Yin Through Yang and Back Again

Ahhh, that gorgeous golden globe in the sky is once again bestowing it’s radiance and joy upon us here in Portland. Time to break out the shorts and camping gear and get outside. It’s about time!

Seasons, cycles, rhythms.

When we look at the seasons as Yin and Yang, we see that Spring and Summer are more Yang in nature. Whereas, Fall and Winter are more Yin.

The Yang seasons are energetic, warm, expressive and tend to be busier. Yin seasons are calmer, more internal, cooler and more introspective in nature. We spend more time indoors during Yin time, and more time outdoors during Yang seasons. There are of course, are no absolutes as no one thing is ever truly all Yin or all Yang.

As the days grow warmer and we make that shift into Summer, we can sometimes find it’s easy to expend all that stored energy we have built up over this past Yin season. It sure was a long winter here in the Pacific Northwest. When it warms up, it’s easy to just go with the flow, running on seemingly boundless energy as the sun fuels us and draws us out into it’s glory. When we keep going and moving without pause, we can sometimes find ourselves depleted or even burned out. One of my teachers often describes extremes of yin and yang like this, ” too much yang, we can cause degeneration – too much yin, atrophy.”  Which brings me to my point.

~Summertime is a great time to practice Yin yoga!~

After all the hiking, biking, river swimming and soaking it all in, what do we often need? A cool down, a rest and a little stillness perhaps? Nothing quite like that feeling of relief when you walk into a cool, dark room after sweating it out in the summer sun. Allowing ourselves a bit of time to turn inward and to get quiet is a wonderful way to keep us going and to help keep our energies balanced throughout the seasons.

Yin yoga can be a powerful compliment to most any form of Yang activity. Anything from vinyasa yoga to strength training to running and more.

Yang activities target our muscles and tendons and builds strength, endurance and vitality. Yin yoga targets the connective tissue or fascia as well as our joints, which is why we are reminded to relax the muscles in Yin class. Yin nourishes, lubricates and helps to reduce tension in the body, mind and more. When, we combine these two types of activities, it’s amazing how the body responds. Yin truly is the other half of yoga.

Sunshine & Waterfalls,


Melina Donalson teaches two Yin yoga classes per week at The People’s Yoga – North Mississippi Studio. Tuesdays and Sundays at 7:15pm




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