My intention behind producing these Colouring Yin cards all started with my own home yoga practice. I discovered Yin Yoga as a way to cope with a chronic pain condition. Slowing down and holding these poses for a few minutes a day provided me with relief from the pain and basically introduced me to the benefits of mindfulness. Long holds allow you to ‘let go’ as muscles can relax and physical and mental tension dissolves. These static poses gradually revealed more calm and clarity in my life off the mat as well and restored my health so that I could keep up with my kids. Suddenly, Yin was in.
The biggest obstacle preventing people from starting a home practice is that they think it has to be as long as a regular class. It doesn’t. Taking five minutes in a pose as a mindful moment is enough to centre you and connect with your breath. In this modern age, so much of our time is spent ‘doing’ and juggling multiple tasks that we need these bite size opportunities to just ‘be’. Our lives are already very ‘Yang’ and in need of balance to slow down and be present. All you need is a space in your living room to stretch out and some pencils for your own mini art therapy session. Permission granted.
Stan Rodski is a Neuroscientist, Psychologist and contributor to the Colourtation Brain Science books. During his research, he used medical monitors to watch how our brains and bodies respond to the art of colouring in.
‘Within minutes, we see the heart rate drop, we see the cortisol and adrenaline in the system decrease, and we see the dopamine that relaxes you come in.’
Whilst colouring in is no substitute for a meditation practice, if it helps people unwind, reduce stress and spark their creativity I say bring it on. Observing my own children’s obsession with colouring in and the way it often calms the chaos in our house inspired me to think surely adults can re-enter that headspace too.
So…as you sit here and read this, get off your couch, get out of your chair, and get on the floor. Strike a pose and put your pen to zen. Be Yinspired and live your yoga!