What is Yin practice? How is it beneficial?
The focus of Yin practice is stillness, yielding and receptivity. Emphasis is on relaxing muscular activity and all poses are sitting or lying down.
This in itself is a wonderful relief. We can let go and just be.
Yin practice isn’t necessarily just resting passively. Part of the practice is to widen the channels (the major meridians of the body) that relate to the internal organs.
We open and stretch to the very “edge” of our stretches, and then use the breath to widen and deepen the internal riverbeds and enhance the flow of prana or chi (life force energy) through the body.
Bones, joints, ligaments, and connective tissue are considered Yin, while the muscles are considered Yang tissue.
Yin tissues are not as elastic as muscle and respond to longer holding stretches that gives them enough time to stretch, open, and rejuvenate.
The practice of long-holding stretches cultivates patience, and fosters our ability to be still and witness what arises without the need to react. It asks that we become more receptive and listen deeply. All things we can take with us off the mat the more we practice.
It’s often initially challenging for the mind to become still. So we practice conscious breathing techniques, and repeat silent mantras (Sanskrit sounds) that assist us in calming the mind activity.
And then we find ourselves returning to the boundless dwelling of inner spaciousness, of calm, of peace, of joy, in tune with our innate wisdom and creative flow connected to universal consciousness.
A beautiful nourishing, rejuvenating, practice.