The Yin and the Yang

27 Aug 2015, Posted by Dougie in Blog Articles

shutterstock_142334290Often we get stuck on the Yang cycle of exercise – lifting weights, running marathons, cycling for miles, CrossFitt-ing – that we neglect the Yin. Before I started training 6 out of 7 days at the gym, I was a Bikram yoga junkie. Being injured earlier this year I ventured back only to find my flexibility wasn’t what it used to be and I’d spend 90mins in utter frustration sweating it out, as I couldn’t master the poses like I used to.

Enter Yin yoga – a deeper more passive yoga than the more superficial, active Yang yoga, Bikram. This was the inherent issue; I would spend all week at the gym and then try to balance it out with more Yang type exercise i.e. Bikram which became counter productive for me.

So what is Yin yoga and how can it compliment your other exercise/training?

It’s a more meditative approach with a deeper physical focus than other Yang like practices. You spend pretty much the whole class (60mins) on the floor and the postures are more passive and held for longer, usually 3-5 minutes.

You are asked to relax into the posture so that you can access deeper connective tissues and fascia as opposed just the muscles. A lot of the poses focus on an area that encompass a joint (hips/sacrum/spine et al..) aiding in relieving stress and improving mobility + flexibility; so important for achieving optimum performance.

There are many benefits to Yin yoga and here are my top 5:

  1. Increases mobility in the body though better lubrication and protection of joints
  2. More flexibility in joints and connective tissue
  3. Regulates energy in the body through the calming and balancing influence
  4. Deeper relaxation
  5. Better ability to sit for meditation leading to greater coping for anxiety and stress

I cannot recommend Yin highly enough – if anything, it’s just a great way to switch off and reset before tackling your next challenge!

Check out for class times and more details.