When I took my yoga teacher certification in 2008, I opted to go through a program that was more rooted in Taoist yoga, Qi gong and subsequently traditional Chinese medicine. In the same way acupuncture aims to open up the energy channels of the body, or meridians, Yin yoga and Qi gong does, too. Instead of using needles, Yin yoga and Qi gong use coordinated breath and physical movements and postures to open those same meridians.
What to Expect from a Yin Yoga Class
Yin yoga is a slower paced, restorative practice aimed at the connective tissues of the body; especially those of the low back, hips and pelvis. It focuses on stretching, elongating, energizing and nourishing the Yin aspects of the body- the bones, connective tissues and organs. This is a gentle, yet effective and intense practice in which you gradually relax and breathe into each pose and hold for an extended period of time. Many of the poses are done on the floor and aided by the use of props. You will leave this class feeling more flexible, relaxed and mindful.
As described in the book, Insight Yoga by Sarah Powers, the three main principles in a Yin yoga practice are:
1. To find an appropriate edge. “This means coming into poses non-aggressively and sensitively, allowing the breath to remain slow and un-labored so we can detect the appropriate depth of sensation that we feel we can tolerate.”
2. “To become still and muscularly soft, allowing gravity to have us.”
3. “To hold the pose for a while so as to fully nourish the meridians.”
The article, What is Yin Yoga and How it Might Benefit You by Fit Knit Chick has some really great information about Yin yoga, too.
Who Can or Should Be Taking this Kind of Class
This type of class is appropriate for all levels. Whether you are a beginner to yoga, a steady practitioner or a hard core athlete/ performer, you will most definitely benefit from this type of class. It’s an especially good compliment to any Yang (muscularly engaging) practice.
What are the Benefits of Yin Yoga
Check out the many benefits as listed in the online article, Yin Yoga 101: What You Need To Know from Mind Body Green.
- Calming and balancing to the mind and body.
- Regulates energy in the body Increases mobility in the body, especially the joints and hips
- Lowers of stress levels
- Increases stamina
- Provides better better lubrication and protection of joints and other connective tissues
- Gives more flexibility in joints and connective tissue
- Release of fascia throughout the body
- Help with TMJ and migraines
- Deeper Relaxation
- A great coping for anxiety and stress
- Better ability to sit for meditation
- Ultimately you will have a better Yang practice
- Incorporating a little of both will create a more well-rounded practice as well as a better-rounded version of the awesome you!
Please contact me if you have any further questions or to book your reservation for a class at OneSelf Therapy. For all new students, your first class is $10 and your second class is free! As an added bonus, yoga classes at OneSelf Therapy are designed to be of a limited size so instructors can give more personalized attention to students. To maintain this concept, a reservation at least 1 day in advance is required.
Private instruction also available. Please contact the office manager at OneSelf Therapy to schedule.
Much gratitude and I look forward to seeing you in class!