Beginner Yin Yoga | Yin Yang | Yoga with Melissa 408

by Melissa West on November 3, 2017

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Beginner Yin Yoga


If you are brand new to yoga and get frustrated with other yoga classes on YouTube that move too quickly, don´t give modifications and are too hard to follow, don´t worry, our beginner yoga classes are actually for beginners, people who have never done yoga before. We have a 31 day beginner yoga challenge that you can sign up for at melissawest.com and have it delivered right to your inbox or you can check out the beginner playlists here on my YouTube channel. We offer slow, easy to follow, step by step instructions with lots of modifications.

We live in an anxiety producing world where we are pushed to perform, accomplish and achieve. This energy is considered yang. Even a lot of yoga is outwardly focused on obtaining the shape of the postures, getting a good workout and losing weight. This kind of buzzing energy that reverberates throughout our lives is yang energy.

With yin yoga, we seek to find balance with yin energy. Yin energy is melting, unfolding, releasing, yielding, centering, easing, internalising, feeling, slowing, surrendering, merging, sinking, allowing, softening, calming and exploring.

Where yang is sun and the day. Yin is moon and night. We need both. But the thing is we tend to have way more yang in our lives. Yin yoga seeks to find balance between the two.

Yin yoga is a quiet practice that allows us to slow down, listen, do less and listen to the wisdom of our own bodies

There are 3 main principles of a yin practice

  1. Come into the shape and find your edge – this Not sharp shooting pain, burning or electric, this is not an aesthetic practice it doesn’t matter what it looks like, it may be a dull ache or uncomfortable, you want to be able to take a full breath, if your breath is shallow you’ve gone too far
  2. Resolve to be still – so your tissues can soften and explore sensations and emotions without habitual ways of moving and reactivity when feelings of discomfort arise.
  3. We stay for awhile to stress the deeper connective tissues that wrap around the joints – this tissue is more dense, more plastic (vs. elastic like muscles) and it needs slow and gentle traction

In a yin yoga practice we are embodying that yin energy of dropping inwards. I like to think of yin yoga as a way of life, so not only are we dropping inwards to our felt sensation in our yin yoga shape, but we are also dropping the yang energy that we carry: plans, preoccupations, ambitions, identities and frustrations

With a yin yoga practice, we are embodying the yin energy of relaxing. We consciously relax the muscles of the body so that we can access the deeper layers of the body including the connective tissue, ligaments and bones.

With yin yoga we are surrendering the yang energies of persevering, holding on, defending, pursuing, asserting, continuing, and advancing and advancing at all costs. Instead we are letting go.

With yin yoga, we release the yang energies of frustration, resistance, agitation and wild ambition that preoccupies so much of our internal and external landscape. We choose the yin energy of patience instead. Norman Blair says that becoming patient in an impatient world is skillful action. The Buddha’s teachings on patience state, “infinite patience brings immediate results”

Resource: Norman Blair: Brightening our Inner Skies Yin and Yoga

Yin Yoga Postures/Yin Yoga Sequence: Butterfly Pose, Sphinx Pose, Keyhole Pose, Bananasana, Dragon Pose, Half Melting Heart Pose, Seated Twist, Half Butterfly, Savasana

Yoga Props: Blanket, Blocks, Strap, Wall

Weekly Yoga with Melissa 408 Photos of Yoga Poses

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