Finding Balance with Yin Yoga
Yin Yoga is good for a lot more than just flexibility! Here are a few of the unique benefits of a regular Yin Yoga practice…
You may know Yin Yoga for its deep, slow, stretches, but besides improving our physical flexibility, there is another important reason why Stefanie Arend, author of Be Healthy with Yin Yoga, feels that most of us could use a little Yin in our lives…
The modern Western culture is steeped in what Chinese traditions call “Yang” energy. Yang represents energy and activity, and if you take a look around you, you will quickly realize that most of us operate in a “Yang” state, well, pretty much all the time! Chinese medicine teaches that we are only truly healthy when we maintain a healthy balance of Yin and Yang energy – the Yin side representing calm, nourishment, and rest. Without enough Yin in our lives, we may suffer from anxiety, burnout, problems with concentration and focus, as well as various health issues which in the Western world, we often refer to as “stress-related” problems.
Yin Yoga reminds us to take some time apart to center ourselves and rejuvenate our Yin energy.
Here are a few benefits of adding some Yin to your yoga practice, according to Stefanie:
…Although many other yoga practices (ashtanga, power, aerial, etc.) can strengthen and stretch our muscles, Yin Yoga cultivates and sustains our basic energy. It therefore has a positive impact on overall health as well as many specific ailments, from back pain and high blood pressure to anxiety and women’s issues like infertility, menstrual cramping, and menopause.
The Yin practice is intensive but also very passive. Our breathing remains effortless and our muscles relaxed as we hold each position for several minutes. These deep stretches make our tissue supple and have a positive effect on the fascia and deep layers of the body. Aside from reducing pain and encouraging mobility, Yin Yoga harmonizes the flow of energy, directs us to look inwards, and can activate our capacity for self-healing. Eventually, energetic connections become perceptible, and practitioners become aware of the links between our thoughts, our emotions, and our Chi.
When I practice Yin Yoga, I become myself completely and experience a deep feeling of peace. In my Yin practice I am fully myself and do not have to please anyone else—either proverbially or in reality. I hope you will discover this joy as well. Today and every day, take some time to step away from the whirlwind of our Yang world. Yin Yoga puts us back in touch with our mental, emotional, and physical selves, nourishing our energies and bringing us peace of mind and spirit.
Feel free to check out Stefanie’s book if you want to learn more about the many benefits of Yin Yoga! It can be found at Amazon.com and other online retailers.