I want to encourage everyone who hasn’t tried Yin Yoga, to try it. Why? Because the feeling you’re left with after you have practiced Yin Yoga is amazing!
Benefits of a regular Yin Yoga practice
• Calms and balances the mind and body
• Reduces stress and anxiety
• Increases circulation
• Improves flexibility
• Releases fascia and improves joint mobility
• Balances the internal organs and improves the flow of chi or prana
What is Yin Yoga?
While Yang Yoga practices (Ashtanga, Vinyasa) physically target the “superficial” muscles, in Yin Yoga, we target the deep connective tissues of the body, ligaments, joints, bones, and deep fascia networks. A yin class usually consists of a series of passive floor poses held for up to 5 minutes or more, that mainly work the lower part of the body, hips, pelvis, inner thighs, lower spine. These areas are especially rich in connective tissues.
On an energetic level, Yin Yoga improves energy flow and enhances the flow of chi in the organs. The practice also offers huge mental and emotional benefits too.
Who is Yin Yoga for?
Yin Yoga is for you if you are tired and craving energy or you’re over-stimulated and have too much energy.
Our world bombards us with stimuli, 24/7, keeping our minds constantly busy with processing all the information that’s thrown at it. We get used to that level of stimulus and start to crave it if things become quiet. So we end up browsing, looking for stuff; it doesn’t matter what, as long as we fill the gaps.
Any form of dynamic yoga caters to this aspect of keeping ourselves busy. Although the mind may calm down as a result of active exercise, we’re still feeding the part of us that craves intensity and wants to be stimulated. We just happen to have found ourselves a healthier stimulus! I’m not encouraging you to cut out the dynamic yoga, just try to balance all the on-the-go aspects of life. A great way to do that is by practicing Yin Yoga.
Yin Yoga and the body
Yin Yoga works on the yin tissues, also known as the connective tissues. Connective tissue responds best to a slow, steady load, which is why we hold the poses for longer. If you gently stretch connective tissue by holding a yin pose for a long time, the body will respond by making it a little longer and stronger, which is exactly what you want.
By Esther Ekhart