As a longtime yoga practitioner, I have practiced many styles and lineages of the ancient practice. However, there is one style that has impacted me deeply. I mean tissue, bone, and soul-deep. Which is why it has always been a regular part of my practice and teaching - Yin Yoga. Here are a few reasons why I love Yin Yoga:
- Deep Relaxation: Yin Yoga is a meditative style of yoga that is slow-paced and creates an environment for deep relaxation and stress relief. The long-held poses allow you to sink into calmness and tranquility, a nice contrast for those who lead hectic lives. (Meyers, 2022)
- Improved Flexibility: The long-held poses in Yin Yoga help to reach further flexibility and range of motion. Holding the postures for several minutes allows you to stretch more deeply into your muscles and tissues, leading to increased flexibility over time. (Clark et al., 2012)
- Mindfulness Practice: Yin Yoga is a great way to practice mindfulness and meditation. The slow and steady pace of the practice allows you to be fully present in the moment and to tune out distractions from the outside world. (Hylander et al., 2017)
- Stress Relieving: Yin Yoga is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. Deep relaxation and mindfulness practices help calm the nervous system and reduce stress. (Lemay et al., 2021)
- Increased Circulation: The long-held poses in Yin Yoga may increase and improve circulation and blood flow throughout the whole body. This can help to increase energy levels and reduce inflammation in the body. (Grilley et al., 2002)
- Improved Joint Health: Yin Yoga can help to improve joint health and mobility. The long-held poses can help lubricate the joints and increase synovial fluid, improving joint health over time. (Norberg, 2014)
- Balancing Practice: Yin Yoga is a great way to balance out a more active and dynamic yoga practice. Incorporating Yin Yoga into your routine can help balance the yang energy of more active practices and create a more well-rounded yoga practice. (Saraswati et al., 1998)
- Deeper Connection with Self: The slow and meditative nature of Yin Yoga can help to deepen your connection with yourself and your inner wisdom. You can cultivate a more profound self-awareness and self-compassion by tuning into your body and breathing. (Powers, 2021)
- Improved Sleep: Yin Yoga can be a great way to improve sleep quality. The practice's deep relaxation and stress-relieving benefits may also help support to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. (Shi, 2018)
-Anyone can Benefit: Yin yoga is helpful if you have a tight and achy body, and it is helpful if you have a flexible body. One tool that makes this practice very universal is incorporating yoga props. They can support and stabilize when needed, and yoga props can deepen and support depth when available.
In all, Yin Yoga is a beautiful and deeply nourishing yoga practice that may benefit anyone looking for relaxation, relief from stress, or better flexibility and mobility. I strongly recommend trying Yin Yoga, regardless of whether you're new or experienced. It may be the yoga practice you didn't know that you needed.
Clark, B., & Powers, S. (2012). The complete guide to Yin yoga: The philosophy and practice of Yin yoga (p. 296). White Cloud Press.
Grilley, P., & Grilley, S. (2002). Yin yoga. White Cloud Press.
Hylander, F., Johansson, M., Daukantaitė, D., & Ruggeri, K. (2017). Yin yoga and mindfulness: a five week randomized controlled study evaluating the effects of the YOMI program on stress and worry. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping, 30(4), 365-378.
Lemay, V., Hoolahan, J., & Buchanan, A. (2021). Impact of a Yin Yoga and meditation intervention on pharmacy faculty and student well-being. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, 61(6), 703-708.
Meyers, T. (2022). Yin Yoga Therapy and Mental Health: An Integrated Approach. Singing Dragon.
Norberg, U. (2014). Yin Yoga: an individualized approach to balance, health, and whole self well-being. Simon and Schuster.
Powers, S. (2021). Lit from Within: Yoga, Teachings, and Practices to Illuminate Our Inner Lives. Shambhala Publications.
Saraswati, S. M., & Saraswati, S. S. (1998). Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Yoga Publications Trust.
Shi, X. (2018). PO-019 Effects of Yin Yoga for Three Months on Insomnia in Menopausal Women. Exercise Biochemistry Review, 1(3).
I'm Valerie, Yoga Teacher and following my Sankalpa!