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Why Yin Yoga Could be the Refresher Your Practice Needs

Josh Summers

Studies suggest that Yin Yoga helps promote the strength, vitality, hydration, and mobility of our connective tissues. Yet Yin Yoga works on an energetic level, too. 

When I first stepped onto the yogic path 20 years ago, I was quickly hooked by the rigorous discipline and self-control that Iyengar Yoga inspired in me. For two hours a day, I practiced asana sequences as scripted by B.K.S. Iyengar in Light on Yoga. I sought spiritual purity through a raw vegan diet, believing it was the only way to uplift my soul and purge my body of toxins. And I believed that with the right conditions, teacher, and amount of practice, liberation was at hand.

It’s clear to me now that my sincere effort to find peace and happiness through yoga was turning me into a neurotic freakshow. In fact, the Iyengar method’s emphasis on exactitude had prompted controlling tendencies in me that started to colonize my entire life. It wasn’t until I found myself in acupuncture to treat a back strain—from practicing Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel Pose)—that I got the first hints that my best yogic intentions may have been doing more harm than good. Acupuncture was so fascinating to me that I decided to become an acupuncturist. And it was during my first year in acupuncture school, when we explored the fundamentals of yin-yang theory, that it occurred to me just how yang-dominant I had become.




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