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Getting up in the morning is, for some of us, a very daunting task. If you often find yourself struggling just to lift a leg up from the comforts of your bed, well you’re pretty much not alone. For one reason or another, nothing motivates you to rise and shine. The idea of curling up under the sheets proves to be much more appealing than pulling your ball-in-chain body off the bed.
Somehow, I’ve managed to dig myself up from this rut by practicing yin yoga. It’s a lot like blueberry pancakes to me, as yin yoga gives me something to look forward to every morning. It has given me a reason to get out of bed and start the day right.
What exactly is yin yoga, and how different is it from the other types of yoga?
You might be familiar with the yin-yang Chinese symbol of two swirls- one black, one white- on top of each other forming a circle. Yin is black, Yang is white. Think of your usual types of yoga as yang, while the opposite of course is yin.
Unlike the more popular forms of yoga, yin yoga focuses on restoring the body’s balance by bringing back the energy which we normally expend doing our daily activities. It aims to stretch the connective tissues of the body. These comprise of the hips, thighs and lower part of your spine.
My love affair with the yoga mat began two weeks ago. I was terrified at first, unsure of what to expect. I was afraid I’d make a fool of myself. But as I started to ease into the poses, I was amazed at how I was able to hold them for 3-5 minutes each. I felt the stretch where I was supposed to. Save for that unintentional head butt I gave my yoga teacher as she was helping me with a pose, I think I got along just fine.
What I initially thought was an ordeal turned out to be the most relaxing thing I’ve experienced. At some point, I even felt like breaking out in tears. I felt like I was opening myself up to the universe, welcoming new things while letting go of the bad. Yin yoga is, as they say, more mental than physical.
Yin yoga is best done in the morning when our muscles are relaxed. This allows for the stretches to sink deep into the tissues. Now I have something to go with my fluffy pancakes. Waking up in the morning and breakfast will never be the same again.