Yin Yoga is a perfect complement to the dynamic and muscular (yang) styles of yoga that emphasize internal heat, and the lengthening and contracting of our muscles.
A Yin practice targets the connective tissues, such as the ligaments, bones, and joints and usually focuses on the hips, pelvis, and lower spine.
Yin Yoga incorporates aspects of Chinese medicine – including meridian theory – and helps to centre the practitioner, or finds the middle point of dynamic balance, the Dao.
Yin is stable and passive, while yang is changing and active.
Yin poses are passive and practiced in a seated or reclining position.
The poses are held for 2-5 minutes with the muscles fully relaxed, allowing time and gravity to gently deepen the position and to change the “edge” point.
While Yin yoga poses tend to resemble poses used in other disciplines, they have different names, and are performed differently from their active, or yang, relatives.
For example, the yin “caterpillar” pose resembles paschimottanasana, or seated forward bend.
In caterpillar, however, the spine rounds so that the head comes to the knees, whereas in paschimottanasana, the spine remains straight and lengthens as the head reaches toward the feet.
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