Yin Yoga

A little info on Yin Yoga, then a sample practice sequence:

  • Yin Yoga is a “passive” practice. A gentle, softer approach ~ where we get to slow down and begin the restorative process for our body. (i.e. Seated meditation is a yin activity, versus Vinyasa Flow is a Yang activity.)
  • By extension, exercise that focuses on muscle tissue is yang; exercise that focuses on connective tissue is yin.
  • If you gently stretch connective tissue by holding a yin pose for a long time, the body will respond by making them a little longer and stronger—which is exactly what you want.
  • In general, a yin approach works to promote flexibility in areas often perceived as nonmalleable, especially the hips, pelvis, and lower spine.

Here is a sample Yin practice. You can do this at home ~ it should take you about 20 minutes.

Start in Child's Pose, resting & become aware of your breath.

Coming onto all fours, inhale as you drop your belly & glance up ~ Cow Pose.

Exhale as you: drop the tail, rounding out and moving into Cat.

Curl the toes under, press the hips back ~ downward facing dog. Spread your fingers wide, release your shoulders away from your ears. Breathe.

Bring the right leg through into Pigeon. Slowly lower your torso over your leg and breathe deeply. Shoot your right leg back into downdog; now try Pigeon on the left side.

From downdog: come to your knees, cross legs behind you and move onto your sit bones. Bring the bottoms of the feet together for Butterfly. Slowly bring your nose to your toes...

Extend the legs and reach out, lengthening the tailbone. Hands lay on shins or grab feet if available to you. Release the head & breathe.

Using a Bolster is optional. Allow your legs to lay vertically; recirculating all the blood, lymph nodes & more.

Savasana. Gently lie back onto your mat, allowing all limbs to fall open & relaxed. Close your eyes and breathe.

*These poses are only recommendations and should not be practiced while experiencing injury in the body. Listen to what your body tells you and stop any stretching or movement if you feel discomfort or pain.*

Most Yin poses can be held anywhere from 5-15 minutes at a time. It is suggested to focus on your breath, staying present…allowing all thoughts to dissolve.

Since we like to talk about ‘balance’ here… 🙂 …having some sort of Yin activity in your regimen allows you to round out your physical practice. Yin activities can really enhance your Yang activities; giving your muscles that extra strength, flexibility, etc. To counter your running/biking/hiking/weights; Yin will also give you that time to slow down, stop pushing, destress & let go. If you opt out of Yin Yoga, you can also try: a walk, meditation, Qi Gong, or breathwork.

Namaste!

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Posted in Optimal Health, Physical Activity, Yoga
2 comments on “Yin Yoga
  1. good one! what a generous post. feeling the love and care in that one!

  2. Marina says:

    This comes at a perfect time for me…thank you!

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