Yin is a passive practice that involves maintaining stillness, typically in a seated or supine pose held for 3 to 5 minutes. Yin allows access to deeper layers of the fascia surrounding the muscles, and is designed to move and stretch the connective tissues around the joints.
Maintaining stillness during each pose is an essential part of the practice of Yin Yoga, however this can be a challenging and difficult part of the practice, each hold seeming like an eternity.
Here are a couple of intentions you might like to keep in mind when practicing Yin.
Options will typically be given with most poses in a Yin practice, but some of us push ourselves to the ‘most advanced’ option.
It’s important to keep in mind that a yoga class is not a competition or a challenge. We don’t have to look the same to feel the same. When deciding how far to go in a pose, it is ideal to pause, and notice if it feels right, before moving deeper into the posture.
A common occurrence in Yin yoga is students over-stretching and over-extending their muscles resulting in a pose that quickly gets too intense. Look for a balance of space and sensation to find the right depth for you, so that you can remain still in for a few minutes.
Tuning into these sensations will allow you to explore outside of your comfort zone, yet still experience a new level of intensity both comfortably and safely.
Many of us tend to fidget in a posture in an attempt to escape the sensations that we are feeling. The danger with moving during pauses is that it can cause unnecessary stress on the connective tissues and may result in injury.
In most instances, we fidget because the mind just cannot be stilled. This is a practice within itself, and an important learning of Yin Yoga which can be translated into real life when we handle difficult circumstances. Do we just move away for the sensations then so as to not feel it?
To commit to the stillness of a Yin practice trains the mind to be still in difficult circumstances. Instead of running away from the pain, remind yourself to breathe deeply through it, and invite space to view whats happening from a new perspective.
Find a full list of our Yin Yoga classes on our timetable here.
By Fynn Tan
Hom Yoga 200-Hour Teacher Training Graduate