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What is Ying Yoga and which props to use?

In this post we will be talking about Yin-Yoga and benefits of incorporating yoga props into your Yin Yoga Routine.

Intro to Yin Yoga

Yin yoga comes from the term yin and yang. The most Asian thing westerners know of. Yin and Yang are thought of being opposites and correctly so, but there is more to it. Yin is the stable, unmoving, hidden aspect of things whereas yang is the changing, moving, revealing aspect. Common yin-yang polarities are hot-cold, up-down, excited-calm. One thing to remember is that yin and yang are not absolute terms, they are relative. An activity or phenomenon can be yin or yang only in comparison of something. Running and strength training activities are yang in nature. Even vigorous forms of yoga are majorly yang. This in itself can work wonders for the body but sole focus on yang activities can sometimes cause fatigues and burnouts. Therefore, Yin Yoga is there to create a balance and restore your body. 

The term yin yoga comes from the Taoist tradition. Yang relates to movement, often repetitive movement, creating heat in the body. Yin is about finding stillness and cooling the body. And we need to balance both to stay in optimum health.

Yin yoga is performed sitting or lying on the floor. There is no involvement of planks, or any core work. No standing poses. The pace is slow and the keyword is endurance not speed. The exercise should be suitable for a beginner and an experienced yogi alike.

"Yin yoga includes some mindfulness practices such observing breath and clearing the noise in the mind in order to live in the moment."

The main difference between yin yoga and a more yang-oriented style of yoga is the time duration of poses. In yin yoga, poses are held for longer periods of time to increase flexibility. So instead of holding a pose for five breaths in a normal yoga class, in a yin yoga class a pose could be held for between two to twenty minutes. The logic behind a longer pose is because yin yoga works on stretching and conditioning the yin tissue (that are fascia and connecting tissues). 

Why should you incorporate props in Yin Yoga or Yoga in general?

  1. Props help in personalizing a practice

At times getting the correct posture at all costs can be dangerous in yin yoga. You can achieve the desired correct posture through the help of a yoga prop and work on it. Using blocks can help greatly here.

  1. Help in breathing deeper

Breathing is the heart of yin yoga. It is this aspect that takes the longest to master. Once you get the breathing right, things automatically improve. During poses we sometimes forget to breathe correctly as our mind is preoccupied in getting the pose right.

  1. Improves alignment

It is a misconception that using props is cheating. Contrary to that prop help you to achieve perfection. You can try achieving true alignment through the use of different kinds of props according to the pose you want to perfect.

3 What Yin Yoga Props needed for your practise. 

Having the right props can make all the difference between a healing practice and a frustrating one. Props help practitioners of all levels to gain the correctness of a yin yoga pose while not overdoing it. When we give ourselves a little support, our body can unfold gently into the pose and for longer durations because of the support. When doing yin yoga one needs to remember that force is only met back with force, which can be counterproductive. Props can help practitioners practice the poses more effectively, efficiently and at ease.

1. Yoga Blocks

Cork Yoga Block Yin yoga with yoga goodies

Blocks are highly useful in yin yoga for their unique combination of providing weight and stability. Blocks are mainly used to provide assistance in stability in standing poses. They help to take away tension in unworkable places. This prop can help provide stimulation of the connecting tissue area where energy feels stagnant. Yoga blocks are also made of foam, but it is recommended to use the usual stiff yoga blocks as the foam ones do not provide stability due to their softness.

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2. Yoga Straps

Yoga Straps Recovery Yin Yoga

Yoga straps can provide instant relief for yin yoga practitioners. This prop provides improves flexibility and creates traction that is important in yin yoga. Through the use of yoga straps you can hugely improve upon your stretches and your stretching endurance. Using a yoga strap needs some practice initially but with a little experience these things can do wonders to your yoga journey. 

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3, Yoga Bolsters

Yoga Bolsters Recovery Yin Yoga

This prop comes in all shapes, sizes, and firmness. Choose what is right for you. Bolsters help with seated poses in yin yoga and for that flat bolsters are ideal. For reclining poses where there is more of a side tilt, cylindrical bolsters work beautifully.

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