What is Yin & Yang Yoga?
Yin Yoga is a slower practice where poses are passively held for longer, working on the deep, dense (Yin) connective tissues and joints in the body.
Yang yoga is the more traditional hatha or ashtanga based asana practice that develops muscular strength, stamina, and flexibility. Yin/Yang Yoga is a class that balances the newly developed Yin yoga practice for the first half of the class with traditional Yang yoga practices for the second half of the class.
Yin Yang Yoga blends two styles of yoga into one practice – bringing together the benefits of passively holding yoga poses with more dynamic sequences and standing postures. Yin and Yang are the Taoist concepts which describe the two relative qualities present in everything. Yin is more internal, passive, cooling and downward. While Yang is more external, dynamic, warming and upward.
When these terms are applied to yoga, Yin Yoga is a slower practice where poses are passively held for longer, working on the deep, dense (Yin) connective tissues and joints in the body. Yang Yoga, in contrast, refers to a more active practice working on the (Yang) muscles and blood flow, building strength, stamina and flexibility. Yang styles of yoga are those with rhythm and repetition like Vinyasa Flow.
For a balanced yoga practice, we need both Yang and Yin elements, whether that is by including one or two Yin or Restorative yoga sessions along with more active yoga into our weekly schedule, or by practising both Yin and Yang aspects in the same class.
Benefits of a regular Yin Yang Yoga practice
- Stimulates the meridians (energy channels) bringing balance to the organs in the body
- Improves flexibility and joint mobility
- Calms and balances the mind and body
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Works deeply on the connective tissues (fascia, tendons and ligaments)
- Can prepare the practitioner for meditation practice
- Strengthens and tones the body
- Improves flexibility and circulation
- Increases stamina
- Calms the mind down by inviting us to synchronise movement with breath
- Removes tension and obstacles in the body to allow breath and prana to flow
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