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Taoist philosophy teaches that stillness is the path to tranquility. In this Yin Yoga practice, we apply Taoist principles to simple Hatha Yoga shapes with an intention of drawing body, mind, and spirit to a still and tranquil space.
In Yin, you hold shapes for a period of time—3-5 minutes or more—to allow your body and mind to settle into a pose. You may become aware of time passing in the pose, but you’re never stuck. Adjust or come out of the shape at any time. Trust that no effort to get into the shapes and no amount of time in them is wasted.
Find joyful presence even when the stretch feels like a challenge. Look for a “not too much, not too little” sensation, and don’t focus on “perfecting” a pose. Getting into a specific pose brings no reward—unless it helps you go inward or find more stillness in mind, body, and spirit.
Yin practice allows a flow between physical sensation and mental concentration. There may be times when you feel your body, where you hear your breath, where your mind does what it does best: think. A Yin attitude is to accept whatever is happening and revel in the stillness.
Simplicity has no name, is free of desires. Being free of desires, it is tranquil and the world will be at peace of its own accord.” —Lao Tzu, The Tao Te Ching Chapter 37
About our contributor
Kiesha Battles, RYT-200, is the creator of the I Am Yoga organization in Charlotte, a co-Director of the Yoga Retreat for Women of Color™, and the author of The Yin Yoga Guidebook. With a graduate degree in Asian studies, she brings knowledge of Asian philosophy, religion, and language. Follow her @iamyogaclt