What to expect
Yin Yoga is an excellent complement for active people looking to open their bodies safely and find inner stillness. Yin Yoga is not intended as a complete practice in itself, but rather as a complementary practice to balance the effects of more active forms of yoga and exercise. A Yin Yoga session will mostly consist of a series of long-held, passive floor poses that mainly work the lower part of the body—the hips, pelvis, inner thighs, lower spine. These areas are especially rich in connective tissues, the systematic loading of which is a main focus in this style of yoga.
Yin Yoga practice targets the connective tissues—the tendons, fascia, and ligaments—with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility, as opposed to the more dynamic practices, which target the muscles. Yin Yoga poses are also designed to improve the flow of prana, or qi, the subtle energry, or life force. Practitioners often comment at how unexpectedly energizing and soothing the practice is, offering deep releases. Make a Yin Yoga class a staple in your yoga routine once a week, and you’ll be surprised at the benefits!
Tips for getting the most out of your yin yoga session
When practicing Yin Yoga, find an appropriate edge, which is often a lot less deep than a warmer yoga class. Move slowly and gently into the pose, and look for an appropriate amount of intensity, never opening so far as to cause pain. Then consciously try to release into the pose, and to remain still for the duration, without shifting position. The instructor will sometimes offer music or readings to keep you motivated to stay in the posture. Coming out, release with care. You’ve opened the body deeply!
Each class is based on the same approach:
A few general reminders: