Yin Yoga: Restoration Through Passivity

pas·siv·i·ty

paˈsivədē,pəˈsivədē/
noun 
          …acceptance of what happens, without active response or resistance.

Let’s be honest. We live busy, crazy often chaotic lives on a daily basis. Schedules with low tolerance for rest and relaxation dominate the norm and the word passive is almost an insult. We’re expected to care about all the tiny details, analyze every situation and actively live each experience to the fullest. Go. Go. Go.

When was the last time you allowed yourself to rest is passivity? Accept what is, passively? Experience the experience without an active response?

Our Answer: Yin Yoga. Practiced for thousands of years, Yin is fundamentally meant to help the student sit in meditation more comfortably for longer periods of time, but has countless benefits outside of this main goal. Such as tension and stress reduction, increased joint mobility, relaxation, energy regulation and you’ll even see improvement in your yang practice (the more active, less passive yoga practices) as a result. Yin is an excellent restorative compliment to more vigorous practices such as Ashtanga, Rocket, and Power Vinyasa.

Targeting the deep connective tissues known as fascia, yin postures work to stretch the area that envelops a joint, rather than the muscles connected to it.  This is a very passive practice (not quite the ultimate in passivity: Yoga Nidra) where students are expected to relax and accept the posture, avoiding resistance and sinking deeper with each moment. Muscles are to be inactive and the breath steady, creating stillness in the mind and body. Focus areas are the knees, pelvis, sacrum and spine through variations of seated and supine poses typically held for 3 to 5 minutes.

The physical benefits of Yin are obvious, but the practice can also guide us through challenging emotional and mental obstacles we often encounter. By training our muscles to accept a posture and to sit for extended amounts of time without an active response and without showing resistance, we are encouraging our brain and heart to do the same. Remember, your brain is a muscle and becomes stronger through practice too! Consider Yin the perfect practice to living a more passive life. Allowing you to accept the difficult and avoid immediate reactive responses, Yin will train your mind and body toward a more peaceful and tolerant lifestyle.

 

After a Yin Yoga class you’ll be Ready For Takeoff to the more intense Rocket and Ashtanga series!

 

 

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