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What is Yin Yoga?

What we attend to and the attitude with which we attend greatly influence how we experience

ourselves and our life - Bernie Clarke

On a physical level, Yin Yoga is a style of yoga that gets into the deeper tissues of the body, including a spider web like network of fascia. These tissues can become tight and yin yoga can help to stretch and release them. It also particular helpful for those with stiff bodies, helping to develop greater flexibility and joint mobility. In Yang style yoga there is an active contraction of one muscle and a stretch of the opposite muscle. In contrast, Yin is very passive and is about softening and letting go rather than building strength. Being given time in each pose, you can start to notice the different sensations in the body.

On a mental level, Yin yoga can be a deeply nourishing experience. Ideal for people who are stressed, need to slow and calm down, helping to quieten a busy mind. Each pose is held for a few minutes, this allows some time to melt into the pose, for silence and to pay attention to subtle sensations in a relaxed state, which can lead to greater awareness of the body and mind connection. The internal, deeper side of yoga starts to be revealed.

On an energetic level, Yin Yoga can be used to work with meridian lines, a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approach. It is believed Qi (energy) can get blocked at certain points and this can link to ailments and disease. By helping the Qi to flow this can bring greater wellbeing. TCM believe the body and mind are the same, just two sides of the same coin.

Sam is offering a monthy Yin class from September, based on a functional approach. This means that the focus is on finding where to feel the pose, rather than specific alignments. This helps to stretch a targeted area or meridian line of the body. Along these energy lines there are a range of acupressure points that can be activated with pressure, either from acupressure balls or thumbs during a yoga practice. These acupressure points overlap with the points used in acupuncture. Using props such as cushions to support you, each pose will be held for a few minutes.

Each meridian line links to an element, and classes will be careful designed to provide a well rounded practice to tap into each element - water, wood, fire, earth and metal. In TCM it is believed we are all made up of each of these natural elements, but with varying levels. For example, my dominant element is Wood.

Look out for future posts about each TCM Element.

Already do yoga? This class is perfect to compliment your existing Yang yoga practice of either Yoga Flow or Wind Down Yoga.

Yin Yoga - launching Wednesday 18th September, 7-8:15pm at St John’s Hall in Mickleover. Launch class HALF PRICE, £5

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