In a yin yoga style practice postures are softly held (mostly on the floor) for long periods of time.
Holding a yin yoga posture creates circulation in the tissues and joints keeping them flexible and supple, calms the nervous system, and increases circulation of Prana or Qi in the energetic channel system of the body.
Holding poses also encourages the dropping of attention inward to a place of meditation and contemplation. Much of our lives these days is very "yang". We are busy, goal oriented, and focused on activity. Many of us often rely on external measures when seeking validation. On the other hand, yin yoga is a practice of slowing down and trusting the inner promptings of the body.
While the term "yin yoga" was more recently coined, a slower more contemplative approach to yoga practice has been around for a very long time within the yogic tradition. One of the aims of yoga is to create balance and integration in the body, heart, and mind. A yin style practice helps to create an environment where balance can occur.
When first beginning a yin yoga practice it can seem like the practice is boring or too passive but just because it is slow and simple does not make it easy. In fact, as you hold the pose notice how the mind tends to try to "escape". Perhaps you drift into thinking about past pleasant memories or maybe you find yourself mired in critical or "comparitive" mind. When this happens allow what is happening but aim to bring yourself back to the present sensations in the body.
I'm delighted to announce that I am finally releasing another free yin yoga practice video. This practice is just over an hour and was shot at a beautiful coastal location. You can watch a short preview below and if you'd like to receive the full video just sign up with your email and I'llll send it right to you!