Yin Yoga is a practice where you stay in supported poses for longer periods of time. (Typically in my classes we hold for 5 minutes. However, holds can be from 3 – 10 minutes or even longer.) You will need some props for a Yin class: a few pillows or a bolster, some blocks, a strap, and a blanket or towel.
Yin yoga targets your deep connective tissues. It’s slower and more meditative, giving you space to turn inward and tune into both your mind and the physical sensations of your body.
Yin yoga helps you stretch and lengthen those rarely-used tissues while also teaching you how to breathe through different sensations and sit with your thoughts. By stretching and deepening into poses, we’re opening up any blockages and releasing energy in the body, helping it to flow more freely.
Practicing Yin allows you to be inside yourself without needing to perform or compete. When you stop striving to do more and be more, and focus inward, you will begin to feel the sensations in your body and mind as they arrive.
Once you accept that you will feel many things during a Yin practice—discomfort, boredom, anxiety—and learn to stay with your thoughts and feelings, your relationship to them will begin to change. You will learn that you have the inner strength to stay in situations you previously thought you couldn’t handle. You will see the impermanent nature of thoughts and feelings as you watch them arise and then pass on their own. And when you stop resisting what’s happening around you, you’ll gain a sense of liberation and trust in life.
Physically, Yin can help the body restore range of motion. Yin revitalizes tissue by lengthening, hydrating, and making the tissue more pliable. Mentally, Yin forces us to slow down and sit with our emotions. It prepares the mind for meditation. Yin helps us activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is where we most want to be. It helps us handle stress and anxiety in healthier ways with a more clear mind.
As you can see, Yin has numerous benefits for the body. Yin can be practiced by anyone with proper guidance and modifications or variations. One can practice Yin on their mat, in a chair, or in a bed. To join me for a Yin Yoga Practice, register here: