Yin yoga stimulates the flow of chi, of prana, of life force, through the meridians of the body that flow through the connective tissue. The meridians are invisible energy pathways that engorge the organs and tissues of the body with fresh life and refined energy. The six lower body meridian-organs, namely the liver and the gallbladder, the kidneys and the gallbladder, the stomach and spleen, are most positively affected by the asanas held in Yin. Certain postures will also catalyse the flow of chi through the upper meridians of the heart, lungs and the small and large intestines. Some practitioners may also place gentle pressure through their fingertips as they hold certain postures to encourage chi through the triple heater, pericardium and the forementioned upper body meridians.
Specific sequences of postures can be employed to target particular organs and
meridians and Yin Yoga is thus often referred to needle-less acupuncture. It can be utilised as an exceptionally beneficial adjunct to acupuncture and also stands in its own light. It is deeply empowering as the practitioner is not dependent upon another. The practice taps into the body’s inherent wisdom that the mind cannot even begin to fathom utilising its own inner resources to heal from the inside out. Just as with this ancient traditional practice of acupuncture, the needles are not inserted to be immediately removed, in Yin we suggest the shape to the body and hold for time. There are four main ways to encourage the flow of prana through the body: acupuncture, placing gentle pressure on the tissue within yin yoga, chi gong or tai chi, utilising the breath body and mind states. Within Yin Yoga the latter three methods can all be incorporated. In Chinese medicine stagnant or deficient chi is seen as the precursors of all illness. So in this way Yin Yoga is seen as both preventative and restorative as it enhance both aspects of healthy chi: its stable strength and its fluid mobility. In creating the conditions necessary this practice can enable our energy body to move towards its own balance, equilibrium and harmony.