I am OBSESSED with Yin yoga. In all fairness, I’m pretty obsessed with all things yoga but Yin has really captured my heart and my body recently.
I’m a huge fan of Restorative yoga and all of the health benefits from that practice. But as I look to deepen my own yoga practice, I’ve been adding Yin to my mix.
Similar to Restorative, Yin yoga uses props such as bolsters, bricks and blankets to support the body and you hold the poses for several minutes, some up to 10 – 20 minutes. Where it differs from Restorative is that unlike Restorative yoga, where you’re looking for a gentle opening or release in the muscles, in Yin yoga, you’re going deep into the poses to create more space and work the bones, fascia and joints.
I am not a naturally bendy person. So flexibility in my body and mind are things I strive to achieve. My first class was super challenging. Not only did we do pigeon pose (my least favorite pose) – we held it for like five minutes on each leg. So 10 minutes of pigeon pose. I thought I was going to die at first. But as I listened to the cues from the amazing teacher, Deana, and focused on my breath, something wonderful happened. I moved deeper into pigeon pose than I ever had done before in any Hatha yoga class. Also, I became more comfortable in the pose and stopped struggling with it. I let go.
Leaving that class, I noticed that a lot of the shoulder tension (still very common for me after sitting at a desk all day) was mostly gone.
Yin yoga pushes me to an edge that I can’t find in a traditional Hatha yoga class because my body needs more time in certain poses because I’m still recovering from my injuries and healing my body.
So as I continue down my healing path to happiness, I am definitely incorporating more Yin into my life. I even bought a book I was recommended about Yin. As I read more of it, I will share with you.
Where do you need to find an edge in your life? Does your edge need to punish you or could you allow it to nurture your body, your spirit, your soul? Can you allow yourself to just relax into something and not “work” to make it happen? Can you embrace your Yin?