As usual, I had mixed feelings. I was excited I was going to do yin but on the other hand I kept wondering what’s in store for me. The studio was almost full by the time I got there with yogis of all background and ages. I took a spot at the back at a corner so I could slip away in case I felt I needed to quit. Don’t get me wrong…I rarely quit.
The instructor was pleasant, lovely and also knowledgeable. He introduced himself and asked if anyone of us had any injuries. He also asked if there was a newbie. I know you think that I raised my hand, but no…I didn’t. I kept wondering why am I pretending. As I continued debating with myself, the class started. He maneuvered us into the first pose named Half Saddle (this is a seated position whereby one leg is straightened out in front of you and the other one is bent backwards with the heel towards the bottom) I thought, this feels okay. It must be interesting. He then said that we fold forward, and I was okay with that even though I could feel the impacts. Then he said “hold in this pose and breath softly from your belly for the next five minutes”.
What??? I thought my ears were failing me. I lifted my head up but to my surprise everyone was folding. That’s when it hit me, he must be serious. I folded forward even though my muscles were already screaming and preparing for this awesome learning process.
So what is Yin Yoga?
Yin yoga is a form of yoga that is based on the yin and yang concept, the complementary and opposite principles in nature. Yang is the moving, changing and revealing aspect while yin is the unmoving, stable and hidden aspect of things. There are other yin-yang polarities such as down- up, cold-hot, calm-excited.
In our bodies, the pliable and mobile muscles and the blood are yang while the relatively stiff connective tissues such as ligaments, tendons are yin.
A yin session consists of long-held and passive floor poses that are geared towards working the lower part of our bodies –the pelvis, hips, lower spine, inner thighs. These are the areas that are rich in connective tissues. The asanas are held for 5 minutes or even longer.
These are some of the things I learned about yin by the end of the session. We will be covering more on yin and the reasons you need to incorporate this form of yoga in your regimen in future posts.