Yin Yoga is a style of yoga that has been developed as a response to the styles that advocate strict alignment principles. It has become clear over the past 20 years that the constant practice of attempting to force the body into positions in order to recreate the ‘look’ of an asana has not served some people. Of those, some simply give up on yoga and others have persevered, believing themselves to be somehow deficient as they cannot ‘do it properly’, and in the process have damaged joints etc.
Yin began through a re-evaluation of the way postures (asanas) were portrayed when yoga first entered western society. Old books show practitioners performing their asanas in various ways, they do not attempt to be ‘aligned’, yet are achieving the purpose of the asana and gaining its benefits. This is the premis from which I feel yoga should develop; that each individual aims to investigate their own potential, limitations and aspirations for a balanced and harmonious life, body, mind and spirit. That is YOGA – uniting or bringing together.
Yin is the feminine side. If we think of the female it generally represents nurturing, caring, protecting from harm. This is the aspect that it is vital to enhance within ourselves, no matter what gender we are, to nourish and nurture, to learn to love ourselves unconditionally if we do not already do so. This is my hope for the future of yoga. That the teachers of the future will communicate this fundamental principle of the feminine aspect that has been significantly undervalued for at least the past 1000 years.