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The materials on these DVDs will provide you with everything you need add Yin Yoga to your life. In addition to carefully planned classes that lead you through the practice, Paul Grilley presents an in-depth lecture on the theory and purpose of Yin Yoga that brilliantly establishes the benefits of this practice for a healthy and balanced life. It is our wish that you find this balance in your own life through these wonderful practices.
The Yin and Yang of Yoga: a Taoist Perspective
The fundamental insight of the ancient Taoists (Chinese Yogis) is that on one level of awareness there are always opposites called Yin and Yang, but on a higher level of awareness these opposites are united in a single purpose called “Tao.”
When we are ambitious and energetic, the life force flows through our muscles, the Yang layer of the body. This is the essential attitude of Yang, the creative force without which there would never be anything new. When we are peaceful and contented, the life force flows through our skeletal system, the Yin layer of the body. This is the essential attitude of Yin, the quiet insight without which there would never be peace of mind.
The Tao of health is to embrace, nourish and cultivate both of these essential layers of the body. Only by doing this do we find true balance.
A Taoist analysis of Yoga practice emphasizes the critical difference between Yin and Yang tissues of the body. Muscles and blood are Yang, connective tissues and joints are Yin. Yin and Yang tissues do not respond to training in the same way and a student’s practice becomes more effective when the difference is understood.
Balancing Yin and Yang
Most forms of Yoga practiced today are Yang—they emphasize muscular movement and contraction. By contrast Yin Yoga targets the connective tissue of the hips, pelvis and lower spine. Connective tissue responds best to gentle stress over a long period of time, so Yin postures are held for longer periods. This type of practice complements the more muscular styles of Yoga and is a great aid for learning to sit in meditation.
Many people find that a Yin Yoga practice has transformative effects on body and mind. The gentle but consistent stimulation to the connective tissues encourages long-term health and flexibility of the joints, recharges the energetic system of the body and naturally draws the mind inward into a relaxed, meditative state.
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