Yin and Yang, Dark and Light, soft & hard. Everything in the world is made up of varying degrees of these two energies. Yang represents the masculine – or active, solar energy. The energy we need to make ‘stuff’ happen in the world – to get where we’re going, to achieve and to move forward. Yin represents the feminine – receptive, lunar energy. The type of energy we need to rest, restore, nourish and receive. Yin yoga is a mindfulness based physical practice that uses long holds, in floor based postures to deeply release tension in the body, and create a calm and balanced mind.
The practice of yin yoga holds incredible benefits, for those willing to slow down and drop into themselves. Many of my students have reported to me that the only time during their week they feel truly, and deeply relaxed is after a yin class. The benefits of practicing yin range from physical to emotional, mental and spiritual.
Yin Yoga is different from other forms of yoga that focus on strengthening and stretching the muscles, and therefore is incredibly accessible, even if you’ve never practiced yoga before. Due to the emphasis on Mindfulness, no one will even notice if you can touch your toes, or not. It’s a simple practice, that’s totally unglamorous – you can even do it at home, in your lounge room with a few basic props.
The pose pictured above is called caterpillar, and it can be a super powerful posture to create a calm mind, and reduce stress and anxiety. You can practice it any time you’ve got 5 minutes to yourself.