Yin yoga is a slow meditative form of yoga that focuses on lengthening the connective tissues of the body while creating a deep sense of rest and relaxation. Yang yoga is a fast-paced form of yoga that strengthens muscle tissue while building heat in the body. Yin yang yoga or yin and yoga yoga combines both yin yoga poses and yang yoga poses together. Yin yang yoga benefits include:
Increased flexibility in both muscle and connective tissue
Increased strength and breath capacity
Improved energy flow through the musculotendinous meridians (energy pathways of the body)
Improved blood and lymphatic circulation
Inner balance and a calm mind, this practice can be used to prepare practitioners for meditation.
In this article you will find a very basic yin and yang yoga sequence. You can use this sequence on days when you have very little time for yoga practice or on days when you want to focus on creating inner balance. This sequence includes one yang yoga flow- sun salutations, and one yin yoga pose- shavasana. The class can be completed in as little as ten minutes or stretched for as long as 1 hour if that is your preference.
BASIC YIN YANG YOGA SEQUENCE
YANG YOGA - FORREST YOGA SUN SALUTATIONS
Sun salutations are the quintessential yang yoga practice. In sun salutations yoga practitioners are continuously moving through a flow of poses linked together to build heat in the body while improving strength and flexibility. Sun salutations can be adapted to most body types. Most yang yoga schools have their own variations of sun salutations. In the Forrest yoga school there are several variations available to students depending on
their level of practice, flexibility and general physical health. Below are instructions for a classic Forrest yoga sun salutation:
Begin in Mountain Pose, hands by your sides, palms facing forward.
Exhale your hands into the prayer position.
Inhale reach your hands to the sky, arms straight, hands active.
Exhale move into a forward fold.
Inhale step the left foot back into a lunge, arms up.
Exhale place your hands on the floor.
Inhale step into an upper pushup position.
Exhale, rest your knees down on the floor, slowly lower your chest and belly to the floor.
Inhale come into cobra pose.
Exhale release cobra and move into downward facing dog.
Inhale step your left foot forward into lunge, arms up.
Exhale move into a standard forward fold.
Inhale lift your torso up into mountain pose, arms reach up to the sky,
Exhale move your hands into prayer position in front of your heart.
YIN YOGA- SHAVASANA
Shavasana or corpse pose is the quintessential yin yoga pose. Shavasana allows us complete stillness. It gives us an opportunity to feel the support of the earth beneath us. Shavasana allows for deep rest and rejuvenation so we can return to our yang activities with vigor and enthusiasm. The body should be absolutely comfortable in corpse pose so it is recommended that you support your body as necessary, using yoga props. Some folks may want to rest with their knees over blocks or a bolster to ease tension that may build in the lower back. Some folks may want to have their heads on a pillow and cover themselves with blankets to promote comfort and rest. Stillness in shavasana is key and you are encouraged to relax all the muscles of your body while practicing this pose.
FINDING BALANCE: For the days you need more yin energy
We need more yin energy when we are either physically or emotionally drained and we need to rest deeply in order to recharge. On those days, spend less time practicing sun salutations and spend more time in shavasana. A guided relaxation in shavasana may also deepen the yin qualities of this pose, promoting greater relaxation and rejuvenation.
FINDING BALANCE: For the days you need more yang energy
Sometimes we need more yang energy on those days we feel very lethargic and need to get moving, or when we want to work on strengthening and detoxifying our body while promoting better circulation and flexibility. Spend more time practicing your sun salutations on those days you want to nourish your yang energy ( being careful not to over do it as this will weaken yang qi- moderation is the key). You can also move faster as you practice your sun salutations, breathing deeper to promote greater blood circulation. Turn your heat up as well, to encourage more heat and sweating.
This simple yin yang sequence in video form can be found within the free yoga section on Yoga with Dr. AcuMassage (coming soon!). Alternatively you can start a free one week trial which allows you to access all classes on the platform. At Yoga With Dr. AcuMassage you will find both yin and yang yoga videos designed to promote inner balance and better health. Our yin yoga classes include the stimulation of acupuncture points while in yin yoga poses. We look forward to helping you achieve better health with our online yoga videos!