As a full-time Yoga Instructor I am always looking to expand my own knowledge and understanding to better serve and lead my clients and students. Today I came across this beautifully done 1 hour and 12 minute Mindful Yin Yoga practice lead by Jennifer Raye, a practitioner of traditional Chinese Medicine and Yoga Instructor out of British Columbia, Canada.
Wow. In her words: “May we bring the benefits of this practice out into the world so that we not only benefit but all those that we are in relationship with also benefit.”
Suitable for nearly all levels of students Yin Yoga directs the asana practice into the connective tissues, ligaments, and joints which are not exercised very much in an active (or yang) asana practice/workout. Yin Yoga can seem boring, passive, or easy but it can be quite challenging due to the long holding of poses (2-20 minutes) and the quiet depth we explore inside the body and mind. Joints and tissues become strengthened and rehabilitated. This style isn’t about changing and pushing ourselves like a yang class or regular exercise, instead, the yin style allows for a gentle and quiet power to arise facilitating a deep release of healing.
In our busy and modern lives we appreciate strength and the yang attitude of “go for it” but this often leaves no end to our desires and exhausts us. Yin Yoga brings both a physical cultivation of strong flexible joints and connective tissue, and a peaceful, thankful, and inward contentment through the longer holding of gentler poses. Joints and connective tissues are different from muscles and need to be exercised differently: they respond best to a slow, steady load. Yin Yoga will sometimes include some yang postures to counteract the aging process of upper-body muscle loss and lower-body immobility, so the challenge is both physical and mental in this anti-aging yoga class that allows for a gentle stretch and rehabilitation of body and mind.
If you’d like personal instruction, I have private one-on-one instruction or join my weekly group Yin Yoga class at Balance Yoga Center.