• Michelle Pitcher

Finding Peace and Relaxation in Yin Yoga

In today's society, life is very busy and full of activities. People tend to sway on the side of being more active rather than passive. We fill our days with work, exercise, family activities, social life, learning, and just having fun. We very rarely take the chance to just slow down and listen to the breath and notice the subtleties of our body. We tend to find quick fixes and easy ways to get relaxed fast but we don't necessarily have the patience to slowly let go and melt into that deeper state of relaxation that is long lasting and beneficial to our bodies.

Yang is the active aspect and yin is the passive aspect. Many people are drawn to yang forms of yoga because it becomes more of a workout and even though there is a lot of intensity, we still feel very peaceful and blissed out at the end once everything quiets back down. But for most people, the idea of spending long periods of time in each yoga pose throughout the duration of a yin yoga class might seem boring or very challenging. Many people can't stay still that long. Especially if it is in a pose that is really stretching deep into the tissues and joints of your body and it might not feel so comfortable.

The first time I stepped into a yin yoga class, I loved it. Coming from a background of doing a lot of intense running, dancing and yoga, I felt like I could finally just be and marvel in the slower paced pattern of movement. I could feel tension that was deep inside of my body finally beginning to melt and release. I could slow down my breath to really calm my nervous system and get off of that mat feeling like a completely new person. It wasn't easy at first but as I practiced regularly I just couldn't wait to dive deep into those poses and just stay there for as long as possible.

I came again and again to these yin yoga classes where I would just melt into my mat, listening to the relaxing music and finding more and more release within my body. My teacher was explaining to me that we were targeting the deep connective tissues, bones, joints, fascia and ligaments of the body. This slow, soothing and meditative style of yoga focuses on stretching and stimulating different acupressure points from Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is deeply energetic and deeply healing to the physical body. It allows us the access the parts of our bodies that often get neglected, and we can finally release deep rooted tensions.

Yin yoga is really picking up speed in popularity these days as people are desperately trying to find relief from their frantic lives. As we practice yin yoga, the body gradually releases its habitual holding, as each pose is held for several minutes at a time. This affects the nervous system, the body's connective tissue and its energetic pathways, similar to a form of self acupressure. Additionally, yin yoga also helps to introduce people to meditation because it helps us cultivate mindfulness, concentration and receptivity.

So whenever you feel like you're going into overload and are just too stressed out by your endless activities, give yin yoga a try. You will find that as the body naturally relaxes throughout the postures, you will cultivate more of a meditative mind in your everyday life. Being a unique combination of traditional yoga, mindfulness and Taoist practices, you can carry this with you into any yoga or meditation practice that you have at the moment.

So spring break is coming up soon and now is a great time to book a yoga retreat and retreat yourself. If you want to get really deep into yin yoga this year, there is going to be an amazing yin yoga teacher training coming up soon so feel free to check it out in this link below!





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