Yin Yoga is a great complement to other yang yoga or sports, which require effort, strength, movement, control, determination. It also complements our yang lifestyles, which are often busy, fast and stressful.
In yin yoga you let go of the control, relax your muscles and let your body sink into the posture or to the earth. In yin yoga there is no one particular form to a posture so many yin teachers will guide you with a few options and a sense of the target area where you may feel the connective tissue and you are free to explore positions that will best allow your body to experience the goal of the posture. So everybody (no matter what age, injury or past experience) can practice yin yoga.
As yin yoga works deep into the connective tissue, poses are held longer (3-5minutes) and you are allowed more rebound time after each posture to observe how your body is feeling. As the meridians (energy channels) are housed in this connective tissue, its not uncommon for people to experience shift in energy or emotions and this rebound time allows you to time to observe these physical and/or energetic sensations.
Connective tissue surrounds your muscles and can restrict movement, especially if you have spent much time sitting, stagnant, or competing in repetitive jarring sports. With patience and regular practice, the connective tissue will expand and you can gain a greater range of motion about your joints.
In yin yoga the practice is largely about letting go of control (relaxing your muscles, breathing freely), exploring postures then being still and observing. Over time this ability to let go, surrender, explore, observe and be still may shift the way you respond to stress and discomfort in your life and give you freedom and peace in life’s challenges.