Yin yoga is a simple, quiet practice, but make no mistake, it is not always an easy or comfortable one! Yin Yoga has the power to take you beyond your regular comfort zone, however, this is where much of the benefit and magic lies.
So what is Yin Yoga?! Yin Yoga is a slow-paced, therapeutic style of yoga. Yin postures are more passive postures, mainly done on the floor either seated or lying down. There is no dynamic movement and usually no standing poses at all. Yin Yoga is unique in that you are asked to relax into the posture, allowing the body to soften and release naturally without pushing or straining.
It is not uncommon for postures to be held for three to five minutes, even 10 minutes at a time. The time spent in these postures is much like time spent in meditation, as the mind shifts from yang to yin, or from active to passive. The key to practicing Yin Yoga is finding stillness in each position as you access the deeper tissues of the body.
So, what are the benefits of a Yin Yoga practice? Plenty actually- both physical, mental and emotional. Take a look at 7 reasons why you can benefit from Yin Yoga here:
Improved SleepYin energy is yang energy’s counterpart. Disrupted sleep often occurs when the body and mind are experiencing an imbalance of these two forces. Yin invites the body to let go of held stress and tension in both the physical body and the mind. If you spend most of your day in a more yang, or active, state, a Yin practice can help to ground your energy and promote more rejuvenating rest.
Reduces Stress and AnxietyYin Yoga is a particularly calming practice and helps soothe the nervous energy that so many of us battle with daily. A Yin class is the perfect way to find space, to slow your mind down, and to be guided deeper into your practice. Surrender is a common theme in Yin Yoga, and combined with the slow movements and focus on the breath, Yin is a terrific way to help lessen stress and anxiety both physically and emotionally.
Increases Flexibility and Range of MotionYin yoga stretches and targets both the deep connective tissues between the muscles, and the fascia throughout the body. The aim is to increase circulation in the joints and improve flexibility. Injury, habitual posture in daily life, and aging, among other factors can bind our connective tissues together, restricting that movement. This blocks the flow of nutrients and energy through the body, causing pain and limiting mobility. Holding poses that gently lengthen the muscles and fascia helps shift these blockages, and applying mild stress to joints and connective tissues can increase their range of motion.
Promotes Self-LoveYin yoga is amazing for opening our heart, calming our nervous system, and providing a space for the body to deeply relax. It also offers a deeply nourishing and nurturing environment where we can cultivate compassion and love for ourselves on a deeper level. The practice is a beautiful way to reconnect to the body in a gentle, compassionate way. Yin asks you to get intimate with your feelings, sensations, and emotions—something that can perhaps be ignored during a faster paced class, and life in general! While this can be confronting at first, it is also deeply healing, and is a beautiful way to foster self-care, intuition and loving kindness.
Builds Strength and PerseveranceYin Yoga may not build the strength associated with a Power Yoga class, instead, it builds a deeper inner strength, resilience and perseverance. Yin teaches you that staying still and dealing with whatever comes up one breath at a time will truly help you grow. Rather than running away, distracting ourselves, or trying to get out of the discomfort, Yin shows us that there is strength in surrender and how to overcome the negative chatter of the mind to find a place of stillness and acceptance. Yin teaches us how to be gentle, patient, and nonreactive. It is a practice that offers great assistance both on and off the mat.
Releasing Stored EmotionsThe poses and the way they are held can release incredibly strong sensations. We store our emotions in various parts of our bodies. Memories, anxiety and tension linger in cells stored deep in our tissues. When we go into a yoga pose that opens a part of the body left untouched for a while, these deeply stored memories and emotions resurface. Doing so can be challenging in the moment, and can lead to a wide array of reactions, yet essentially, it helps us to let go of things that don’t serve us that we have been holding onto for too long.
A Meditative MindA Yin practice helps us to tap into a state of mind very similar to that of meditation. When we create opportunities for physical stillness in a yin practice, we also create the perfect conditions for the brain to become clear and still also. A Yin practice can quite literally help us to wipe the slate of our mind clean and take some much needed time out from the mental to-do list that occupies most of our waking state. The poses and the focus on the breath allows the mind something gentle to focus on, which makes the meditative state easier to tap into.
We have a great range of Yin Yoga classes for you to try in our Zenko Yoga Online Studio. The classes are 45 minutes long and suitable for all levels, especially for those new to Yin Yoga.
Join Zenko Online for a day for only $5, or opt for a monthly or annual membership that allows you access to daily live yoga classes and a vast library of classes to select from.
Find out all the details and join us here: https://liveclasses.zenkoyoga.com.au