Have you heard about Yin Yoga? It is a form of yoga which combine yoga asanas with traditional Chinese medicine theory as well as the concept of connective tissues, and blend them into a unique practice that suits everybody who intend to his body more flexible and healthy in a natural way.
Yin Yang Concept applied to our body
In Chinese Medicine, the terms yin and yang can describe any phenomenon. Yin is the stable, static, hidden aspect of things; yang is the changing, moving, revealing aspect. Other yin-yang polarities include cold-hot, down-up, calm-excited etc.
Yin and yang are relative terms, not absolutes; any phenomenon can only be yin or yang by comparison with something else. We can’t point to the moon and say, “The moon is absolute yin.” Compared to the sun, the moon is yin: It’s cooler and less bright. But compared to the Earth, the moon is yang: brighter, higher, and more mobile. In addition to being relative, a yin-yang comparison of any two objects depends on the trait being compared. For example, when considering location, the heart is yin compared to the breastbone because the heart is more hidden. But when considering substance, the heart is yang compared to the breastbone because the heart is softer, warmer, more mobile, more elastic.
Analyzing various yoga techniques from the perspective of yin and yang, the most relevant aspect is the elasticity of the tissues involved. Yang tissues like muscles are more fluid-filled, soft, and elastic; yin tissues like connective tissue (ligaments, tendons, and fascia) and bones are dryer, harder, and stiffer.
By extension, exercise that focuses on muscle tissue is yang; exercise that focuses on connective tissue is yin.
Understand energy flow from ancient prospectives
Through deep meditation, the ancient healing methods discovered insight of the energy system of the body. In China, the Taoists called it Qi and founded the science of acupuncture, which describes the flow of Qi through pathways called Meridians. In India, yogis called this energy Prana and its pathways Nadis;
Chinese medical practitioners and yogis have insisted that blockage of the flow of vital energy throughout our body eventually manifest in physical problems that reveal. We believe that yoga postures really do help us reach down into the body and gently stimulate the flow of Qi and Prana through the connective tissue, particularly Yin Yoga serves as a unique tool for helping you get the greatest possible benefit from yoga practice.
Stretching Connective tissues
Although connective tissue is found in every bone, muscle, and organ, it’s most concentrated at the joints. In fact, if you don’t use your full range of joint flexibility, the connective tissue will slowly shorten to the minimum length needed to accommodate your activities. If you try to flex your knees or arch your back after years of underuse, you’ll discover that your joint movements have been limited by shortened connective tissue.
Instead of the rhythmic contraction and release that best stretches muscle, connective tissue responds best to a slow, steady load. If you gently stretch connective tissue by holding a yin pose for a long time, the body will respond by making them a little longer and stronger like a tiny step each time—which is exactly what we want.
Key benefits of a regular Yin Yoga practice
Stillness: calms and balances the mind and body
Stress and anxiety reduction
Greater joint mobility
Balance to the internal organs and improved flow of Qi or prana through meridian stimulation
Some principles to keep in mind when practicing Yin Yoga
– Find your appropriate edge: Move slowly and gently into the pose. Don’t go straight to your “maximum” in the pose and never stretch so far as to cause pain.
– Stillness: consciously try to release into the pose, and to remain still, without fidgeting or shifting position too much.
– Hold the position: start with holding a pose for 1-3 minutes and progress to 5 minutes or more.
If you want to read more information about Yin Yoga, there are some very informative sites:
And you can also try an Online Yin Yoga session with Travis Eliot.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send me an email!
See you on the mat!