What is Yin Yoga?

by Restorative Yoga Poses on July 24, 2011

Yin Yoga

Originally known as Taoist Yoga, Yin Yoga was first developed by Paulie Zink who combined his knowledge of yoga with the ancient Taoist tradition. Yin Yoga draws on the basic principle of Taoism in which one tries to be in harmony with the rhythm of life and flow of nature. In this practice of yoga, postures are held for longer periods of time and aim to clear blockages of energy while promoting growth and enhancing circulation.

Paul Grilley became a student of Master Zink and over time Taoist Yoga evolved to become known as Yin Yoga. Yin Yoga uses the five elements of Chinese medicine as well as the principles of Yin and Yang. Yin is the dark, cold, soft, and feminine energy whereas yang is the light, hot, hard, and masculine energy. Neither yin nor yang can exist without the other. Together they form the universal vibration and the energy of all life.

Yin Yoga corresponds to the yin energy that is going deeper into the poses to allow the pose to soften, develop, and fully express itself with a longer hold. In this extended posture, yin yoga poses allow the connective tissue (fascia, tendons, and ligaments) to slowly lengthen and stretch. With time this becomes a deeply powerful practice that can truly transform even the most rigid of bodies.

The technique used in Yin Yoga is to settle into a posture, allow it to intensify, hold it for an average of ten minutes and allow the sensations to arise. This practice of yoga is deeply meditative as it allows one to look deep within the body and to observe sensations in a non-reactive way. With consistent practice of yin yoga, the physical body transforms as well as the mind allowing for a deeper connection of mind, body, and spirit.

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