Why Yin Yoga will help you cultivate stillness and create balance

4 min read

We are all familiar with the yin-yang concept of Buddhism, or at least we saw the yin-yang tattoo if you are a child of the 90s like myself. This concept is also prevalent in yoga. We are all familiar with yang styles of yoga: Power yoga, hot yoga, Bikram yoga, Ashtanga yoga, etc., but most are not so familiar with the opposite styles of yoga: Yin and Restorative.

Restorative and Yin yoga are becoming more popular because people realize the importance of stillness, which is often the most difficult part of life. Yoga teaches us to cultivate stillness.

Find Stillness in Yoga

Music has inspired my yoga practice on many levels. It was the inspiration for a previous post about tapas, where I used a Bruce Springsteen tune as an example. And there’s music that inspires me to practice Yin. The Head and the Heart’s “Let’s Be Still” is my favorite song to encapsulate the yin side of life.

The lyrics “the world is just spinning a little bit too fast” are some of the most powerful ones that truly represent our busy lives. We might not survive if we don’t stop. So, for now, let’s just be still.

Who can remember being a child when the time seemed to drag on, and you wanted to grow up? You couldn’t have waited to be thirteen. You couldn’t have waited to get your license. We long to go back in time and feel the slow pace of growing up.

How can we cultivate slowness and hold onto these moments when we cannot even sit still for long enough to breathe? Yoga is the answer to this dilemma. Yoga helps us to find stillness. Yoga teaches mindfulness and presence.

Even Thich Nhat Hanh, the famous Buddhist monk, teaches us how to walk slowly. He also teaches you how to make tea slowly and take a bath. Slowly moving makes the time you have more valuable, easy, and peaceful. Slowing down helps to balance the Yin and yang in our lives.

Balance the Yin and Yang

When we are anxious, or our yang level is high, we start to run around in circles, like The Head and the Heart. These thoughts are like the way our lives revolve around the sun. Anxious thoughts prevent us from being present and living in the moment.

We can also feel that we are living in circles when we ignore the yin aspect of our lives. This is why Yin, or Restored yoga, is more important than ever.

Why Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga Are Both Important

We focus on the pose, moment, and feelings when we enter a Yin or Restorative yoga class. In Yin and Restorative Yoga, we hold the pose for 1 to 5 minutes in order for our brains and bodies to melt and feel truly immersed in that moment.

These classes teach us how to be and to deal with the discomfort of life. These classes teach us to be comfortable and uncomfortable and to cope with life’s pain.

We learn to stay still even in discomfort by the end of the class, and more so through regular practice. You know the difference an hour can make if you’ve ever taken a Yin-style or Restorative class. You start all pumped up and wired, but by the end, you feel grounded and relaxed. You’ve learned to be calm, if only for a short time.

Next time you want to relax, even for just a moment, play “Let’s Be Still.” Find a comfortable seat, place your feet up the wall, and listen.

Breathe into the moment. Exhale excess energy. Be still and cultivate your inner Yin.

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