The feminine, negative principle in Chinese philosophy. Earth, darkness, passiveness, cold.
The masculine, positive principle in Chinese philosophy. Heaven, light, activity, warmth
In essence, this is two parts coming together to form a whole. It represents the duality of all things in nature. Achieving a balance between yin and yang is considered important for having a happy, fulfilling life. It is also a catalyst for change; as each part chases the other to create a balance.
We live in a very Yang world, don’t we? We are always on the go, plugged in to the techno world 24/7. Even in our ‘down time’, we tend to feel that we have to make that down-time matter; start that course on meditation or SEO, download and read that best-seller, check out the latest podcasts.
Even our exercise routines tend towards the Yang – spinning, crossfit, boot camp, Ashtanga or Baptise Power yoga.
The Importance of Yin Yoga
In Yoga, we believe that there are channels (Nadis, Meridians) that run through our subtle bodies, carrying our personal energy (Chi, Prana, or Life Force), throughout our bodies. This Prana culminates in our wheels of energy – Chakras – in our subtle body. We have 7 chackras. And it is via these chakras that our Prana exits and comingles with the energies of the universe.
The nadis in our bodies can get blocked, thus causing our Prana to cease its effective flow to our chakras. This is when we engage in Yin yoga.
Yin yoga concentrates on feminine, passive side of our life force. Rather than heating up our bodies, making our blood flow faster and using our muscles, Yin yoga is geared towards minimal movement, working on our connective tissue (fascia) rather than on our muscles. Yin yoga asanas (poses) are designed to allow a build-up of energy in certain points of our body, and then a release of that energy which, effectively, releases the ‘sludge’ or build-up within our nadis, allowing for an efficient flow of energy. We hold poses for 3 – 5 minutes and can target specific areas of the body, particularly around our joints.
Our joints become better lubricated and start to work more efficiently. And, with the free flow of Prana, we feel energized and more centred. What’s not to love about Yin yoga?!