Yin Yoga is a style of Yoga that is growing in popularity.
So, What is Yin Yoga and how could a beginner start a Yin Yoga practice?
In this post I’ll talk a little bit about Yin Yoga history and include a video Yin Yoga For Beginners that I filmed with Do Yoga With Me.
If you want to learn more about my journey to Yin Yoga you can do that here.
Most of Yin Yoga, as it is known today, is a style of Yin codified by Paul Grilley. It’s based on a blend of poses Paul learned from Paulie Zink and Paul’s years of studying and teaching Hatha Yoga.
Paul Grilley saw Paulie Zink, a Kung-fu master, perform and was taken by his flexibility. Master Zink began martial arts as a teenager. While in college, Paulie met a Kung-fu master from Hong Kong named Cho Chat Ling. Master Cho made Paulie his protégé.
At the time, Paulie Zink was teaching out of his garage to a handful of students. He would first teach some stretching, then martial arts.
Over the course of, a year or so, Paul Grilley practiced the first half of the sessions (the stretching) and then would leave when it became time to practice the martial arts segment.
Since then, Yin Yoga has been expanded even more by some of Paul Grilley’s senior students. Paul Grilley has refused to trademark Yin Yoga and is very open to his students expanding on his teachings.
Originally, Yin Yoga’s asanas were mostly focused on the lower half of the body from the lumbar spine down. However, many of us (Paul’s senior students) fell in love with this way of practicing, finding it extremely therapeutic, and felt that the upper body could also benefit from Yin Yoga; So, Paul’s students added asanas that benefit the upper half of the body as well.
Then what makes a pose Yin? Yin poses have a few characteristics in common:
- Floor-based postures
- Long holds
- Relaxing into the pose
- Props when needed to support the body (optional)
Often, at this point, the question “So then what’s the difference between Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga?” will come up. I wrote a whole blog post about that here.
If you are a beginner to practicing Yin Yoga, here is some basic information to know before diving into practice.
Since the effects of Yin can feel noticeably different than more Yang forms of Yoga, it can be helpful to have some practical guidelines.
Yin Yoga Practice Guidelines
- Take the shape
- Find 50–60% of the most one can do
- Find stillness
- Hold from 2–5 min
- Come out of the pose mindfully and slowly
- Rest and feel the resonance
- Repeat in the next shape
I hope you enjoy this hour-long Yin Yoga practice, Yin Yoga For Beginners.
Peace, Love & Yin Yoga