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What the heck is Yin Yoga?

Updated: Jan 17

What is Yin?

Yin is the balance that we need in our lives and we all need a bit more calm and rest in our lives to combat the stresses and tension from every day life habits and patterns. The practice of Yin is deeply relaxing and a regular practice brings so many benefits to both body and mind. Yin poses are held for longer than in other styles of yoga, passive long held and supported floor stretches which encourage a quieter more relaxed and a more introspective and meditative quality.

Physically Yin is a style of yoga which focuses on the deepest tissues of your body with particular focus to the deep fascia/ connective tissue networks in the body increasing flexibility and strength and holistically . The practice of Yin balances the flow of chi/ energy through the body.

Traditionally Yin stems from the modality of Chinese medicine maintaining a balance between the opposing forces of Yin and Yang focusing on the energy meridians. Why ? The pressures and stresses of modern life can deplete you of energy leaving you feeling out of sorts -tired, fatigued, achey, whirring brain. struggling to focus. All of these are signs of stress and Tension and both significantly reduce the flow of energy through the body. Yin rebalances by targeting these channels and brings more equilibrium back into your lives. This is why after a session of Yin, students feel like they are back in their natural state - calm, connected and relaxed.

Is it for me?

The Yin classes at The Sanctuary are taught in a way to ensure everyone regardless of ability can both experience and feel the full benefits of the pose. In the poses your body is supported by props. You are encouraged to move to the first sensation of the stretch and as you hold the pose that pause gives you the space to release holding and tension whilst you focus on your breath. Think of each pose as a journey and you decide how far the journey is for you. You will find that if you give the body the time to 'digest' it will soften and will take you on the next stage of the journey without you pushing or trying. The journey continues when you come out of the pose and so as tempting as it is to move out quickly and go to the next pose, try and resist. What benefits can I expect ?

A regular practice of Yin can:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety

  • Help to promote mindfulness

  • Improve joint mobility, improve circulation and increase flexibility

  • Elongate and stretch tight muscles

  • Promote deep feelings of calm and contentment

  • On a physical body level the practice is hugely beneficial to other sports which shorten muscles - eg running and cycling

How can I experience Yin?

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