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Yin Yoga…What is this all about?

I have been teaching yoga for nearly 17 years and never would have thought I would embrace any forms of yoga other than the days of hard ashtanga (power) yoga. More is better right? However, I was forced to slow down and shift from my YANG world after years of life altering experiences; a burn out, back injury and bladder dysfunction.

In a world of fast-paced living, texting, quick and dirty meals, lack of communication, reduced quality family time, and more excuses why we don’t have time for ourselves, YIN opened my so called “stubborn” mind to a new, balanced way of living. Read on to see how yin yoga can help you find inner harmony and reduce physical restraints.

Yin yoga is known as the “quiet, yet profound” practice.  This type of yoga focuses on working past muscle tension and moving into the connective tissues of the body, including fascia networks, to create length in the muscles and joints. It also focuses on the flow of energy known as Chi, and helps to stimulate the meridians of the body as the Chinese do with the practice of acupuncture.  This is met by mindfully moving into poses without the ego and holding poses for periods of 2 – 10 minutes.  During this time the mind is encouraged to be focused: paying attention purposefully through breath by moving chi up and down the body.  Some may see this as mindful mediation with physical benefits.

Yin (black) in nature is the opposite of Yang (white).  Yin represents quiet, cold, calm, and stillness.  Yang represents energetic, dynamic, and warm moving qualities.

When one of these properties, Yin or Yang, is in more abundant than the other, we get OUT OF BALANCE, and the body is in disharmony.  This can manifest itself in physical problems, including back pain, digestive issues, mental and emotional dysfunction, and feeling like you are merely surviving instead of living.

Sounds like you?  Is your life more Yin than Yang? Are you out of balance? Take this quick survey to find out.

  1. You are?
  • An evening person.
  • A morning person.
  1. Which season do you love more?
  • Winter
  • Summer
  1. What type of outlook do you have?
  • More pessimistic than optimistic.
  • More optimistic than pessimistic.
  1. You love more of?
  • Cold refreshing beverages.
  • Warm soothing drinks.
  1. You are more of this in a social setting?
  • Introvert.
  • Extrovert.
  1. Which words suit your image better?
  • Sensitive and gentle.
  • Strong and firm.
  1. You prefer to eat?
  • Sweet candy.
  • Salty crackers.
  1. In a relationship, you?
  • Let your partner take initiatives and prefer being led along.
  • Like to take initiatives and be in control.
  1. You prefer?
  • An evening of solitude and peace.
  • An evening with people and parties.
  1. For a weeklong vacation, you would prefer?
  • Retreating in a log cabin up in the mountains.
  • Exploring a city by foot.
  1. On a beach, you would prefer?
  • Tanning in the sun.
  • Playing beach volleyball.

If you answered mostly the first selection you are more Yin in nature if you have answered mostly the second selection you are more Yang in nature.

This deep meditative practice takes a lot of patience and time, however over time, all things heal. The body relaxes, the mind quiets, and the heart opens.   Don’t wait for Yin to find you, find YOURSELF through a Yin Yoga practice today.

HealthStyles Spring Open House Yin Class: Mother Teresa High School, Barrhaven, Thursday, March 30th 7:00 -8:00 PM. Email to reserve your spot:

Click here to sign up for Yin classes.

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