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What the Hell is Yin Yoga and Why Does it Work So Well?

 

If you are fed up of fainting at Bikram, can’t quite catch your breath in Vinyasa, seem to be dropping a few balls in Ashtanga, or are just can’t seem to get on board with yoga at all – maybe its time to turn to Yin.

 

What is Yin Yoga?

Yin yoga is all about surrendering. It’s a very slow and passive style of yoga that is all about holding poses for a lingering amount of time. Yin yoga poses are often held from between a minute to as long as five. The emphasis is more about working on your connective tissue as opposed to movement focused on the muscles. The bodily focus is often around areas that surround a joint – for example, the hips and the spine.

 

Is Yin Yoga Easy?

 

While long lingering poses may sound pretty chill, it actually takes some concerted effort to hold the body in position for that length of time. But like any yoga practise it's not all about the body, its also about the mind. Yin yoga manages to straddle that line between yoga and meditation as the time holding the pose can certainly feel meditative.

 

What’s the Yin Part?

It’s said that in the west we live in a very yang world. Yang is all about pushing, striving, and digging for answers – it’s the solid, the active, the sun, and the so-called masculine. Yin, on the other hand, is about being passive and yielding, it’s the moon, it’s the night, and it’s the feminine. As we live in a yang culture you can see how it would be beneficial to our inner balance to bring more yin into our world.

 

What’s the Benefit of Yin Yoga?

 

Yin yoga comes with a ton of great benefits. It regulates energy in the body, improves our stamina, balances our internal organs, and revitalizes our tissue that may have become twisted or compressed. You can leave a yin yoga session feeling as though you have had a massage.

 

What Lesson Can Yin Yoga Gift Us?

Yet like many forms of yoga, yin yoga goes beyond the body and invites us to sit with our minds and practice self-compassion. Yin is all about surrendering, which is something we try to avoid in our society. The modern-day mantra is all about pushing through, surviving, being strong, overcoming, and being as busy as possible. Yin yoga teaches us a different way. Holding these poses forces us to be in the present, it naturally calms our nervous systems, and it makes us listen to our bodies.

What Are the Best Tips for Practicing Yin Yoga?

 

Yin yoga invites you to go at your own pace. Start slow and stay slow. It’s a great yoga alternative for older people or those who feel like they may not be as fast and flexible as they used to be. Yin is all about moving gently into poses and practising pure self-compassion. The best bit is, you can do it anywhere – even when watching tv in bed.

What are your thoughts on your yin yoga – have you tried it? Share in the comments.

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