Ups. What? Ashtanga yoga and Yin yoga are the same.
Let this melt in your mouth, and even more, swallow it. Don’t reply darling, read first:
What we do in Yin yoga: we hold a posture, we connect, we tune in, we feel what we’re doing. We breathe intense, we relax. We meditate.
What we do in Ashtanga, a Yang yoga practice: the same. Really? Well, we don’t relax, but it’s about finding ease. We make our practice a meditation. Yes, when practicing Ashtanga, we move a lot, we sweat. And best case we find ourselves in a moving meditation.
If you look at the Yin/Yang symbol, you can see there’s a black dot in the white and a white dot in the black. There’s always both, there’s a little Yin in every Yang, there’s a little Yang in every Yin. It’s all about balance. Obviously not just in yoga, it’s everywhere, literally.
So, where exactly is the Yin in Ashtanga? Think about it. It might be different for you, but for me it’s this: when holding a posture for 5 counts (or more in the closing sequence). We connect, we aim for stillness, we are in deep ujjay breath, looking for steadiness as well as ease. That’s Yin! Even if we don’t relax, we get kind of soft in all our stability. We don’t close our eyes like we do in Yin yoga, but we practice drishti. A focus point that supports us to go internal. We tune in, we feel our body, we feel what we’re doing. Same as we do in Yin, right.
I like the idea of balancing. Doing some Yin to balance my Ashtanga practice, but also being aware of where there’s Yang in my Yin practice and of course the other way around, where I find Yin in Ashtanga.
Same objectives, same tools. Just such a different implementation!