‘Yoga is for every body’.  And it’s crucial to find the right type of yoga you need at a particular moment in your life. With many yoga styles available out there, it’s easy to get confused and lost. How do you know if it’s the style that can resonate with you?  One of the popular yoga styles is Yin Yoga. Here is a brief explanation of what to expect from Yin yoga.

What is Yin yoga?

Yin yoga is a restful, slow-paced yoga style. It is inspired by the Chinese philosophy of the opposite forces of yin and yang.

Yin is seen as a receptive and restful life force, while yang is active energy.

Thus, yin is a more restful and calm yoga style, where we stay in one pose for 2 to 5 minutes. It can be seen as a long meditation where the mind and body come to rest in one pose. It is very complementary to other styles of yang, more active types of yoga, such as Hatha or vinyasa yoga.

What are the benefits of Yin yoga? 

♥ The flexibility of the body

While yang styles of yoga focus on flexibility and strengthening of the muscles, yin yoga focuses on deeper lying body tissues. Staying longer in the pose helps to stretch the fascia and mobilizes the tendons, ligaments and joints. I love yin yoga as I do a lot of sports, and this combination helps keep my whole body flexible, and it releases pain after a run. Yin yoga is a natural and effective way to increase the production of hyaluronic acid, which also helps to reduce ageing.

♥ Connect to mind and body

In yin yoga, you stay for a long time in one pose. It can be seen as one long meditation where you may connect with your breath and sensations in your body, or you may as well just relax and think of nothing. This helps create space in the otherwise busy life just to do nothing and just be in the now. After a stressful day at work, this is a very welcome space to come back to myself.

♥  Building up energy: Yin yoga moves “prana”, “chi”, or life energy in your body in a very restorative way. This means it nourishes you and helps to build up new energy to get through your days. I started to practice yin yoga much more during my burnout, and it helped me to build up energy levels, and I started to feel much more nourished and rejuvenated.

What can I expect in a Yin yoga class? 

You hold the poses for 2 to 5 minutes. It is a more internally focused type of yoga, which is often practised with long spaces of silence, giving you the chance to connect to yourself and rest. We go less deep into the pose to avoid injuries.

You may need extra blankets, pillows and maybe blocks or bolsters. Or you may just keep some large books handy. You may also use a belt or a long towel.

To conclude

With the words of Bernie Clark, a famous yin yoga teacher,

Yang is about changing the world; yin accepts the world as it is. Neither is better than the other. There are times when it is appropriate to change the world; other times, it is best to allow things to unfold. Part of the yin yoga practise is learning this acceptance of life as it is.