Yin Saved Me in Lockdown

Tasmia Rahman :

We all remember how lockdown felt. We also remember the insomnia that would haunt us those days. For me, during the first few weeks, I spent all night staring at my ceiling, anxious, stressed out about not sleeping and how it would affect my work next day. How I would concentrate at work without a good night of rest?

Days came and went, and my exhaustion levels grew. To find a viable solution, I turned to yoga. I practiced my daily dose of yoga during the day, but after sunset, I started practicing yin yoga. Staying longer in poses, breathing deeply for release the discomfort and trying to relax the mind. As I started to breathe more- my mind and body became relaxed and before I knew it, I fell asleep on the yoga mat!

Yin yoga is a slower version of yoga practice that is meditative in nature, more reflective, and helps the body calm down. While Yang or the popular yoga practices that we see actors and actresses practicing nowadays, target the muscles of the body. But yin yoga’s purpose is to target deep connective tissues, like ligaments, joints, and bones. As the poses are longer in nature, yin yoga is all about stretching and lengthening those tissues that we don’t use that much, breathing through the uncomfortableness and slowly adjusting the body to accept the poses, breathing into that particular area of the body.

Initially these poses felt quite boring and my mind was cluttered with so many thoughts. I found it quite challenging just to concentrate on how to stay in these poses for longer. Even though I taught these poses in class, I started to feel disappointed as to why I couldn’t do them myself. Then slowly, I just closed my eyes and started breathing through my belly, started to tell myself that I need to breathe and let go of all the thoughts that are cluttering my mind. And once I spent breathing for 15-20 minutes, I got into poses helped me to relax further.

Yin and yang coexist. Both are needed within oneself, to be able to create balance within our mind and body. We are all familiar with this yin/yang sign. Black symbolizes yin while white symbolizes yang. But, within each symbol we also find a smaller contrasting dot. Therefore, yin and yang are complementary and one state transforms to another. If we take the example of weather, we may say that hot weather is yang and cold weather is yin. But during summer, we may have a relatively cooler day which can be described as yin within yang. So, within summer, when most days are hot, we may get one” Yin Day”. Similarly, during winter, there is cool and there is cold. Within winter there can be a less cold day described as a “Yang Day”.

Poses Benefits
Child’s pose Great pose while feeling tired and drained. Will help to relax. Can benefit if you try this during the day or when you feel like winding down.
Pigeon Pose Increases hip flexibility and calms the mind. If you feel a little discomfort, you don’t need to go all the way! Stay where it feels easy!
Frog Pose Stretches the front part of your body and helps to strengthen the back muscles, also stimulates the organs in abdominal area.
Viparita Karani Legs up the wall, helps to digest and release stress. But make sure that you practice at least 1 hour after any meal.

As for my practice, as I breathe into these poses, I noticed that I was spending more and more time within these poses. There was plenty of time to adjust my body when I felt uncomfortable, and be at peace with a modified pose-closing my eyes, just to relax. I often played music, to ease the uneasiness of it all! I noticed that both my mind and body were calming down, I was less stressed as I accepted the lock-down and realized that this is perhaps a time to stay at home: cook my own food and clean my own home.


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