What is Yin Yoga什么是陰瑜伽
What is Yin Yoga？This question isasked a lot by students who have been practicing yoga for a while but havenever come across this particular challenging style.Simple answers such as"It is the balancing practice for your yang style of yoga" or"It is yoga for the joints, not the muscles" are not overlysatisfying.If students haven't heard of Yin Yoga, they won't know what a yangstyle of yoga is.And isn't all yoga good for the whole body, including ourjoints?To really answer the question and get to know Yin Yoga requires a fullerexplanation. This part of our journey provides a deeper look into Yin Yoga andbegins with an explanation of what it is, how it evolved, and its benefits forthe whole body mind.
Yin Yoga has the samegoals and objectives as any other school of yoga; however, it directs thestimulation normally created in the asana portion of the practice deeper thanthe superficial or muscular tissues (which we are calling the yang tissues).YinYoga targets the connective tissues, such as the ligaments, bones, and even thejoints of the body that normally are not exercised very much in a more activestyle of asana practice.
Suitable for almost all levels of students, Yin Yogais a perfect complement to the dynamic and muscular (yang) styles of yoga thatemphasize internal heat, and the lengthening and contracting of our muscles.YinYoga generally targets the connective tissues of the hips, pelvis, and lower spine.
While initially this style of yoga can seem quiteboring, passive, or soft, yin practice can be quite challenging due to the longduration of the poses.We can remain in the postures anywhere from one to twentyminutes!Yin and yang tissues respond quite differently to being exercised.Youneed to experience this to really know what Yin Yoga is all about.After youhave experienced it, even just once, you will realize that you have been doingonly half of the asana practice.
Please note: Yin Yoga is not restorative yoga.Like allyoga practices, if the tissues you are targeting for exercise are damaged insome way, please give yourself a chance to heal before resuming your regularpractice.
Let's start delving deeperinto the study.Just around the bend we will start to understand the nature ofyin and yang and see how they are applied in life and in our body.
Yin tissues and YangTissues陰組織與陽組織Yin and yang are relativeterms and need a context to be appropriately applied. They can be used asadjectives, although they are often used as nouns. Within our bodies, if we usethe context of position or density, the yang tissues could be said to be ourmuscles, blood, and skin compared to the yin tissues of ligaments, bones, andjoints. The contexts of flexibility or heat could also be used; muscles areelastic, bones are plastic.  Muscles love to get hot while ligaments generallyremain cool. However, we are not making an absolute definition here. In thecontext of water content, the muscles are yin and the ligaments are yang.Muscles love to get juicy, thus, they have lots of water in them, which is ayin quality; ligaments have less water content, which means they are relativelyyang.
Despite the context of water, there are more ways inwhich the muscles are yang-like relative to the ligaments than they areyin-like. This is one reason this particular style of yoga is called Yin Yoga.Yang styles of yoga generally target the muscles and employ rhythmic,repetitive movements to stress the fibers of the muscles. Being elastic andmoist, the muscles appreciate this form of exercise and respond well to it. Yintissues, however, being dryer and much less elastic, could be damaged if theywere stressed in this way. Instead, the more plastic tissues appreciate andrequire gentler pressures, applied for longer periods of time, in order to bestimulated to grow stronger. This is why orthodontic braces must be worn for along time, with a reasonable (and not always comfortable) amount of pressure,in order to reshape the bones of the jaw.
Our joints can be seen simply as spaces between thebones where movement is possible. Stabilizing the joint are ligaments, muscles,and tendons, which bind the bones together. The tendons and muscles alsoprovide a force to move the bones relative to each other. Generally one of themuscles' jobs is to protect the joint; if there is too much strain on thejoint, the muscle will tear first, then the ligament, and then finally thejoint itself may become damaged. In this regard, yang yoga is designed to not stressthe joint. This is why there is so much care taken to align the body and engagethe muscles correctly before coming into asanas in the yang practice. However,Yin Yoga is specifically designed to exercise the ligaments and to create spaceand strength in the joints. The topic of tissues is discussed more fully in theChapter Three: Our Bodies and Yoga's Benefits.
An example can help explain the different roles of themuscles and ligaments. Take your right index finger in your left hand. Tighten themuscles of the right finger and try to pull it away from the knuckle. Noticethat there is no movement there. The muscles' job is to bind the bones togetherand limit the range of motion allowed in the joint. Now relax the fingercompletely. Shake it out for a moment. Now, keeping the muscles passive again,try to pull the finger away from the knuckle. Notice the slight dimpling there?Perhaps you can feel only the slight pulling away. When the muscles are relaxedthe stress is moved to the ligaments binding the joint. The joint can open alittle now and the ligaments can receive some of the stress. The first exercisewas yang-like, whereas the second exercise was yin-like.