Yin Yoga, is a less popular style of Yoga in this part of the world. The western society has been labeled as Yang dominant, which represents an active, and masculine energy. What is Yin Yoga? It's actually not a new concept but a very ancient practice in Doaism which focused on bringing the whole system back to it's harmonious balance. This concept had been brought to the surface again by an American Yoga teacher Paul Grilley. Nowadays, more and more New Yorkers have grown interests in this meditative Yoga practice that goes much deeper beyond muscles, to release some stress accumulated from the outside masculine world. Before you jump into a class, there are something you need to know.
1. Dao Yin (or Tao Yin)
This is the traditional name of Yin Yoga discovered from an old Daoist text. This 'Yin' here doesn't mean the passive energy oppose to Yang, which has been massively misunderstood by the west. This 'Yin' means guiding the energy through meridians, to balance the Yin & Yang, and boost the digestive system so people can be free from all diseases. It also explained that the movements need to be slow and peaceful, the mind maintain steady and calm during the practice. So It's much more challenging than Vinyasa (which is not easy to practice correctly either), but you can explore much deeper into the self with this one.
What got Paul Grilley's interested in Dao Yin was this Kung Fu master (above) Paulie Zink. He was impressed by Paulie's flexibility and started training with him. He mentioned in an interview that the modern Yoga practice contain too much rigid masculine energy. It surely can provide vital force in the body through all the vinyasas and muscle engagement, but it dose not take away the intimidation of sitting long hours to mediate. This is when the body is urging to do Yin Yoga. It allows the practitioner to draw the attention from outward searching into an inward discovery. The slow-paced stretches allow the muscles to relax, so the connective tissues and fascias can be stretched and released. Even after just one Yin Yoga class, practitioners can find overall improvement in health and their regular Yang Yoga practice.
3. A Few Principles in Yin Yoga Practice That's different from Vinyasa
1. No muscle engagement. Unlike Iyengar Yoga or Vinyasa Yoga, Yin Yoga requires full body relaxation. When the muscles are at rest, the stretches can go deeper.
2. Keep the spine curved in forward fold. The head is in the same level of the heart so the blood can easily stream towards the brain.
3.Each pose hold long period of time. 3-10mins
4.Best time to practice Yin Yoga is at night as Yin represents the moon and darkness.
5.Treat your practice as a meditation. Focus on your breath.
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