Yin Yang Yoga Full Body Stretch and Strength Yoga with Melissa 436

by Melissa West on

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Yin Yang Yoga

This 60 minute Yin Yang Full Body Stretch and Strength Yoga Class combines the best of yin yoga and hatha yoga. What is the difference between yin yoga and hatha yoga? Yin yoga is an advanced yoga practice practiced mostly on the floor where we allow time and gravity to do most of the work for us. The focus of yin yoga is the deeper, dense and less pliant connective tissues that wrap around the joints. By holding the poses for 3-5 minutes, allowing our muscles to be soft, we pull and pressurize the tissue to coax chi and blood through the joints allowing them to be more strong and mobile.

Hatha Yoga on the other hand focuses more on lengthening and strengthening the muscles. Ha means sun and tha means moon. Hatha yoga focuses on bringing balance to your body between those more active (ha) energies and restorative (tha) energies. Therefore you will often experience pose and counterpose in a hatha yoga class so that when you have exerted effort of worked one muscle, then you will rest or balance it by working the opposite muscle.

Yin Yang Yoga Sequence: Wide Knee Child´s Pose, Half Happy Baby Pose, Keyhole, Keyhole Twist, Toestand, Downward Facing Dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana, Plank Pose on Forearms, Samanasana or Equal Balancing Pose, Chair Pose or Utkatasana, Extended Side Angle Pose or Parsvakonasana, Dolphin Pose, Locust Pose or Salabhasana, Savasana or Corpse Pose

In this Yin Yang Full Body Stretch and Strength Yoga Class we will focus first on coaxing chi and blood into the connective tissues that wrap around the hip joints. When we practice the yin portion of the class we want to remember the three principles of yin yoga.

  1. Find an appropriate edge. You want to feel sensation, but not have it be sensational. With any yoga you should never feel pain
  2. Resolve to be still. Any movement brings the pose back up into the muscles rather than keeping it deep within the connective tissues. It is that slow, gentle traction that allows us to access the deeper connective tissue
  3. Stay for awhile. When we hold the pose for 3-5 minutes we allow time and gravity to do all the work. Remember time is more effective than tension.

In the hatha portion of this yoga class we will be lifting our own body weight to build strength for your whole body, including your upper body strength, core strength, and lower body strength. Holding hatha yoga poses for longer and repetition of hatha yoga poses will also help to build strength.

by Melissa West

passing through the gate to solitude
the noise of the wind swirls all around
settling in the ground of a different world
distraction still finds its way in

the doors opens to a gentle field
where time swells and thoughts dissipate
attention settles in the expanse of the lower belly
vastness and depth coalesce from beneath

silence unfolds in spacious openness
the waters have stilled and the
horizon goes on and on
breath seeps through the porousness
of my skin denying any sense
of boundedness
resting in the space beyond
all that comes and goes

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