Monday, February 9, 2015

Yin Yoga

Photo via Pinterest.

Have you ever taken a yin yoga class?

Primarily I practice vinyasa, a style of yoga where you flow from posture to posture, using the breath to link them together in a sequence. The class builds to a peak, and is often a vigorous, sweaty workout, sometimes held in a heated room. (It's a 'yang' practice, since it's high-energy.)

Yin yoga, on the other hand, involves holding restorative poses for 3-5 minutes each, and settling in to sensation. Yin is more about being than it is about doing, and the idea is to let go, to surrender, and to be still.

Photo via Yoga by Candace.

When I was in yin class this week, I really struggled with the stillness. Quieting the mind can be such a challenge!

So often in my day-to-day routine, I'm moving quickly from task to task, from one place to the next. At work, I check emails constantly and often have to re-prioritize and task-switch throughout the day.

And besides work, there's the constant phone checking, conversations with family and friends, web browsing, driving, to-do list making, chores, errands... the list goes on!

Photo via Pinterest.

Yin yoga can be challenging, but it is such a worthwhile practice.

The goal is to come to your mat, acknowledging where you are. Whether you are stressed or relaxed, comforted or tense, the most important part is being willing to show up and do the work.

If you've never tried yin yoga, I highly recommend trying out a class. Look for a teacher who's able to hold space and speak in a way that feels grounding and calm. Good music, a relaxing atmosphere and plenty of props also help.

Photo via Pinterest.

You can also add yin poses to your at-home yoga routine. Here are a few links to try:

25 minute yin yoga sequence for stress relief.

Yin yoga for hips and hamstrings

Using props during yin yoga.

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