual for my class, but it seemed to suit the students very well. One of my students left the class saying, "My fatigue is gone!" (疲れが取れました。)

Yin and Yang are the opposing forces that can be seen in all things. Light is yin while darkness is yang; cold is yin while hot is yang; sadness is yin while happiness is yang, and so on and so on. In yoga too there are yin and yang poses. The winter is considered the most yin time a year, when everything slows down. So, it may be a good time of year to try some yin yoga poses.

Yang poses: 
*  stretch and strengthen the muscles. 
*  create heat by increasing blood flow.
*  are held for a few breaths to a minute.

Yin poses:
*   stretch connective tissue of the joints and bones.
*  relax and calm the body and mind.
*  are held for 3 to 5 minutes.

Although yin yoga is not as intense as other yang forms of yoga, its long duration can be difficult to 
maintain. It is challenging, but at the same time more relaxing that active yoga. It is recommended for 
people who have stiff joints, or if you are feeling too tired to do more active yoga. It provides a good 
balance to an active and busy (read: stressful) lifestyle. 

Yin yoga poses can benefit many people for the following reasons: 
      Feel calm and balanced
      Improved strength
      Stress levels lowered
      Greater stamina
      Greater flexibility of the body’s connective tissues and joints
      Deeper relaxation

Some good articles for further reading:   

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