Calm the Mind with Yin Yoga!

A relatively new form of yoga offers the ability to relax the mind, without the distraction of holding specific muscle movements. Yin yoga, a technique that’s recently begun to be more frequently embraced by yoga practitioners, targets the ligaments, bones and joints to really stretch out our bodies. It involves holding certain poses for upwards of several minutes in order to provide gentle release of otherwise tense muscles. With age, our muscles tend to become less flexible, but Yin yoga helps to restore our joints to their previous flexible state.

Yin yoga is a term derived from Taoism’s Yin/Yang dynamic. While Yang relates to movement and generating body heat, Yin is about relaxing the body and cooling it down. To remain healthy in mind and spirit, it’s essential to find a balance of the two.

A few core benefits of Yin yoga include energy regulation, increased mobility, stress release and protection of the joints. It also provides a great coping method for anxiety and stress. On a separate but related note, for many, sitting still during meditation is a challenge. The holding of Yin yoga postures for several minutes helps meditation practitioners learn to be at ease and still.

In fact, according to an August 2015 article in The Guardian, “Yin yoga was developed by teachers for students of meditation who found it too painful or difficult to sit on the floor for long periods of time.” This particular form of yoga addresses the issue of, as The Guardian called it, “mind chatter” – our mind’s tendency to constantly race.

Yin yoga can be done by anyone, anywhere. We all experience stress and many of us have difficulty calming the mind, making this a great practice for all. A typical class can involve props for further guidance.

During a Yin yoga class, practitioners can expect to be guided into such positions as “butterfly,” “dragons,” and “sphinx and seal.” Each movement is relatively uncomplicated and there are always adjustments that can be made to make postures more comfortable and accessible. The complexity in Yin yoga is in the holding of a pose, sometimes for five minutes. Often, at the end of a class, students will leave with a glow and a feeling of peace that comes only with the quieting of our minds.

On Saturday, August 5, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., Jennifer Scamorza is bringing a Summer Stretch (Yin yoga) class to Pearl Yoga & Fitness. Students can expect to obtain balance and develop core flexibility, all while increasing self-awareness. This class is appropriate for all levels and is offered at a rate of $25, for early birds, or $35 if purchased at a later date.

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