Yin yoga is a quiet contemplative practice.
Yin yoga works deeply into our body with passive, longer-held poses.
It targets the deepest tissues of the body, our connective tissues – ligaments, joints, bones, the deep fascia networks of the body and the meridians. This is contrast to a Yang yoga practice such as Vinyasa yoga which targets the muscles.
Energetically, Yin yoga improves the energy flow, enhancing the flow of chi in the organs. To be healthy, we need healthy organs as well as healthy muscles. Yin yoga also offers wonderful emotional and mental health benefits.
What to expect in a typical Yin yoga class
A Yin yoga class usually consists of a series of long-held, passive floor poses that mainly work the lower part of the body – the hips, pelvis, inner thighs, lower spine. These areas are especially rich in connective tissues. The poses are held for up to five minutes, sometimes longer. Yin is almost entirely passive, although some Yin asanas contain Yang elements. During the asanas, muscles are relaxed to avoid muscle spasm, which could result from engaging muscles for long periods.
Benefits of a regular practice
Increases circulation and improves flexibility
Calms and balances the mind and body
Reduces stress and anxiety
Encourages deeper relaxation
Improves joint mobility
Brings balance to the organs through meridian stimulation