Yin and Yang Philosophy
If you love exploring different forms of yoga then you may have come across the popular Yin Yang yoga style that is known to have emerged from traditional and ancient philosophy.
Sun and moon, heaven and earth, day and night – these are all vital elements of the universe. This forms the basis of Yin and yang that everything in the world exists in opposition. Holding its roots in Taoism, the Yin Yang philosophy and its symbol date back to ancient China.
Let’s take a closer peek at Yin and Yang symbol, the philosophy behind it, and the benefits of practising yin and yang yoga.
The Yin and Yang philosophy and Symbol
The Taoists believe that there exist two forces that are opposite yet inseparable. These opposing energies are not only present in the world but they are also present in our mind and body. This philosophy is famously depicted in the yin and yang symbol also known as the Tai Chi symbol.
The Yin and Yang symbol is a circle consisting of two teardrop-shaped halves. The black teardrop represents yin, the dark hidden side that is gentle, receptive, and communicates with the moon. Whereas the white teardrop represents yang, the bright energetic side that is strong and passionate and is ruled by the sun.
The S-shaped partition that separates the two halves represents that thought they are opposite forces they continuously flow into one another and thus are completely dependent.
There is a black dot in the white teardrop and a white dot in the black teardrop. These small circles show that nothing is absolute and a small part of each exists in the other.
Thus in all yin, there exists yang and in all yang, there exists yin. This stands true for each and everything that lives in the universe.
Benefits of practising Yin and Yang yoga
The Yin Yang Yoga combines two forms of yoga into one practise – Yin Yoga is a slow form of practice that works on deep connective tissue and joints of the body by passively holding the poses for long durations. Whereas Yang Yoga is more of an active form that works on building strength and flexibility.
Though yin and yang are different styles they both compliment each other and are required for a balanced yoga practice. Combining both of them into one practice will serve great benefits and will balance and harmonise our body, mind and soul.
Key benefits of Yin Yoga
- Improves flexibility
- Improves joint mobility
- Balances the mind and body
- Decreases anxiety and stress
- Boosts circulation
- Releases fascia
- Improves the flow of prana
Key benefits of Yang Yoga
- Calms the mind by synchronising breath with movement
- Tones and restores the body
- Increases flexibility
- Increases strength
- Removes stress and allows smooth flow of breath and prana
Just as its symbol represents, when the two opposing forces of Yin and Yang unite as one, the combination builds balance and harmony. Since both are known to complement each other, a combined practice will help improve the overall health while working on healing and relaxation. Performing the yin yang yoga practise will take you on a journey of achieving a deep meditative state of awareness leaving you with a clear mind and a relaxed body. It is recommended to begin your yoga sessions with yin and finish it with yang.