What is yin yoga? What does yin yoga do for you? And what the origin of yin yoga?
Yin yoga has become increasingly poplulair in The Netherlands over the past years. An almost logical development, considering our increasingly busy lives - making it a very positive trend in regard to balance.
Yin yoga is a calm, 'free' form of yoga and unlike the more yang forms of yoga it is less focussed on alignment. In yin yoga everything is about deeper relaxation of the muscles, to work on the deeper layers of the connective tissue and the joints. There is stayed into the poses for 2 to 5 minutes, giving you the space to really feel what the pose does for you and to get to know your boundaries. The American Paul Grilley is the founder of yin yoga. He combined his knowledge of atonomy with knowledge about the meridians and the energetic structures based on the chakras.
The combination of yin yoga with more active forms of yoga is a great way to find balance in your yoga practice. You'll find that the deep relaxation of the yin yoga will make you experience more space in yang-styles of yoga and will allow you to build up your postures in a more relaxed way.
Because the poses are held for a longer time, you might not instantly think of yin yoga when you consider taking an outdoor yoga class. However, yin yoga is actually very suitable to practise outdoors, because the combination of stillness and nature will make you go deeper within in your practice. And as experienced outdoor yogi's already know: your clothing can always be adjusted on the temperature!
Want to try yin yoga in the outdoors?
There are outdoor yin yoga classes on the beach in Zandvoort, Noordwijk & in the park of Utrecht.
Outdoor yoga teacher Marlous de Jong tells you more about her experience with yin yoga in nature
"During the days of my exam in the Stillnessyoga training in Doorn I have been given the opportunity to experience how wonderful it is to follow an outdoor yin class outdoors in the beautiful rosegarden of Bartimeus. I noticed that I was able to go deeper inside with all the elements of nature around me. The sound of the birds, an airplane flying by in the distance and a fly passing by. The warmth of the sun on your skin, a breeze through your hair and even an ant walking over your arm.
In the weeks that followed, I decided to move some of my regular yin classes to beautiful outdoor locations. Now, I regularly teach yin classes in the garden next to the yogastudio in Driebergen and in the wonderful Julianapark in Utrecht, with her quiet spots, lots of green, amazing flowers and high trees.
Yin yoga in the outdoors brings some logistic challenges, because, well.. what is yin yoga without props to rest on..? After some brainstorming I came to the following idea. Participants can bring their own mat, a sleepingbag in a cover (there's your bolster!) and a big towel. I will take care of blocks, belts, eye pillows and tea. Challenge completed!
And how great it is to be able to teach in such great surroundings. Yogis indicate to really experience the outdoor yin class as a present to themselves. And I love to be able to integrate all of the elements from Chinese medicine into my classes; actuallly feeling the earth underneath you to better ground in your practice is a big bonus. It also allows me to integrate elements of mindfulness into the practice that makes everyone feel more connected to themselves and to nature.
As a yogateacher I've explicitly chosen to only teach yin yoga, because this style of yoga has brought me balance in my yang life and the burn-out resulting from that. I want to teach participants to go deeper within, which reflects in my company name: Inside yoga. Learning to recognize your boundaries and to deal with uncomfortable moments, to me are the most important lessons that I aim to pass on in my classes. And that's possible, especially outdoors. Go deeper inside while practising yoga outside.. Sometimes it is exactely that extra distraction that makes your focus improve. Only plusses for yin yoga outdoors! And if the weather continues to be as nice as the past few weeks, we'll have a great outdoor yoga summer this year!"
Nama-stay in the park!