Although I’ve only been to a few yin/yang yoga classes, they’re quickly becoming one of my favourites. The class is divided in half, the first being a hard working yang practice, and then the second is a yin style of yoga, focusing on stretching. I think it’s a great combination. I always feel like I got a great workout in as well as feeling relaxed when I leave the studio.
Yin/yang classes are divided in half. All the classes I’ve gone to have the yang section first, and then the yin second, but I’ve heard of classes that reverse it. I kind of like having the yin second, so I get to stretch out the muscles I’ve just worked in the yang portion of the class. The yang part is typically like a vinyasa class. You’re constantly moving and before long you’re sweaty. To get an idea of what the yin section is like, check out my post on yin yoga here.
I have yet to use any props for the yang section of the class, but they’re much needed in the yin part. Because you’re in the poses for minutes at a time, it’s important to make sure that you’re properly supported. It makes all the difference, and you’ll know pretty quick if you need an extra block or blanket to make yourself comfortable.
In the yang, your breathing basically follows your movements. Each breath has a movement associated with it. For the yin, the goal is to slow down your breath and make sure it’s nice and deep. It also gives you something to focus on while you’re in your pose since you’re not moving nearly as much.
The drishti, or gaze, varies depending on what part of the class I’m in. For the yang part, each pose has a gazing point (fingers, toes, belly button). As for the yin section, I typically keep my eyes closed. I find it helps me to stay focused on my pose and make sure I’m giving it all I’ve got.
If you haven’t tried a yin/yang class yet, I’d like to really encourage you to give it a go. I find I get the most out of both worlds. It’s a great combination and if I’m not sure what kind of class I want to take, it’s a great option.
Have you ever taken a yin/yang class? What do you like about it?