Nowadays, a lot of yoga is practiced in what are known to be the ‘Yang’ yoga styles that are vigorous and fast-paced and mostly include Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Power. But there is another yoga style known as Yin yoga, which is equally essential but opposite.
While the ‘Yang’ yoga targets the superficial muscles, whereas, in Yin yoga, the main target is the deep connective tissues of our body, the joints, bones, and ligaments. Normally a Yin class is a series of passive floor poses that mainly concentrate on the lower parts of the body, as these are rich in connective tissues.
What is Yin yoga?
It targets our deep connective tissues like fascia, joints, ligaments, and bones, compared to ‘Yang’ that is mainly focused on the muscles. Yin yoga is much slower and more meditative and offers you space to turn inward and tune both your mind and physical body sensations.
In traditional yoga, you tend to hold the poses for a more extended time, but Yin yoga can help stretch and lengthen the tissues that are rarely used. Yin also teaches you how to breathe through discomfort and even sit with your thoughts.
How to practice this yoga?
Usually, it is practiced in a non-heated room; therefore, it is easy to practice it anytime, anywhere. The idea is to hold the Yin yoga poses for an extended period, generally for two to five minutes or even more extended periods. The majority of Yin yoga poses are seated or reclined, as they required more muscles to be relaxed fully.
Each pose of it requires stillness, and therefore, you have to avoid fidgeting or to move around to release fully into the posture. Breath is also a critical component of Yin yoga because; it offers you something to focus on, especially when the poses are uncomfortable and difficult.
What are the benefits of Yin yoga?
There are several physical health benefits when you practice Yin yoga, but it also has plenty of mental health benefits. The following are the benefits of practicing Yin yoga.
- It lengthens connective tissue
Your fascia is like a shrink wrap around your bones and muscles, and if you underuse this connective tissue, it becomes less elastic and leads to stiffness and aches. When you gently stretch the connective tissue by holding a Yin pose, your body will respond by making them stronger and much longer.
- It increases flexibility
Mobile joints and elastic fascia can lead to better flexibility, which is a crucial benefit of practicing Yin yoga. Yin is considered the most effective way to improve your flexibility and release tension to tight the spots.
- It boosts circulation
When you breathe into each pose and target the ligaments and deeper tissues, you can bring oxygen to your body and muscles. This is especially helpful in increasing blood flow and circulation.
- It reduces levels of stress
By practicing Yin, you can feel calm, as it significantly impacts lowering anxiety and stress, thereby reducing the risk of depression. Yin also activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which can slow down your heart rate and calm your body.
Yin yoga is not like Vinyasa and Ashtanga, which have an intense and sweaty flow, but it is still not a workout. It is worth trying to experience the many mental and physical health benefits for you in an exercise rut. By focusing on your breath work, static movement, and meditation create a profound and rewarding practice.
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