Yin yoga targets your deep connective tissues, such as your fascia, ligaments, joints as well as bones. It’s slower and more meditative which gives you space to turn inward and tune into both your mind and the physical feelings of your body.
As you’re holding asanas for a longer period of time than you would in other, more traditional types of yoga, yin yoga assists you with lengthening and stretching those seldom-used tissues while – at the same time – teaching you how to breathe through the burn and sit with your thoughts.
What Is The History Behind Yin Yoga?
The practice of yin yoga is built on ancient Chinese philosophies and Taoist principles which believe that there are pathways of Qi (energy) that run through our bodies. By stretching, as well as deepening, into poses you’re opening up any blockages and releasing that energy to flow freely.
The practice of Yin Yoga was introduced in North America in the late 1970s by the martial arts champion Paulie Zink. In the late 1970s, Zink began to teach a synthesis of hatha yoga with Taoist yoga, as well as postures, movements and insights that he had developed himself. He later called this synthesis “Yin and Yang yoga,” or “Yin Yoga” for short.
What Are The Benefits Of Yin Yoga?
Our body’s tissues may be revived by a good long soak in the same way that an old, stiff sponge can. As you are holding a yin pose, the subtle release which takes you deeper into the pose is the tissues which are lengthening, hydrating, and becoming more pliable. If you pay close attention, you are able to sense the tissues being stretched, squeezed, twisted, and compressed. A yin practice may leave you feeling as though you’ve just had a massage.
The simplicity of a yin yoga practice gives us the opportunity to return to our bodies and to clearly see just how remarkable we really are. Travelling into the deeper layers of ourselves, we tune into our innermost workings, connecting to respiratory as well as circulatory functions, internal organs, and feelings within the muscles and joints. This increased awareness of the physiological processes of the body eventually moves us closer to santosha, or happiness.
As Yin poses are held for a long time, we get a great opportunity to be still with our thoughts. When you allow yourself the opportunity to stay present and feel the near-imperceptible shifts which occur while holding a yin posture, time opens up. Deadlines, obligations, pressing matters, and to-do lists fade to the background, so leaving tremendous space for rest and renewal.
If you would like to take a deep dive into the practice of Yin Yoga, you need to master the yoga basics. Check out our Yoga Instructor Course and see how you can make this dream a reality.