What is yin yoga – and why should you try it?

yin yoga pose

What is Yin Yoga?

Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga, where postures are close to the floor and held for longer –  typically 5 minutes or more. By relaxing the muscles while in the poses, we access the joints and deeper connective tissues of the body.

It is a lovely complement to a more energetic ‘yang’ style practice, whether that’s yoga, pilates, running or walking. This combination of yin and yang can help create harmony and balance in body and mind.

Yin is suitable for anyone, even complete beginners. You don’t need to be flexible or have ever done yoga before!

What are the benefits of yin yoga?

Yin yoga supports joint mobility by providing a healthy level of stress on the connective tissues. This is especially important as we age, if we sit for long periods of time at a desk, or if we work out or play a lot of sport.

Energetically, yin yoga has its roots in Taoism and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Practicing yin helps to stimulate the flow of energy (Qi) along the Meridian lines of the body. During yin we gently stress the tissues and apply gentle pressure on the various points along the meridian lines to help enhance the energy flow.

As well as being a lovely physical practice, Yin is a good way to grow your meditation practice and connect to your inner experience. It prepares the body physically for longer periods of sitting and stillness. Because it is a slower practice, it gives us a chance to be mindful and turn our attention inwards.

As it is a slow and grounding practice, many people find yin yoga supports relaxation and helps with getting a good night’s sleep. Because of this yin is very popular in the evening time when we are winding down and preparing for sleep.

Where can I try it?

If this sounds like something you could do with in your life right now, or you’re curious to give it a try, I currently offer two weekly yin yoga classes. Classes are on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and recordings are available for 7 days if the times don’t suit. You can view my schedule and book here.

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