The Art of Yin & Yang Yoga (1/4): Yin Yoga
What is Yin Yoga? Yin yoga is a slower practice of yoga where the poses are held for longer periods of time (compared to other yoga styles) with emphasis on working on the deep, dense (Yin) connective tissues and joints within the body. It stretches and targets the tissues between the muscles and aims to increase circulation within the joints and improve flexibility. Yin yoga is a perfect beginner's yoga class because although the poses are held for a longer time, it is a restorative style of yoga where most of the poses are practiced lying down or sitting on the floor. It's very slow and meditative, ideal for those who desperately want a good stretch within their ligaments and joints, but also want an overall feeling of being relaxed and soothed. Although it may cause some discomfort with the lengths of time during the poses, this yogic style teaches you how to breathe through the discomfort and sit with your thoughts, fully allowing the poses to open up any blockages and to release that energy flow freely.
How to practice yin yoga? Being that it follows a meditative flow of yoga, it is a very easy-going practice and very convenient as it can be practiced anywhere. Aim to practice in a cool setting, nothing too warm as it isn't meant to be practiced in a heated room. Listed below will be a flow of poses to do during this session and try to hold the pose for about two to five minutes (per pose) before you move to the next. The goal is to extend the length of the pose, set the expected standard to be two to five minutes, but aim to go for longer and to focus on stillness, and to avoid fidgeting. As mentioned before, most of these poses are done either in a seated or reclined position, such as the butterfly pose, so this helps with maintaining focus and concentrating on your breathing. Embrace the stretch that you will feel within your fascia and ligaments and encourage yourself to push yourself to the limit, indulge in the sensation it creates. Again, being that this is a restorative flow of yoga, focus your attention not to the stretch of your limbs but of the breath coming up from your diaphragm. With each inhale, feel the breath work up from your belly button, expanding your ribs in one smooth motion followed by a slow exhale. Free feel to incorporate restorative props such as yoga blocks or bolsters to offer additional assistance with these poses.
What are the benefits of yin yoga? Yin yoga strengthens the energy channels, improves flexibility and joint mobility, reduces stress and anxiety, and boosts circulation within your tissues and ligaments. There are many added benefits to those yoga practice, so why not give it a try? Does this practice sound like something you'd really enjoy? Start your yoga journey with yin yoga with us here at Teesha Yoga. Inquire about a session by leaving us a message within our "questions or suggestions" box on the website or give us a call at 470-591-0167. We look forward to seeing you there!