Yin Yoga history
Yin yoga is originated in China and Tibet. This is an ancient type of yoga that combines basic principles of Indian and Chinese philosophy. It includes:
- hatha yoga;
- chakra system;
- Taoist philosophy;
- science of aura.
Yin yoga is based on the idea of two energies Yin and Yang, which symbolize the masculine and feminine energies. Human body combines both of them and therefore represents the original male and female traits. Yang is a symbol of movement and strength, and Yin is softness and stability.
The classical Yin yoga gradually changed, losing some traditions and becoming more suitable for western people. Since 1970s, this yoga received a form which is known in Europe until now. The main popularizers of Yin Yoga are Paulie Zink, Bernie Clark, Sarah Powers.
How yoga affects our body?
In accordance with the structure of the human body, Yin is responsible for the functioning of the ligaments and tendons, and Yang is responsible for the muscles. To develop muscles, you need to perform active exercises at a fast pace, gradually increasing the load. To make connective tissues more elastic – perform passive exercises in a slow rhythm.
Asanas aiming to improve circulation in the joints and, therefore, increase flexibility are the basis of Yin yoga. They exclude sudden movements, do not overload the muscles, so the chance to get injured is pretty low.
It is always better to practice Yin yoga, or any other type of yoga with the experienced teacher, however, you can do it on your own at home. But in any case, it is necessary to adhere to the basic safety principles:
- Listen to your body – do not overload or over stretch your body;
- Control breathing;
- Be responsible for your own well-being. If some asanas make you feel uncomfortable – consult your teacher and doctor;
- Keep a comfortable pace;
- Come out of the asana smoothly;
- Control emotions – try to calm down your mind.
To properly perform asanas beginners can use pillows and yoga roller. It will help to fix the asanas while the body is not able to independently hold the pose yet.
Asanas for beginners
Beginners should focus first on mastering several basic asanas, rather than increasing the duration of the lesson. At the beginning, 3-4 positions are enough:
- Child’s pose. Standing on your knees, connect big toes. Slowly sit on the heels, your knees can be hips width apart or together, lay down and touch the floor with your forehead. The abdomen should touch the hips. Keep the pose for two minutes, breathe deeply. It is important to ensure that the shoulders and ankles are relaxed.
- Upavistha Konasana (Dragonfly pose). Sit on the floor, spread your legs as wide as possible, but avoid discomfort. As you exhale, lean forward, rest on your elbows, if too hard – put your elbows on a block. If the flexibility allows – lean completely on a floor, and touch your ankles with your hands. Hold the pose for 3-4 minutes. Remain your back straight and relax your neck, the body should be as relaxed as possible.
- Baddha Konasana (Butterfly pose). Sit down, bend your legs, connect your feet, and spread your knees to the sides. Put your elbows on your knees and slightly push, tilting them to the floor. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Deflection. You need to prepare a dense roller, lie on your back, put a roller under any part of the spine. Put your straight legs forward, arms spread out to the sides. The roller should not cause discomfort. In the next lesson, shift it to another part of the spine so you could stretch it all evenly.
A relaxing exercise should complete the lesson – lie down on your back, spread your arms and legs apart, close your eyes and stay in the pose for several minutes. It will restore the normal energy flow in the body.
Benefits of Yin yoga
With the regular practice of asanas you will see excellent results even after a few months:
- increased flexibility and mobility of the joints;
- strengthening and straightening the spine;
- stretching connective tissue;
- improved blood circulation;
- increased the amplitude of motion.
During a lesson you relax, learn how to feel and to listen to your body. Yin yoga classes help to reach emotional comfort, self-control in difficult stressful situations. It helps to achieve peace of mind, slow down the rhythm of life and avoid a burnout.
Due to the normalization of mental processes, the health of the whole organism restores. It stimulates strengthening of the Immune system, and improves the functioning of all internal organs.
Yoga practitioners believe that all diseases are the result of the yin and yang energies imbalance. Yoga restores it, helping to direct energy flows through the given channels. But, despite all the benefits and general safety, there are several contraindications.
Asanas are recommended for people suffering from:
- oncological diseases;
- serious diseases of the cardiovascular system;
- acute cold;
- spinal injuries;
- serious joint diseases.
Women can practice Yin yoga during a pregnancy, however, it is necessary to consult a doctor.