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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Yin and Yang Yoga Asanas

Aloha Everyone,

Yin and yang symbolizes the duality, interconnectedness and interdependency of the natural world.  They are complimentary and not opposite but rather two major aspects of a whole.  The concept is based on many branches of classical Chinese science and philosophy including different forms of Chinese martial arts and exercise such as t'ai chi and Qigong.   

Often you may notice that we practice yin and yang yoga asanas in the same session.  Doing only Yang yoga is like doing only 1/2 of your asana practice. 

YIN YOGA - gentle yoga where each poses is held longer sometime for several minutes.  In order to do yin yoga properly, your muscles must be relaxed including connective tissues of the hips, pelvis and lower spine.

OBJECTIVE - to stretch the connective tissues including the ligaments, bones and joints of the body

MOVEMENTS - slow, still, stable, unmoving, calm, meditative


  • improve the strength and flexibility of joints
  • helps you be more mindful and relaxed
  • helps with our physical and emotional balance
  • relief from everyday stress
  • increase energy and stamina
  • prepare your body for practice of Yang Yoga

SYMBOL- the black side with the white dot on it

CHALLENGE – requires high level of focus and determination, calming your mind can be challenging for beginners; students must learn to surrender into a pose as duration of the poses are extended and held for several minutes to as long as 20 minutes

TECHNIQUES - seated asanas and meditation

YANG YOGA - dynamic and active emphasize the lengthening and contracting of muscles 

OBJECTIVE - combination of breath, asana (pose) and movement to stretch and lengthening and contracting of muscles. 

MOVEMENTS - fast, hard, solid, focused, aggressive, moving, changing and vigorous


  • help with physical and emotional health
  • cleanses and release impurities from your body
  • strengthens your body
  • help focus and calm the mind
  • tones your body and get rid of unwanted fat cells
  • lithe and flexible yoga body
  • fights insomnia

SYMBOL- Yang is the white side with the black dot on it

CHALLENGE – Movements are vigorous and powerful and challenges one’s physical, mental and spiritual disciplines  Some poses are complicated and physically challenging and even if you are able to do them, may take months and years perfecting them. 

TECHNIQUES - Sun salutation and progressive series of poses using breath and movement (vinyasa).

Namaste -- Cathi

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