Yin yoga is a bit softer side of yoga. But it is as challenging as Ashtanga, Bikram or Vinyasa yoga. Off course the challenges are of quiet different nature. The challenges in this yoga require you to remain completely passive, completely still during stretching the limits of the capacity of your body to be at ease within yourself, mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. The yin style of yoga requires the practitioner to let go everything like resistance, tightness and all the tension and melt into yoga poses for a long period. All the poses in yin yoga are performed either in lying down or in sitting position.With cool, limp and relaxed muscles, the different postures are each maintained for several minutes at a time. Many yin yoga look similar to postures maintained in yoga of more active type of yoga. The variation of yin yoga is however different fundamentally in nature due to its approach i.e. without the muscular engagement and without the energy required to do this. Each postures of yin yoga should be treated as an experience and each experience should be allowed to unfold itself before you as against forcing it to unfold in a particular fashion. Here we are describing about some postures of yin yoga for beginners.
Some of us know this posture as Bound Angle postures or Baddha Konasana. It should be started by sitting up on your sitting bones with keeping the sole of your feet together. The position of heels should be about one to two feet away from your groin (depending on your comfort state) allowing your knees to be positioned on either side. A couple of folded blankets can be placed below your seat, should you find difficulty in sitting straight for this posture. Inhale deeply through your nose and while exhaling bend your spine slowly as you move your hands forward bringing your head closer to your feet. The moment you feel
Some of us know this posture as Bound Angle postures or Baddha Konasana. It should be started by sitting up on your sitting bones with keeping the sole of your feet together. The position of heels should be about one to two feet away from your groin (depending on your comfort state) allowing your knees to be positioned on either side. A couple of folded blankets can be placed below your seat, should you find difficulty in sitting straight for this posture. Inhale deeply through your nose and while exhaling bend your spine slowly as you move your hands forward bringing your head closer to your feet. The moment you feel tension in your groin, hips, lower back or any such spot-pause. Breathing in the sensation, you should allow your body to relax in this position. You would find that when your body is prepared to move forward it will do so automatically on its own. You should relax and feel the progress f this posture for approximately five minutes. Then slowly you should withdraw into the previous pose.
It is also known as the pose of the heart melting. This soft backbend opens gently the joints of the mid spine, upper spine, shoulder and chest which, keeps our hearts bound closed bound and rigid when tight. When you spend time in this posture it would help in melting into a more open and softer heart. Forgetting to this pose, you should start on your all fours making sure that the knees are directly below your frontal hipbones. Slowly the hands should be moved forward, slightly spreading the arms wider than the shoulder width allowing the chest to fall down towards the mat, keeping the hips above your knees, resting the forehead on the ground breathing softly and slowly for 3-5 minutes. To reduce the intensity of this posture the arms should be spread further away in opposite directions. A pillow can also be used to rest the chest. To come out of this posture, hands should be drawn gradually backwards under the shoulders coming back into table top position.
As per the name “dragon”, it is a very difficult posture. One should get into this posture very slowly and very carefully. Even backing off when required, but honouring the call of your body to sink deeper when your body invites you for doing so. To start with you have to place your right foot between your hands with toes facing forward. The left knee should be resting on the floor and the left toes should be uncurled while top of the left foot should be resting on the mat. Hands should be resting on both sides of the right foot on the floor, the right knee should be flexed deeply while left hip should be melting towards the floor. Deep sensation should be felt in front of thigh and left hip. Keep the breathing fluid and soft during this posture. The beginners can start with 2-3 minutes rest in this pose which can be extended up to 5-7 minutes gradually afterwards.
Release the posture to downward dog then it should be repeated on the opposite side.
This pose needs you to hug your knees to your chest lying on the back spreading the arms wide, bending the elbows in L-shape with palms facing up. Then lower the bent knees gently to the floor on the right side and try to gaze softly over the left shoulder if your neck allows you. Should you feel discomfort while the left shoulder is lifted up in this position, the left elbow could be bent and palms should be put on the rib cage. To decrease the intensity, the legs could be propped on a pillow or a stack of blankets. With each breath try to release the tension and melt into this posture for five minutes and repeat it on the other side.
The practice of Belly Savasana is deeply introspective. Yin Yoga should ever be concluded with belly savasana. For this posture, lying flat on your stomach you should rest the right cheekbone on the mat with the right arm resting besides you palms facing upwards. Lifting the laft arm overhead, bend the left elbow at right angles. For additional ease and comfort, you could bend the left knee softly extending it off to the side. Remain in this pose for 4-5 minutes and then repeat it on the other side. After feeling complete, get yourself into the child’s pose and focussing on the breath remain there for a few minutes. Then sitting up on the heels bring awareness to your whole body. Bringing your palms on the knees facing up try to listen to the silence in and around you.
The goal of practicing yin yoga is not to get to the deeper variation of each posture, but to let go of all control. By this your body softens and whatever depth you were striving for develops comfortably and naturally