Yin yoga is my favourite style of yoga – no wait that is way too big a statement for me. I love Yoga – it makes me feel and connect to who I am – different styles suit different days. I love Kundalini and Chakra Vinyasa too, equally as much as yin. 😉 But the difference is when do I like it? What days call for what style?
All Yoga treats the Nervous System, among other things. But in particular yoga will assist in calming you down and de-stressing you. Even the super-hot yoga style will work on a beneficial level to cleanse your system on a build-up of adrenalin, cortisol and toxins that naturally go hand in hand with stress. So no matter what style you practice you are still gaining the benefit. But if your nervous system is fried then some days call for a softer approach – Yin or Restorative.
Yin Yoga is best done with the Yin times – A Friday or Sunday, an evening or night time practice, with the phases of the moon – New and Full in particular. As Yin is reflective, calming and slow it would not be the most beneficial practice in the morning or at a time when your energy needs to be elevated.
Yin is inward in its flow, it gives us time to listen to what is going on inside and even allows the darker aspects that we hide and supress to gently surface and be recognised to then be set free. After all we all crave recognition – Remember this post?
Yin gives you the time to go deeper, not just physically but more on a mental and emotional level. A deeper practice isn’t always tougher – it could be calling for slower and more gentle approach.
When I teach Yin I see the stress drip off people as if they were in a hot yoga class sweating it out. We all want to be stress free but still need a bit of direction on how to actually let it go. Yin can do that. A yin class can be deep, inviting you into a space where you have to face the natural tendencies to push and strive to perfection. That is why this is a perfect solution the end of the week, let go of your work week and let it out on the mat, find yourself again so you can be free to embrace the weekend.
For some (and generally those with a few yin classes under their belts) you will recognise this energy of needing to better the position and then it is when you stop trying and surrender that the magic of Yin unfolds. You find a peaceful space between the deep stretch and the peace of mind that is happy to be in this space of acceptance and immersion.
If you have never tried Yin I would recommend giving it more than one or two classes. It can take some time to retrain the body to feel liberated. For those who are new to Yin or who find it impossible to switch off (for whatever the reason) will struggle to enjoy this style until they appreciate the polarity or who they are. We cannot be always on and never off. Sleep is not enough of a healer, and if meditation is a stretch too far for you, then Yin is the perfect inbetweener. Our lives are so Yang, we are taught to climb the ladder and put ourselves forward. When are we taught to appreciate down time – and conducive down time at that?
Let your body benefit from a good stretch, your mind from a moment of peaceful observation, your emotions are set free and your energy harmonised and balanced. Join me at my next Yin Yoga Workshop >>