In this free download, renowned yoga teacher and author Bernie Clark, a leading authority on the practice of Yin Yoga goes into the details on the many unique features of Yin Yoga and how it can enrich other aspects of our yoga practice.
Yin Yoga is the other half of our physical practice, notes Bernie Clark. Most asana practices target the muscles to help make the muscles longer and stronger. But in Yin Yoga, we’re targeting the deeper tissues of the body, including the fascia.
Yin Yoga works with the deeper “Yin” tissues of the body – the connective tissues around the joints, ligaments, and fascia – rather than just the more superficial “Yang” muscles and skin.
It uses seated and lying postures held for long periods, typically 3-5 minutes, allowing gravity to gently traction and stress these deeper tissues. There is no muscular effort – poses are relaxed into passively.
The key to the practice of Yin Yoga is to find your own personal “Goldilocks zone”, Bernie explains. In this zone, the long-held mild stress stimulates the joints and makes them more mobile and strong.
Another equally important aspect of Yin Yoga is the stillness and surrender of each long pose, notes Bernie. This allows the development of mindfulness and helps you settle into a more meditative state.
Yin Yoga offers us a path to cultivating presence and the art of feeling, not just doing. In Yin Yoga, we are exploring and not pushing towards goals. The right amount of stress leads to letting go. Each pose becomes a gateway to meditation.
Bernie also discusses his 4-part Wellness Yoga course in which he will cover the key aspects of a Yin Yoga practice, including the three key principles of developing greater body awareness in your practice. The closing class focuses specifically on combining physical stillness with the presence of the mind and, ultimately, meditation.
Also check out Bernie’s course: Clearing the Energy Pathways of the Body: An Introduction to Yin Yoga.