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How does the concept of Yin & Yang benefit your life?

Yin yoga is a gentle and meditative practice that focuses on stimulating the body's connective tissues, such as ligaments, tendons, and fascia, through long-held stretches and breathing techniques. 


The philosophy of yin yoga is rooted in Daoism, the Chinese philosophy that represents the balance of opposing forces in the universe, the concept of yin and yang. All elements in nature lie on a spectrum - a passive and active side.




In terms of yin yoga, yin represents the passive, still, and stable aspects of the practice in both body and mind, while yang represents the active, dynamic, and mobile aspects. In yin yoga, the emphasis is on holding poses for an extended period of time, typically three to five minutes or longer, in order to target the deeper layers of the body for healthy stress that stimulate healing.


The concept of yin and yang applies in how to practice yin yoga as well. Deciding if we should use a cold or hot room to practice or the length of a hold (a 3 minute versus an 8 minute hold), or the varying philosophies within yin yoga itself. We aim to find the middle way of Daoist philosophy in our body and mind. We begin to experience the concept that all things are relative to something else.


To practice yin yoga effectively, it is important to understand and apply the principles of yin and yang in your choices whether teaching or learning. This means finding a balance between effort and surrender, strength and flexibility, and stillness and movement. 

Further, by cultivating a sense of Daoist mindfulness and presence, practitioners can tap into the healing benefits of experiencing different ways of Being. The concept of a “right & wrong” way to practice yin yoga becomes relative.  We find different ways of practicing that benefit different people.


Some key tips for practicing yin yoga include:

~  listening to your body and respecting your limits

~ focusing on your breath to help release tension and cultivate relaxation

~ finding a comfortable and supported position in each pose

~ observing your mind’s capacity to let go of entrenched ideas


Overall, yin yoga offers a unique opportunity to cultivate healthy questioning and self-awareness. By embracing the principles of yin and yang in your practice, you can tap into a deeper sense of balance and harmony off the mat and into your life. 


In what ways has a yin yoga practice changed your life?


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13 Comments


I was first introduced to yin yoga around 2015-2016 by coworkers who recommended it to me as a chill practice to do after work or before bed to help wind down after a stressful day. After attending a few classes at a local small studio, I realized it was much more than just chill vibes. Yin is meditative and grounding, it helped me release a lot of old emotional pain and trauma trapped in my fascia and increased the range of motion in my neck and shoulders. As a result, the practice of yin reignited my love of yoga overall. Yay Yin!

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Yin Yoga changed my whole perspective when it came into my life just over a year ago. Paying attention to the support that my body needed to settle into these poses for upwards of five minutes.

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I love your "yin" appreciation. Yes, becoming aware of support needed can be transformational! I'm so glad we met.

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Yin yoga came into my life over 10 years ago when friend told me to go for stress management and that was it! I was like where have you have been all my life? I am an A Type personality and always doing Yang exercises and yoga and working too much. It was go go go! Yin gave me the calming energy I needed and helped me with my insomnia. I love the longer holds and the meditative quality of the practice. It can be restorative and it's so good for you physically and mentally. I took my Yin training last year and it was my step into yoga training and a new life. I believe everyone should b…

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I hear you, Sherry! Having a practice that slows down the "yang" flow is so helpful!

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I don't think I've practiced any Yin yoga classes, that I can remember. I do like the concept of finding the balance between the "passive, still, and stable aspects of and of the practice in both body and mind" of yin, and the "active, dynamic, and mobile aspects" of yang.


I'm intuitively drawn towards "yang," but I 'm aware that I also need to respect the yin part of the practice. The yin part and meditation is more challenging for me. I'm curious to learn more and hope to incorporate some yin practice into my life when possible.

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It's wonderful that you are open and curious to other ways of being, Mary! I look forward to hearing more about your yin yoga experiences over time.

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I haven't practice a lot of Yin yoga. In the first classes I have been in, it took me quite a long time to settle and start enjoying the stillness. However, I like the idea of finding balance in the practice of yoga asana. I am curious about the impact that a regular yin yoga practice could have on my "yang yoga" practice! I will make some experiment soon :)

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What a great comment! Many students find that their yang practice improves with a yin class. Some areas of the body need the yin stress/stretch to release the muscles and open their yang practice. Let me know how it goes!

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