I found Yin Yoga a little later in my yoga journey. To be perfectly honest the first few yoga sessions I wasn't a huge fan. I realise now this was mainly down to my inability to simply be still. Over time Yin has become my favourite style of yoga. Now I crave the stillness the practice brings, along with the opportunity to practice being truly present.
The world we live in today is so fast paced and overstimulated. This leads to our mind constantly churning and processing, never really getting any downtime. Social media, streaming entertainment and emails being so easily accessible has meant most of us have our minds processing information 24/7, whether the information is useful or not. Yin is a great way to start to calm the mind.
The main benefits of practicing Yin Yoga
These are some of the benefits of Yin Yoga according to Bernie Clark, author of "The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga"
Improves our range of motion and flexibility
Keeps our skin looking younger
Reduce fixation which is a condition that limits the movement of our joints
Helps turn off the sympathetic nervous system (fight-or flight) and turn on the parasympathetic nervous system (rest-and -digest)
Slows the whirling thoughts of the mind
Nourishes the organs through acupressure
Yin yoga and stillness of the body
I often describe Yin Yoga as a passive style of yoga, where you work on relaxing the muscles and allowing the stretch to go deeper into the body. Yin yoga targets the deeper connective parts of the body, the joints, ligaments, tendons and fascia. This yoga incorporates mainly floor poses, and these poses are held anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes encouraging stillness in the body. Lots of props are used to give your body support in the poses making it easier to relax the muscles.
Yin yoga and stillness of the breathe
I am not talking about stillness in the sense of no breathing. This is about quietening the breathe, making it gentle and easy. I like to bring focus to the breathe in the Yin classes I teach to help keep the mind focused on the present. By bringing the focus to the breathe students can be encouraged to gently slow their breathing down, extending each inhale and exhale to 4 seconds or longer. The stillness arises from allowing the breathe to become slow and even.
Yin Yoga and stillness of the mind
I like to describe Yin Yoga as a meditative style of yoga. With this practice you can choose to close your eyes in each pose and really take your focus inward. Throughout the practice I remind students to focus on their body, notice the sensations, feel into each pose. Focus is also brought to the breathe, encouraging a deeper belly style of breathing which helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This in turn calms your body and slows your heart rate. Our minds and breathe are so closely linked that you can calm the mind by slowing down the breathe and work towards a stillness of the mind.
How to get started in my Yin Yoga practice?
YIn Yoga requires no previous experience, If you are curious to try the practice of Yin Yoga in Coffs Harbour you can simply click here to book a class
OR if you have more questions about our Yoga studio, please feel free to reach out via our contact page.
From my Yin heart to yours