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What is Yin Yoga?

Yin is a largely floor based yoga practice which uses stillness and the breath to clear the meridian systems of energy blockages which physically, and metaphysically, create a state of dis-ease or imbalance in mind and body. Poses are held for between 3 – 8 minutes. The aim of Yin is to stretch the ligaments, the tendons and the fluff around the joints to improve flexibility and range of motion. Unlike Vinyasa, the aim is not to stretch or engage the muscles. While it might seem to the casual observer that in Yin nothing happens, the practice lies in the discipline to remain still and focused in poses that might not be entirely comfortable. By drawing upon the Yin or female energies such as stillness and introspection and using the breath to flush out the meridian system, Yin is also a mindful and meditative practice. Props such as bolsters, straps and blocks are used to assist with range of motion. The aim is not to force the body into a pose, but rather to allow for something that is more intuitive, organic and supportive. People who have tried Yin have reported feeling emotionally and physically so much better and this has been my experience too. Yin is often accompanied by sound healing, sage and oracle cards.

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