Yoga with Hannah

subscribe to regular news updates

Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga focuses on creating more openness in the connective tissue layer of the body: this provides greater flexibility and a sense of ease and lightness at the core of our physical structure.

Connective tissue (denser tissues such as fascia, ligaments, tendons and cartilage) responses best to long-held, passive stretches, which are performed in a gentle, slow way.

"Yin" is just one way of categorising or comparing the denser tissues of the body to the more water-rich or "Yang" muscles, which respond best to a different form of exercise.

Energy (prana or chi) is believed to flow through the channels (nadis or meridians) of the connective tissue layer of the body. Yin Yoga practice can therefore enable the harmonious flow of life-energy through the clearing of these path-ways. This enables the body organs to function better.

It is blockages in these energy channels that are believed to lead to symptoms such as feelings of numbness in the extremities after long periods of sitting still. Therefore regular practice of Yin Yoga can enhance the ease of sitting still, whether this is at work, on transport, or in meditation.

The sense of well-being cultivated in this style of yoga uniquely enhances experience of meditation and relaxation, yet also enhances yang practices.

Yin and Yang

By practicing yin postures when the muscles are not yet warm, energy can reach the deeper connective tissues of the joints and the energy pathways of the meridian system that are housed here.

As chi, prana, or 'life force' stimulates and tones the joints' deep connective tissues, the supply of fluids to them is increased. As a result the joints become 'juicier', less dense and more flexible. You can then go deeper in a proceeding yang practice with less effort, as energy is already flowing at deeper levels. The attitude cultivated in a yin practice can also keep you from over-exertion in yang practices, preventing injury.

The main difference between yin and yang styles of yoga is the inner attitude adopted. Whilst a yang practice may be focused on achievement and advancement in poses, a yin practice focuses on gaining inner harmony and peace. This is done through cultivating a patient acceptance of the reality as it is.

By patiently and gently working with the recognised limitations in poses, instead of fighting against them, a wonderful sense of balance, calm and acceptance is achieved.

The 'rush' that can be said to be achieved from an active 'yang' sequence is replaced by a sense of ease as you settle into the postures. By simply recognising the sensations of your body, you can practice an attitude of awareness with non-reaction.

Yoga related quotes on yin yoga with hannah
Meditation is not just a practice, meditation is a natural state. It's an actual channel in our consciousness, a band width of tranquility, energy and joy that reveals itself when we learn how to pay attention. Once you discover how to tune yourself into the meditation band width, it will empower you from within
Sally Kempton
Read the quote on yoga above