“There is a space between stimulus and response, and in that space lies our power and freedom.”
We urgently need to find our center and reestablish contact with our strength and freedom in this incredibly stressful time: the ability to mindfully respond to life’s challenges rather than impulsively responding to them.
Practices of Yin and Restorative Yoga activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which encourages relaxation. The practices can help you relax your mind when you focus on breathing.
Both are gentle and appropriate for people of all ages and skill levels, from those new to yoga to seasoned practitioners.
Both methods are lovely ways to get in touch with your true self, also known as your “atman” or inner soul.
Yin and restorative yoga are both slow-paced, stress-relieving practices, but they are very dissimilar.
Stretching and gently pressing on specific tissues are the main focuses of yin. Restorative yoga’s main focus is supporting your body while allowing it to unwind and heal.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YIN AND RESTORATIVE YOGA
Although Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga are frequently compared, they differ significantly.
Both forms of yoga may employ props, but in yin yoga, they are employed to either assist you in finding a more advantageous alignment, to deepen the pose, or, on the other hand, to prevent you from entering the stretch too far.
Props are used to support your body during restorative yoga completely.
Compared to Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga typically uses many more props, such as straps, blankets, blocks, sandbags, and bolsters.
The duration of a Yin Yoga pose ranges from three to five minutes, and if the student is skilled, up to seven minutes. Pose-holding durations in restorative yoga range from five to ten minutes.
While there is an active stretch in Yin Yoga, the objective of Restorative Yoga is to be completely supported and passive with no active stretch. While yin yoga aims to stretch your connective tissues and the like, the goal of restorative yoga is to relieve mind-body tension and put your nervous system in a healing state. While both forms of yoga use props, yin yoga uses them to deepen or ease the stretch. Props are utilized in restorative yoga to support your body entirely.
Referred to as “The Quiet Practice,” Yin Yoga helps attend to the often-overlooked deep layers of the heart, body, and mind.
“Yin” yoga refers to the Yin/Yang philosophy, which emphasizes the harmony between opposing forces. It developed from a form of yoga known as “Taoist Yoga,” which incorporated aspects of Taoist philosophy.
Vinyasa yoga and other more vigorous forms of yoga would be considered “yang,” whereas yin yoga postures aim to counteract these vigorous practices with peaceful, deep stretches.
Yin yoga focuses on stretching the tissues to lengthen the connective tissue and aid in releasing tension. The poses, held for two to seven minutes, work with your body’s energy meridians to improve joint mobility, increase flexibility, and help your body release trauma.
Yin Yoga Characteristics
- The Focus is on Connective Tissue.
Yin yoga will deepen the stretch into connective tissue, whereas most yoga practices stretch and strengthen the muscles.
The goal of stimulating deeper tissues like the fascia is to produce energetic benefits throughout the body, enhancing joint mobility and tissue elasticity.
- Holding poses for two to seven minutes.
Yin yoga poses are held for longer durations to stimulate the connective tissue.
A longer hold may promote a better release of tension because deep connective tissue is less elastic than muscular tissue.
- It has Eastern Philosophy at its foundation.
Ancient Chinese and Indian cultures shared philosophical ideas incorporated into yin yoga.
For instance, both cultures shared an understanding of meditation accompanied by physical practice and breathwork. They also both believed that the body comprises a system of energies.
The best candidates for yin yoga are those seeking to balance a more vigorous exercise program; increase flexibility; maintain healthy, mobile joints; improve posture; and release trauma and emotions built up in the body.
BENEFITS OF YIN YOGA:
- It Improves Joint Health.
In yin yoga, deeper stretches promote improved joint flexibility and mobility.
- It Supports Strong Connective Tissue.
Deep connective tissue is less elastic than muscular tissue, and because of this, it is occasionally overlooked in routine fitness routines.
- It Balances Our Lives and Bodies.
The Yin/Yang philosophy of Taoism emphasizes the harmony of opposing forces. Yin yoga can provide a little more “yin” energy in a world of yang in today’s culture of constant stimulation.
- It Lowers Anxiety & Stress.
Yin yoga can aid in bringing peace of mind and lowering stress and anxiety, just like any other yoga practice.
Restorative yoga, as the name implies, helps our bodies reach a state of healing or restoration. It developed from the ideas of B.K.S. Iyengar, who looked for yoga’s curative powers after suffering from several illnesses as a child.
In layman’s terms, there are two ways we can look at our nervous system. The modern world constantly stimulates our “fight-or-flight” mode, and our nervous system starts various healing processes in our body when it detects safety.
Without engaging the body actively, restorative yoga aids in bringing us into this state of healing and restoration.
Blocks, straps, sandbags, bolsters, and blankets are used in the calming practice of restorative yoga to create a passive release of the body and mind.
Features of Restorative Yoga
- It Puts Our Body in a Healing State.
A sense of comfort and calm that encourages our body’s natural healing processes can be achieved through restorative yoga, which combines supportive props and longer holds.
Our nervous system, which is influenced by external stimulation and physical comfort, is the source of these healing mechanisms.
- Positions Are Maintained For 5 to 20 Minutes.
Through long poses, restorative yoga will induce a deep state of relaxation in the body.
- The Use of Props.
Props are heavily utilized to ensure that the body is adequately supported.
They provide comfort and support for the practitioner, who is wrapped in a nest of props during practice, and physical support for the body.
Restorative yoga is ideal for stress relief and meditation, healing, complete unwinding, fostering a sense of security in the body and mind, and getting into mindful sleep.
BENEFITS OF RESTORATIVE YOGA:
- Activates healing and recovery.
The body’s natural healing processes are activated by Restorative Yoga. By triggering our biological healing processes, restorative yoga puts the body in a healing or therapeutic state.
- It encourages deep relaxation and calm.
Dozing off in a restorative yoga class is fairly typical—and it’s not surprising! This style of yoga is incredibly calming and can help practitioners feel entirely at ease and relaxed.
- It might strengthen your immune system.
Our immune system may deteriorate when we don’t get enough sleep.
Restorative yoga can help us get the sleep and relaxation we need to maintain a healthy immune system.
Yin and restorative yoga are gentle and suitable for students of all skill levels, including complete beginners, seasoned practitioners, athletes, seniors, and even those with injuries and movement restrictions.
Despite their similarities, they are undoubtedly distinct formats with different goals.
To determine which style of yoga best meets their needs, students should try both; they might even decide to incorporate both into a regular practice.