Achieving Perfect Balance: The Concept Of Yin And Yang Yoga

Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that is still hugely popular today, which speaks for itself about the benefits for our health and wellbeing. It can be as gentle or demanding as you want it to be, and it requires no bulky or expensive kit. All you need is a sleeveless top, leggings, and a mat, so you can practise yoga wherever you are in the world. 

To describe yoga as a form of exercise doesn’t fully sum up the whole picture: it can also be a form of meditation, and for many it is also a spiritual activity that is used to recalibrate the mind, body and soul. To get the most out of their yoga sessions, some people aim for the perfect balance between yin and yang. Here’s a closer look at what this means.

Yin & Yang

You are probably already familiar with the interlocking black and white yin and yang symbol, which is thought to date back to ancient China. No one knows what it was first intended to represent; possibly the coming of the summer and winter solstice. However, over time it has taken on a more general meaning of complementary energy forces.

Yin is the black half of the symbol, representing a darker and quieter energy force, while yang is the white half and is associated with warmth, positivity and action. You will notice that each half of the symbol contains a smaller circle of the opposite colour, indicating that the two forces need each other to coexist and function perfectly.

Applying the concepts of yin & yang to yoga


Yin yoga is a form of yoga that is slower paced, and incorporates still moves. It focuses on softening the muscles and releasing stored up tension, which is why many people find it useful to manage stress and anxiety. It is especially beneficial for improving flexibility as it works on the connective tissues and joints.

Most yin yoga moves are carried out from a seated or reclining position, and each pose is held for a length of time to fully engage the muscles and open up the stored tension. The slower pace of yin yoga also offers the opportunity to incorporate breathwork and meditation, and it can help to restore a sense of balance and calm to the mind and body.

Yang yoga is faster paced, and is ideal for improving stamina and strengthening and toning the muscles. The majority of modern yoga classes focus on these types of moves, and they are ideal for anyone who wants to improve their overall health and physical endurance levels. 

However, many yoga practitioners like to mix it up, practising yin yoga on days when they want to recalibrate mind and body and work on flexibility. Yang yoga is perfect for those days when our energy levels are high and want to break out in a sweat. 

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