Yang needs yin in order to exist, and yin needs yang in order to exist.”
Often, we keep on pushing ourselves in our life. No wonder – our modern daily life is based on qualities like achievement and success. All these qualities are associated to an energy known as yang in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). After work, we often have an overload of yang-energy, because stress, multi-tasking, and taking no time for ourselves happens all the time. But even then, we keep on going. Society tells us we need to be strong, fit and build on muscles. So we join another power-yoga class or the HIIT class at the gym. According to TCM, if we want to stay healthy and balanced, to every yang side there is yin. Yin-yang-yoga aims to harmonize those two energies that have come out of balance in our modern world.
1. What is Yin and Yang?
Yin-yoga has become more and more popular in recent years. People are searching for a balance not only in yoga but in their life. To achieve a balance in life, we need both yin and yang.
Yin and yang are like two underlying forces that can build a universe as a whole. Both are within everything: In light and darkness, the sun and moon, life and death, black and white, night and day, in fire and ice. yin represents softness, passivity, darkness, the moon and our feminine energy. The yang part in us is powerful, fast, direct, strong, active and related to our masculine energy.
2. Yin and Yang in Yoga
Yin-Yang-Yoga combines two seemingly opposite styles of yoga into one unique practice which has both: the benefits of yin with relaxation, gentleness and ease combined with dynamic movement and strength that we attribute to yang. Practice includes strength, dynamic and alignment with mindful flows and passive poses that are held for longer periods of time.
We strive to find balance not only in life but also in yoga. That is why we integrate those both elements into our trainings, which makes them unique in the world of yoga. Find out more about our Vinyasa Yin Yoga Teacher Training.
“In peace there is strength and from peace comes strength.” (Confucius)
Initially called the ‘Daoist-Yoga’, yin-yoga allows students to move slowly and mindfully. When practicing this yoga-style, you will reach deeper levels of your body and you are mostly staying on a more passive level. This allows your energy to connect with the deeper structures of connective tissue, joints and the meridian system lying underneath the outer layers.
Yin-yoga is mostly practiced in reclining or sitting postures. Although it can be taught in a number of ways, most times the practice asks to remain in a pose for several minutes, which allows to passively stretch, relax and melt into the pose. This has a calming and cooling effect on the body. Transitions between poses are done slowly and with consciousness allowing the positive effects this practice has on the body to unfold.
Yin-yoga has a lot of benefits and can help to heal your body.
- The physical and mental relaxation in yin-yoga helps with stress reduction
- Yin-poses lubricate the joints and increase fluidity in the fascia
- Yin-yoga targets the meridians and regulates the flow of energy
- During our yin-practice we work with our fascia (connective tissue) rather than with our muscles. Our fascia often gets stuck when we overwork our body or have injuries. Working with our fascia in yoga is a great way to reduce pain, improve movement and mobility.
- Through yin-yoga, we can reach deep access to the body targeting the deeper levels
- Increase of flexibility is another beneficial outcome of consistent yin-practices
- Yin has the power to calm our nervous system
More than just being opposed to each other, yang-yin-yoga build two complementary pieces that are needed to build an integrative whole. When practiced, yang-yoga has an energizing character that builds heat inside of you.
Contrary to yin-yoga, yang-yoga ist targeting the superficial layers of the body while working on a muscular level. It is often found with popular yoga-styles such as vinyasa-flow-yoga, ashtanga-yoga and hatha-yoga – all being dynamic yoga-styles that can have a strong focus on building a combination of fire, heat and strength in the body.
Read on to find out more about vinyasa-yoga and its benefits.
- Yang-yoga strengthens the body
- Consistent yang-practice tones our muscles
- We need yang in our lives to give us more structure
- Similar to yin, also yang builds a lot of inner strength
- With yang-yoga, you will feel your breathing improving
- Yang improves also the way prana (life force – breath) flows throughout your body
- Yang-yoga is great for cardiovascular fitness
- Rather than feeling exhausted after yang-practices, you will feel an energizing effect on your body
3. How do you benefit from doing ‘Yin-Yang-Yoga’ combined?
We need both forces in order to find back to our center. The most important benefits of yin-yang-yoga is to bring back balance to our mind and our body by incorporating both into one practice. This will result in stress reduction and a dramatic improve of health. There are three main benefits to practice yin-yang-yoga to take into account:
1. Finding Balance
Principles of yin and yang can be transferred into so many aspects of our daily life. Whether it is finding rest after a busy day, integrating meditation into our morning routine, or to learn things like slowing down and doing less instead of more.
Combining both elements in your practice allows you to find that balance that you need to have a healthy life. Yin-yang-yoga has passive and active asanas alike and integrates pranayama and meditation. Those aspects are all combined to create that harmony and balance within a class.
2. Reducing stress
Finding a way to manage our stress in a healthy way is essential in our today’s life. Nowadays, success is mainly defined by yang-qualities such as achievement, power and performance. In the long run, this can lead to exhaustion if there is an overload of yang. As our nervous system is constantly active in a way that is unhealthy for us, signaling the body to relax and rest (= yin-energy) will give back energy that our body and mind needs to thrive instead of survive.
3. Increasing health
Yin-yang-yoga will help with slowing down our stress levels while at the same time integrating activity and movement into it. We find both qualities, ‘movement and rest’ in this yoga-style which has dramatic effects on our health. Our body finds everything that it needs in one practice: Chronic stress can be decreased and your health can claim back its power.
4. Where can you learn ‘Yin-Yang-Yoga’?
Whereas yin-yoga has become more and more popular in recent years, ‘yin-yang-yoga’ as a term is still new. There a few ways however that will guide you with finding your balanced flow:
Online and at home
If you are a more experienced yogi and familiar with both a yin and a yang-practice, why not create your own yin-yang-flow at home? Simply combine slow-pace sequences and long holds with elements of vinyasa and ashtanga that involve, strength, dynamic and alignment.
For yin-yang online yoga-classes, check out Eckhartyoga for more inspiration.
Yin-Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training
As a way of creating balance and harmony in our lives and in our body, we designed a yoga-teacher training that celebrate the yin-and-yang-side that lies within each and everyone of us.
The Inner Yoga 200hr teacher trainings that are held in Bali offer a fusion of both vinyasa flow and yin-yoga. You will learn about the concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine including meridians (energy channels) and the 5 elements within the body.
Classes at your Yoga-Studio
Unfortunately, it is still hard to find a class that is designated as a ‘yin-yang-class’. But most modern studios incorporate both either yin-yoga and / or vinyasa, ashtanga and hatha classes into their schedule. You will get both benefits of those yoga-styles by simply combining different classes into your weekly practice.
Learn how to balance your yin and yang with a yoga teacher training. Check out our exclusive 200 hr yin vinyasa yoga teacher training program on the beautiful island of Bali: Inner Yoga 200 hour yoga teacher training