Yin Yoga works the deeper levels of the body/heart/mind: the connective tissues of the ligaments, fascia, joints and bones and the energetic channels of the meridians, nerves and blood system. One big difference noticed by students of Yin Yoga is the long held, passive nature of the posture, which gives time for a deeper journey to unfold, a journey into the meditative aspects of yoga, a bridge to living life mindfully.
Yin Yoga is unique in that you are asked to relax in the posture, soften the muscle and move closer to the bone. While yang-like yoga practices are more superficial, Yin offers a much deeper access to the body. It is not uncommon to see postures held for three to five minutes, even 20 minutes at a time. The time spent in these postures is much like time spent in meditation, and I often talk students through the postures as if they were trying to meditate.
This intimate practice of yoga requires students to be ready to get intimate with the self, with feelings, sensations, and emotions, something of which I have noticed can be easy to avoid in a fast paced yoga practice. Yin yoga is often used in programs that deal with addictions, eating disorders, anxiety and deep pain or trauma.
Yin yoga teaches you how to really listen, you don’t get the opportunity to go in and out, jump around and find a distracted version of stillness within your practice. Yin is such a great compliment to other styles and your own personal life, because it brings long periods of time in an uncomfortable position, which then asks you to learn to “be” to “accept what is” in that given moment. Something we can all benefit from daily.
I explain the benefit of the pose, show how to get into and out of the pose, contraindications and warnings for those who may have trouble with particular aspects of the posture and other important information. Classes, or flows, are also provided that target specific areas of the body such as the hips, the lower back, the legs and the upper body as well as flows that help stimulate particular organs and energy centers.
Some of the benefits of Yin yoga are:
- Calming and balancing to the mind and body
- Regulates energy in the body
- Increases mobility in the body, especially the joints and hips
- Lowering of stress levels (no one needs that)
- Greater stamina
- Better lubrication and protection of joints
- More flexibility in joints & connective tissue
- Release of fascia throughout the body
- Help with TMJ and migraines
- Deeper Relaxation
- A great coping for anxiety and stress
- Better ability to sit for meditation
- Ultimately you will have a better Yang practice