Yin yoga is a quiet and contemplative practice, working with what the Taoist philosophy refers to as the yin aspects of ourselves; the stable, unmoving, hidden aspect of things. Yin yoga works with the yin tissues in our bodies, the connective tissues (tendons, ligaments and fascia). These tissues respond well to slow and steady practice, so in this style of yoga, poses are held for a longer period of time, allowing the muscles to relax around the tissues, releasing deeply held tension in the body and mind. This is an excellent choice of yoga for those who wish to work on deeper flexibility, joint mobility as well as mental health issues related to stress and anxiety.
Yin yoga has been around in the West since the 1970’s when martial artist, Paul Zink first introduced the practice as Taoist yoga. The current style of Yin was popularized by Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers who have infused more Traditional Chinese Medicine and anatomical science into the practice.
Yin yoga helps to quiet the ‘mind chatter’. Constant texting, scrolling and social media updates can have a big impact on the speed of our mind, pushing us into uncomfortable and unnatural states of being. As the body moves into deeper states of relaxation, so too does the mind. Yin activates our parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest), bringing much needed balance into our often yang lifestyles full of doing and achieving.