One of the most popular yoga styles of our time, and with reason: yin yoga stimulates the body deeply and is at the same time very soothing and relaxing.
The poses are all practiced on the floor, and typically we stay a few minutes in each pose. They are done with the muscles as relaxed as possible, as the goal is not to gain strength but to stimulate the flow of energy in the connective tissue of the body. So even though we stretch a lot, it is not our intention to become super flexible, but to stimulate our joints and fascia to regenerate and repair, as if tapping into an inner intelligence that has nothing to do with the intellect.
Yin yoga is relaxing but can also be intense, as some of these stretches might go deep. The teacher will always guide you to take things respectfully and slowly.
Nowadays we think of yoga as being the practice of poses, but actually the poses were developed so that we would be supple and strong enough to sit down and be still. Meditation is the heart of yoga practice.
Being still is very rare: to experience a true sense of quietness inside, where there is complete awareness and complete calmness, is a small revolution for our whole nervous system. In this quietness, we can slowly start to observe patterns of behaviour that have been guiding our lives for as long as we can remember; as we become aware of them, without fear and without reaction, they start to dissolve before our very eyes.
Meditation trains our nervous system to be quiet, slowly and progressively. In the beginning we get bored, the body complains, we fall asleep, nothing happens and we feel stupid. But within a short time a little see of that quietness appears, and then you are hooked.