This is the second of a three, part introduction to Yin Yoga series. You can check out part one here and part three here.
If you haven’t practiced Yin Yoga before you may be surprised at how different it is than more active forms of Yoga. The focus of Yin Yoga is quite unique. In more active or Yang forms of Yoga, the focus is typically on building strength and flexibility in the muscles as well as internal warmth. This is done by doing shorter holds in the poses and repetition of dynamic movements. In Yin Yoga the focus is on targeting the connective tissues, fascia and joints. This has a profoundly different feeling in the tissues as well as the nervous and energetic systems of the body.
When you first come out of a Yin Yoga pose, you will have the urge to move slowly and may even want to groan and moan. The sensation in the body after a Yin Yoga pose is often referred to as the rebound effect or the echo of the pose. I often describe this sensation as a resonance. If you have ever rung a bell or gong, you know the sound is the strongest initially and then dissipates over time, until you eventually no longer hear the sound at all. The resonant sensation of a Yin pose in the body is like that. At first the feeling is strong, then it gradually softens until you can no longer feel it. This is why we typically take a small rest time between poses.
Yin Yoga is based in concepts of Taoist Yoga, it emphasizes the connective tissues. In Yin we practice relaxed floor based Asana’s (Yoga poses) often using the support of props when needed. Yin Yoga poses are typically held for two to five minutes at a time. Yin yoga postures gently stretch and rehabilitate the connective tissues that form our joints, allowing us to maintain and restore joint, fascia and muscle flexibility.
In the video below I talk briefly about Yin Yoga guidelines and some practice tips.
Practicing and teaching Yin Yoga has been such a gift to myself and my students.
In the comments below let me know if you have tried Yin Yoga yet? If You have a Yin practice, what is your favorite pose?