Yin poses are held in-between 2 to up to 20 minutes, depending on what part you are stretching/compressing and depending on how experienced you are. Even tough it is a slow practice with space for stillness, it is still an intense type of practice. For some of us, more than others. We can get used to just about anything if your are put through something enough times, and the same goes for a Yin practice, so if you find yourself struggling with staying still in postures I would entourage you to keep practising, your body might be sending you signals telling you to get out, get up, leave the class and never come back, but probably- you need Yin more than you want it.
In the space of just being and observing, without doing or analysing, the body, breath and mind, we have the chance of broadening and deepening our awareness of ourselves. Both inside on the gross perspective but we also have the chance to observe and get to follow the quality of our breaths, thoughts and the movement of internal substances like blood and Qi. This is a powerful and meditative way to practice Yoga.
Our bodies have an incredible way of adapting to what whatever form is necessary, this is the beautiful way of which life let’s us evolve and thrive, by softening our bodies through a Yin Practice, we allow our bodies to adapt smoothly as we create more space inside with the help of breath and a calm steady mind, with these to factors working together the body wont stiffen up in a posture when it gets difficult, but rather get more relaxed and in that manner ease into the new, deeper expression. This applies too for the when Yin and Yang are in harmony, there is a continuous and peaceful flow of life, and we practice meeting changes, distractions and tensions with softness. The transitions in-between postures are equally as important as the time we spend in the asana as we keep the intention to stay soft even in these moments of going in and out of postures, we are also training our focus as we aim to stay present for the full duration of the class and eventually, the Yin session will become a slow moving meditation.
Through any mindful practice where focus lies on presence and awareness we train ourselves to come into and how to come into that state more and more, by letting ourselves be more aware and present in our lives off the mat, the greater opportunity we have to really explore and listen to our inner instead of letting habitual thinking and our worries get in the way of new exciting things coming our way, by staying present our inner will have us see opportunities instead of problems.
When we stimulate fascia we stimulate our meridians, new science explains how the thousand year old traditions of acupuncture ( stimulation of the meridians, energy channels ) is plausible because of how the channels run through the connective tissue. Simplified, the energy travels through the fascia, the organ made up from mostly water and minerals creating a conductive substance, able to alster energy. As a counter part for Yang, Yin is nurturing, inward, still, wet, feminine and steady and be being in a Yin attitude we can balance out the otherwise very Yang environment we live our lives in- striving, doing and most of the time, moving!
Because of the complex and mesmerising interconnectedness between al the systems in our bodies, from endocrine-, respiratory-, digestive- and nervous system to name few. Saying that the joints and, or fascia is being stressed in an asana is could therefor be misleading. One system cannot work without the other. At the same time we can put our focus on one of these systems and study the complexity of just one of them to start somewhere and from thereon go explore the next coming one. Because of harmonised connectedness, we can put focus anywhere and still stimulate all of the systems that create our amazing bodies.