Heal and Love with Yin Yoga
In spring, just as nature enters a cycle of renewal, growth and expansion - so does the energy within us. Yin yoga practice provides an opportunity to observe, nurture, soothe, and calm ourselves. Yin can be described as stable, immobile, feminine, passive and downward moving. Yin practice is a meditative approach with a physical focus.
According to Monique Janssens, Yin Yoga instructor at 24FitFlow in Maastricht, Netherlands, Yin yoga targets the deep connective tissues of the body and the fascia that covers the body, to help regulate the flow of energy in the body. The theory behind Yin Yoga approach is that staying muscularly passive for long periods of time gently stretches connective tissue, which gets stiff and immobile with time. During Yin Yoga you are asked to relax in the posture, soften the muscle and move closer to the bone. Yin offers a much deeper access to the body. The asanas focus mainly on the lower back and hips because the abundance of dense connective tissue around those joints requires extra care and attention. During Yin Yoga class poses are held with muscles relaxed, for long periods of time - up to 5 minutes or more. As you hold a yin pose, the subtle release that takes you deeper into the pose is the tissues lengthening, hydrating, and becoming more pliable. Holding poses that gently lengthen the muscles and fascia helps break up adhesion, applying mild stress to joints and connective tissues can increase their range of motion. Many yin poses are based on classic yoga asanas, the emphasis on releasing muscles rather than on contracting them means that the shape of poses and the techniques employed in them may be slightly different.
Yin poses can be modified and made accessible to anyone, and the long holds boost flexibility. Because so much of the work is focused on opening the hips, it’s also touted as one of the best physical preparations for meditation. Yin Yoga serves as a unique tool for helping you get the greatest possible benefit from yoga practice.