Yoga
Should I avoid to think in meditation?
How can Yin Yoga be so powerful and do so much by doing so little?

I did many years of my life different styles of martial arts, some years salsa dancing, fitness and eventually Anusara Yoga – a yoga style which is considered more on the yang spectrum. Yang means, its flowing, heating, muscular and active. And suddenly I got exposed to Yin Yoga, as an absolute opposite of everything as a „sports“ I ever did.

Today I call myself a yin yoga practitioner. What was so fascinating to that yoga style, that I got myself so much into it although I was always on the so fiery yang side of movement arts. It was this:

In Yin Yoga by all means you deal with your pure self. There is no escape in distracting yourself with complex movements, visual entertainment or exciting intellectual input. There is just you and your body in stillness. Wow. This can be hard at the first place, yet so revealing! We are not used to that sudden stillness of the body and at the same time a conscious awareness that is focused inwards without any aim or goal to archive. This is diametric to the society we live in, at least the „modern“ way. What do I mean, not going for a goal… what’s the point by not wanting to achieve something specific. Exactly this is why I love yin yoga so much. Its the gap in-between that opens when I let go of wanting, of success and reaching. It’s Yin, that means it’s pure passiveness in practice. I finally make a break of this ever ongoing program, always striving to „become the better version of myself“.

That is why I consider Yin Yoga as a meditation. We withdraw our senses to the inside world. In terms of the Eight Limbs of Patanjali’s Yoga Philosophy this is called Pratyahara. A necessary step towards deep Meditation. Turning inwards and reducing the sensory input. Alone this practice led to so many beautiful moments with myself, sometimes it will reveal big insights, or let old wounds arise, often with an emotional release and healing, and most of the times it led me to a calmer state of my mind. At the same time, I give my body the signal to change from the fight or flight mode, which we nowadays often need to survive in our busy daily life, to the rest and restore mode. This is when the body repairs its structures. I believe this is so much needed in todays world – from a daily high paced archiving and overstimulating stress experience into an honest encounter with the own self in a slowing down and non-archiving attitude.

Except from the many health benefits for the body, especially on the muscles, bones, ligaments and tissues, Meditation brings very similar effects. But many people can’t just sit and meditate. Meditation can be so challenging. Using Yin yoga to have a focus point – the own body and the sensations of the stretch – is just the perfect practice to meditate without meditating.

Cedric is head teacher of INEA•YOGA a Yoga School in Corfu, Greece. Check out www.ineayoga.com to find trainings, retreats and online videos.

Cedric Stein
Cedric Stein
Head Teacher INEA • YOGA

My mission is to create a safe space for you to connect to your inner being. By following your breath, being in the present moment and noticing yourself.

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