“Yin Yoga is simple, but simple does not mean easy.”
When I started my yoga teachers training I didn’t think I would make a good yogi. Running had left me very inflexible, I did not have full range of motion in my titanium knee and a persistent hip flexor issue made my balance unstable. The Yang or Vinyasa part of my practice dragged out. It was only when I discovered Yin Yoga that things clicked into place.
Yang yoga, or the yoga practiced in most studios, stretches the muscles. Yin, works to restore the fascia and improve range of motion in the joints using breath work and Chinese meridian systems.
Yang yoga is dynamic, flowing, has many standing postures and uses our masculine energy. Yin yoga is static. We draw from the nurturing feminine energy. Postures are all floor based and poses held from 3 – 8 minutes. A person watching a Yin class from the outside might think that nothing is happening, but Yin works on a cellular level to restore and rejuvenate.
The focus is on mindfulness and using the breath to flush and release toxins and stale energy trapped in the body.
Yin uses props like bolsters (pictured above) to support the yogi in the asana (move) and this slowly leads to progressive improvement in the body as tight fascia is released and movement restored.
Currently Yin is my favourite mode of yoga practice. Ive noticed many benefits. Not only in the feeling of physical release but also shifts in my perspective about exercise. If you think you are not a yoga person because it all looks too hard, consider trying a Yin class.