Yin & Yang
Yin and Yang represent duality, for example dark & light, fast & slow, hot & cold and so on. Both are essential and cannot exist without the other, nor can we live in balance without one.
Yang Yoga (i.e. Hatha or Vinyasa) is more flowing and sometimes fast paced creating heat within the body. It stretches and strengthens the musculature and works (mainly but not exclusively) the circulatory, respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Yang Yoga is a combination of standing and floor postures generally held for 5-10 breaths.
Yin Yoga is also a form of Hatha Yoga but is more cooling and meditative. Yin Yoga stresses the connective tissues in the body flushing them with vital nutrients and chi (energy) which improves the durability of joints. Yin poses tend to be floor based and can be held for 3-5 minutes.
Both Yin and Yang Yoga not only work the body physically, they also penetrate deep into the more subtle layers of our being. Moving energy through the body to release mental and emotional tension and creating space for rejuvenation and glowing vital health on all levels.
Both practises are equally beneficial – as with everything in life, it is important to have a healthy balance of yin and yang as this promotes equilibrium of heart, body and mind.