Yin Yoga is a synthesis of traditional Hatha yoga, Eastern energy medicine, pranayama (breathing) and meditation. Yin style postures are practiced either sitting or in supine (lying down). Within this practice poses are normally held for between 3-10 minutes. During this time students are guided into a meditative state with pranayama and sometimes mantra. Through this practice muscles are encouraged to relax and yield to gravity, allowing the connective tissue to be released.

The modern founders of Yin Yoga – Paulie Zink, Sarah Powers and Paul Grilley – have developed their practice and teaching in this Yin tradition to support and balance a Western lifestyle and yogic development. We spend so much of our day in a state of ‘yang’ that in order to restore the balance we need to work with Yin practices. We feel good when we are balanced! Yin Yoga is especially well known as a preparatory practice for meditation. You will find that during the longer stay in each posture, emotions and thoughts will arise – the teacher will encourage you to acknowledge these thoughts and emotions and simply let them pass. We learn through this practice to be the observer.

As we move into a meditative state, tension releases and a growing inner awareness to the chattering mind evolves. This awareness in turn allows us to move towards a calmer and more centred state of mind.

The Benefits

– Works on the deep connective tissue such as fascia and joints etc. This keeps the connective tissue healthy and flexible.

– Balance a hectic life/mind with its meditative focus.

– Complements dynamic practices such as Ashtanga, Flow and Hot yoga with a cooling, meditative approach.

– Increased emotional, physical and spiritual self-awareness.

– Reduce stress by bringing the parasympathetic nervous system into play (which aid rest and digestion).

– Deeper focus.

– Reduction of tension and stress-induced musculoskeletal imbalances.

What to expect

– A lot of hip work.

– A quiet practice, which can also be deceptively strong.

– A good foundation for meditation practice, both physically and mentally.

– A basic connection and understanding of the links between Chakras and Meridian pathways.

– A serene, parasympathetic (rest and digest nervous system) approach.