The yin and yang of yoga
Yin, it is the balancing practice for your yang style of yoga allowing you to access the fascia or connective tissue within the body. It is a static meditative style of practice where you learn to understand your body and it's area's of stiffness or tightness. Each class will be different and over time your body will feel more subtle and open.
Yin Yoga has the same goals and objectives as any other school of yoga; however, it directs the stimulation normally created in the asana portion of the practice deeper than the superficial or muscular tissues (which we are calling the yang tissues). Yin Yoga targets the connective tissues, such as the ligaments, bones, and even the joints of the body that normally are not exercised very much in a more active style of asana practice.
Suitable for all levels of students, Yin Yoga is a perfect complement to the dynamic and muscular (yang) styles of yoga that emphasise internal heat, and the lengthening and contracting of our muscles. Yin Yoga generally targets the connective tissues of the hips, pelvis, lower spine and shoulders.
While initially this style of yoga can seem quite passive, or soft this soon changes and your yin practice will be challenging due to the extended duration some of the poses are held. Props such as blocks and bolsters are encouraged so you remain comfortable in class and get the most out of each and every posture. Yin and yang tissues respond quite differently to being exercised. You need to experience this to really know what Yin Yoga is all about. After you have experienced it, even just once, you will realise that you have been doing only half of the asana practice.
All yin classes are practiced without the heat.