It is time to pause and reboot. Welcome to this months theme: Yin yoga - Seeking serenity. In life we strive to maintain a balance between yin and yang. Both on and off the yoga mat. If you choose to follow this month during December or in a period of your life filled with a hectic schedule I wish to welcome you. Regardless of if it is the weeks leading up to Christmas or not it is important you add YIN to your life. Let me educate, guide and inspire you during four weeks of exploring. Allow yin yoga to balance you!
If we look a hundred years back in time, our culture has undergone massive changes in the way we lead our lives. As individuals, we are experiencing higher and higher levels of stress and tension and less physical movement and mental rest. This is true both in urban environments as well as in small towns and young and old alike.
Despite advances in medicine, government, and social structure, individuals are experiencing more stress, demands, pressure, and insecurity than ever. Many of us are so absorbed in our highly competitive and fast-paced lives that we are missing out on really living and rarely pay attention to what is happening to us. When we can’t keep up any more, we fall. Fall out of health, into despair, and out of our social support systems. We give up, and our bodily systems fail since they are not programmed to keep going twenty-four hours a day. Our systems need to pause and reboot.
This month will consist of four parts/weeks
I will guide you here in the blog and in our Facebook communities BEYOGA365 with inspirational reading and video recommendations on Yogobe.
- Week 1: The Yin and Yang of yoga (this blog post)
- Week 2: Connection, stillness and the art of releasing tension
- Week 3: Stay a while
- Week 4: Integration, individuality & intelligence
Week 1 (of 4) - The Yin and Yang of Yoga
Our world’s biggest problem is not poverty, drugs, fear of war, or hunger. It is tension. All kinds of tension lead to all kinds of imbalances and insecurities. If one knows how to free oneself from tension, one has the solution to one’s problems in life. If you are able to balance your tensions, you then automatically learn how to balance your emotions, anger, and passions.
Yogic philosophy as well as modern psychology sum up three basic types of tension that are responsible for all the agonies in modern life. These are Muscular tension, Emotional tension, and Mental tension. Through the art and practice of yin yoga, these tensions can be progressively reduced. Yin yoga focuses on the fascia, the type of tissue that keeps us together. Fascia is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue that provides support and protection for most structures within the human body, including muscle. Fascia is what gives us our form and what makes it possible for us to work our amazing bodies in the ways we do.
The fascia is interlinked with our nervous system and our brain through what’s called Tensegrity, or “The Architecture of life.” Tensegrity indicates that the integrity of a structure—in this case the human body and mind—derives from how all parts are wired together, not how they are stacked.
Balancing Yin and Yang
Our yoga practice should be a blend of yang/out/action/contraction and yin/in/observation/extension to make the whole balanced and to affect our entire health to move towards homeostasis (the maintenance of equilibrium). Yang yoga is a more vigorous yoga practice that targets the muscular tissue and through movement creates heat. Examples of yang-based yoga are Ashtanga Vinyasa, Embodied Flow, Vinyasa Flow, and Anusara yoga.
Through the practice of yin yoga, one targets the fascia/connective tissue in the body, which makes it a marvelously therapeutic tool for healing bodily, mental, and emotional imbalances.
Continue reading about the yin and the yang in this blog post.
This week's challenges
Pick one of the two yin yoga classes below and practice this twice this week. Follow up with the recommended meditation right after. The other days work on balancing this class with some stability, flowing or strengthening classes.
I also invite you to ask yourself and inquire around the following questions during the week when you have a moment before, during and after your practice:
- Where do I hold stress and tension in my body?
- Where do I hold tension in my breath?
- Is my life about only surviving each day – focused on performance?
- Is there anything I can remove that is not that important?
- Can I do something different each day than I normally do?
- How do I react when I let my thoughts move towards the idea of rest, relaxation and restoring energy?
Yin yoga sequences
Meditative yin - let's focus on the needs rather then the wants, with Ulrica Norberg. (English)
Embodied yin class letting you explore the different meridians, with Satu Tuomela. (English)
Check out the video library for more yin classes, in English, Swedish and Finnish and different length.
Visit every little corner of your body with Simon Krohn. (English)
Stability, flowing and strengthening classes
If you wish to combine the yin sequences with these yang sequences, remember to start with the yin classes as you should not warm up to better connect to your fascia.
Stretch your lumbar spine with Milla Floryd. (Swedish)
Lovely flow class, perfect for everyone, especially beginners, with Josefine Bengtsson. (Swedish)
A flow class for the upper body with Jarno Härkönen. (Finnish)
Reset the natural state of peace and openness with Simon Krohn.
Energy boost with Ulrica Norberg, connect the breath and movement on a deeper level. (Swedish)
This text has been inspired by content from my book: Yin Yoga – An individual practice. If you like what you read you can buy it here.
For our Swedish followers, join our Facebook community BEYOGA365 where we aspire to inspire you to practice and being yoga throughout the year. We share knowledge, insights, love as well as empowering you to inspire yourself and others with and through yoga - on and off the mat. For us, yoga is an attitude, a way of life. Share this lifestyle with us. Join our community on Facebook and engage anytime, anywhere!
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