Whether you’re new to yoga or have been practicing for years, chances are you’ve heard of Yin Yoga and its many benefits to the bodies and minds of all who practice it. Yin is popular as it’s a deep and reflective style of yoga that offers a more meditative approach than the better known yoga practices. So if you’re feeling contemplative then we suggest you give Yin a try. But first, as with any new yoga practice, you should learn the facts before heading out with your mat.
So what exactly is Yin yoga?
Unlike most other forms of yoga that works the muscle through repetition, Yin postures are much more passive, focusing on floor-based moves for extended periods of time. When you perform Yin, you need to focus on exercising connective tissues, joints and bones by holding a pose for three to five minutes, and even up to 20 minutes at a time. The time spent in these poses are much like the time spent in meditation, allowing you to relax and get intimate with your feelings.
Benefits of Yin yoga
But there are similarities with other types of yoga too. Yin provides various benefits to your physical and mental wellbeing when performed correctly. Here are just some of the health benefits you get from practicing Yin.
- Increases flexibility – Yin poses are demanding. You need to remain still for long periods of time. But this gives you a greater range of motion and increased flexibility in the longer term. By holding poses and stretches your body will feel longer, lighter, and looser. Yin also helps increase mobility in the body, especially the joints and hips.
- Heals the body – Studies show that a Yin practice helps to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn allows your body to rest and digest so that it can begin to recover from fatigue and chronic muscle pain. Blood, nutrients, and energy can flow more freely throughout your body so that it can replenish lost energy.
- Alleviates stress and tension – In some other types of yoga, you need to hold your breath and tighten your muscles to complete the practice. Things are different in the Yin style. Instead of trying to bottle things up, you are free to deepen your breath and lengthen your muscle tissues, lowering cortisol levels (commonly known as stress hormones) and calm the mind during the process.
- Improves balance – Yin yoga requires you to stay in a pose for several minutes at a time. The longer the length of time you hold the pose, the more effort you need to put in to balance your whole body. Yin can serve as a foundation for creating a well-balanced body and even after a few sessions you’ll enjoy increased coordination and better balance.
If you are tired, over-stimulated, or you feel that you have too much energy, then Yin yoga is probably worth a try. So if you want to learn more about Yin, and how it can have positive effects on your general well-being, then give us a call and talk to one of our yoga instructors.