Why Your Nervous System Needs Yin Yoga

The other day a student approached me and asked why I thought he should do Yin Yoga. He’s an avid practitioner with a solid practice and has no injuries, so he felt like lying on the floor for two hours doing Yin seemed totally pointless.

I looked deeply into his eyes and smiled – a big smile – and said, can we talk?

I started by thanking him for bringing this up and telling him I thought his observations were spot on!

He had heard about all the benefits of Yin Yoga…
– Increases circulation and lubrication
– Improves flexibility
– Supports greater joint mobility
– Aides fascial release

These are all great things to know when we’re talking about the physical benefits of Yin, but there’s a much larger piece that doesn’t get nearly the buzz it should: How Yin strengthens your nervous system.
Everything in life is conceptualized in opposites. The Tao in particular talks about the Yin and Yang of all things. It makes sense that if we have too many Yang activities in our life, eventually we’ll exhaust ourselves both physically and mentally. We need to reach a place of balance between these two opposing forces.

Yin Yoga creates the container where asana – or poses – aren’t the primary focus. It’s more about slowing down, paying attention, and really listening to your body as you breathe.

This is what I like to think of as the “body door.” The opening that allows us to give ourselves the permission to be present with all that is. 

It’s the conscious act of slowing down that naturally engages the parasympathetic – or rest and digest – nervous system. It’s here in this space that deep healing and profound inner connection take place. It’s within this space that we can sense our energetic bodies, and our luminosity.

I believe Yin Yoga fills a spiritual and psychological gap that’s often missed in the current yoga landscape.

If you want to feel a supreme sense of wholeness and calm, join me at Yin Yoga and the Path to Meditation on Sunday, April 2nd from 2 – 4:30pm at YogaWorks.

This is the ONLY Yin workshop I’ll lead all year, so I’d love for you to join me.
You can sign up here.
See you there!

P.S. The next Sukha Sangha, my free monthly online meditation meet-up, is on Tuesday, March 21st! I can’t wait to see you there. I’ll be sending a reminder with the link shortly.

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