YIN YOGA IS A COMBINATION OF TRADITIONAL INDIAN YOGA AND CHINESE TAOIST PRACTICES
This slow paced style uses passive stresses to strengthen and mobilise the connective tissue of the body – the joints, ligaments and fascia. Fascia encases muscles, organs and bones and acts to prevent friction inside the body. Yin Yoga has its roots in Taoism also known as Daoism – the traditional religion and spiritual philosophy from China. Martial artists and practitioners of Tao Yin – a precursor of Qigong, in ancient China would hold poses for long periods of time to develop flexibility, train their minds and cultivate Chi.
Taoism emphasises living in harmony with nature and the Tao. It includes the concept of Yin Yang, opposite but complimentary principles in nature. Yin Yang, translates to “dark and bright” or “negative-positive” in Chinese.
The Wu Xing also called the 5 Elements also plays a role in this type of yoga. Yin Yoga is the other half of yoga practice, it teaches stillness, stability and surrender rather than active force and effort. We need both to find balance and harmony.
The Yin Yang symbol represents the concept that seemingly opposite or contrary forces in nature are in fact complimentary, inter dependant and interconnected. These forces give rise to each other as they interrelate. Yin is receptive and allowing, Yang is active and revealing.
"NATURE IS ALWAYS DIFFERENTIATED UNITY, NOT UNIFIED DIFFERENCES"
- ALAN WATTS
The 5 elements or 5 phases of Chinese Taoism. Also called Wu Xing, is used in a wide range of applications from cosmic cycles, diet, medicine, martial arts, yoga and the interaction of our internal organs. In Taoism philosophy everything is made up of these 5 elements.
The star pattern in the centre represents the destruction or overcoming cycle while the circle on the outer edge shows the creation or generative cycle.