"Yin is the unified primal power of gentle devotion.
It is openness, flexibility, simplicity and conscious surrender."
– Chris Smith
Yin Yoga is an aspect of Taoist Yoga, first taught in the United States by Paulie Zink, teacher of Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers who coined the term Yin Yoga in the early 1990s. Taoist Yoga has similar roots to classical Hatha Yoga, the intention being to bring a balance of Yin and Yang or solar and lunar energies and qualities to the body, mind, and spirit.
In the practice of Yin Yoga, we are being asked to relax our muscles so that our joint spaces can gently open, as opposed to contracting the muscles around the joints to protect them and ready the body for action. In this way of relaxing the muscles and opening up the joint spaces we create a gentle traction on the connective tissues – fascia, tendons, and ligaments. This gentle stress we put on the connective tissue is said to help increase the fluid production within that tissue and allow for more pliability and elasticity in the tissues of the body.
We also meet our habitual, neuro-fascial tension patterns and the response of the mind as we are sitting with ourselves and feeling our way through that conditioned response with awareness and the presence of breath. Yin poses are simple. They work primarily from the naval to the knees – the densest part of the body, and are meant to, in time, create a lasting experience of being more supple, relaxed and resilient in both body and mind. In this way, Yin Yoga poses provide a wonderful counterbalance to the Yang activities of life.
Click HERE to practice Butterfly Pose with Melissa.