by Ignatia Amara
Yin Yoga is the practice of long-held floor poses (often 3 to 5 minutes) that are set up so that there is no muscle contraction or usage. Yin Yoga is very different from other styles of yoga more Yang, such as Vinyasa or Ashtanga. Its origins combine the Hatha yoga tradition of India with the Taoist yoga tradition of China: the asanas (poses) are taken from Hatha, while the approach comes from the Taoist principle of yin/yang, the balance of opposites. Yin is the cool, stable, unchanging, and feminine aspect of self and the world, Yang is the masculine, active, take-charge aspect; Yang yoga styles work more on the muscle strenght while Yin yoga works more on the connective tissue (the joints, tendons, and fascia). It’s key that there is no engagement of the muscles in these poses; rather, you relax into them as much as possible and you can meditate on the perceptions received from your body.
This yoga increases range of motion and is one of the best paths to improved flexibility. While the traditions and lineage on which Yin Yoga is based are ancient, the practice itself is fairly new and it was designed around the energy system of meridians of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Yin yoga classes blended passive poses to clear out blockages in the meridians and it is not designed to build muscular strength but it helps the entire structure around the muscles and joints grow healthier.
Ignatia Amara bio
I am a shiatsu practitioner from 2013. I practice yoga from 2002, following seminars of yoga therapy, vinyasana, hatha and yin yoga. In 2018 I achieved a Certificate of Graduation as Yin Yoga Teacher with Kassandra Reinhardt and a 200h Teacher Training Yoga Certificate with Yoga Alliance.