Life isn't always easy. And the stress we experience during the tough times often leaves us worn out and weary, and creates physical and mental knots in our being. That's why it's so important that we learn to create balance and space by adopting a serene approach to the world. Using the body to connect and ground our mind, is the essence of Yin yoga and the beginning of our journey towards serenity.
Yin yoga is…
- Designed around a series of stretches that targets the fascia, a matrix of connective tissue linking all parts of our body, and ensures correct flow in the meridians or energy lines.
- Concerned with refreshing and realigning the body and the mind.
- Focused on the calming breath and letting go of the rushing mind for the duration of the class – the breath is the somatic intelligent link between 'Body-Mind-Spirit'; first the body, then the mind and then the spirit soars.
- Concentrated on going deeper into the body, finding safe but challenging edges and working at the edge to introduce long-term change.
- Suitable for all ages as well as those with injuries.
It starts with the fascia
This complex network of connective tissue is much like a spider's web: if one strand is tugged, the whole web vibrates, pulls in a direction or becomes unbalanced. Fascia imbalances have physical consequences for the body, including joint problems and organ dysfunction, but more than that, they also cause blocks in the energy flow of our physical being, according to Dr Hiroshi Motoyama and Paul Grilley, pioneers of the Yin practice.
What can Yin do for you?
Yin yoga takes us to the place where we feel resistance, keeps us there until the resistance eases, then takes us even deeper. This edge becomes the place of meditation, stillness, softness and openness; a place where we can learn to sit, stay and observe the sensation without engaging or being the sensation. And it is in this place that the body softens, creating access to deeper layers of tension and the ability to release it.
How does it work?
The Yin practice uses gravity in a safe way to assist us as well as support from props. The stretches, which are held for several minutes at a time, in stillness and awareness, cultivating attention to the breath, release tension in targeted spots. This creates joint space and assists energy to flow correctly, which in turn improves organ function and strengthens tendons and ligaments.
Ready to go deeper?
If you're a student or teacher of yoga looking to increase your knowledge and deepen your journey, it's time you considered joining Don Peers for a weekend immersion and foundation in Yin yoga.
Comprising a series of poses to create health, deeper awareness and an exploration of breath and meditation, the weekend will incorporate the 14 main meridians (Chinese approach), organ function, and the traditional Hatha yoga structure of poses (asana).
Find out more here.