What is Yin Yoga?

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You must have heard about Yin Yoga at some of the places today. Moreover, as the name suggests, it is supposedly a more female form, that we are talking about here. Most yoga forms and strenuous and fast-paced, and are classified as the ‘Male’ or ‘Yang form’. So, you must be enthusiastic to know more about the Yin energy. Yin and Yang are the two forces, that make up the natural forces. You need to have a combination of both, to survive. Yang yoga focuses on your muscles, while Yin yoga focuses on your connective tissues. Connective tissues comprise the ligaments, bones and the joints. The latter is slower and meditative in nature.

You can say that Yin Yoga allows you to focus inwards. Moreover, you are able to stretch and lengthen the parts of your body, that are rarely used. It also teaches you to breathe, in a not so comfortable situation and more. As the name suggests, this form of Yoga has come down from Chinese belief systems, and is also governed by Taoist principles. You can get fresh Qi to circulate throughout the body, by stretching and deepening your yoga practice. Now, you will be further amazed to know, that Yin Yoga is similar to Acupuncture. However, there is a catch here. Some of the proponents of Hatha Yoga are of the opinion, that this form originated from the early Hatha Yoga principles. Earlier, yogis who wanted to walk on the eight-fold path practiced yoga for salvation. So, at that time, the poses were held for 3-10 minutes at a stretch. So, you can understand, that when the sages, transferred the knowledge to the common people, they reduced the duration, to make it more accessible for the commoners. In Yin Yoga, muscles are rarely engaged. You will only make use of the passive poses. Accessories like blocks and bolsters can be used a lot.

How Is Yin Yoga Different From Other Forms?

Now, you can delve into the details of how and why Yin Yoga is different from the other yoga forms.

  • You must have seen yoga students practicing yoga for balance, strength and flexibility. However, Yin Yoga is a lot different from what you think. Yin Yoga is mostly practiced to facilitate myofascial release, stretching and to increase the range of motion of the body.
  • In other forms of yoga, the body gets heated up fast and you will also see an increase in temperature. However, no such thing happens in Yin Yoga. The body temperature does not change much in Yin Yoga.
  • In other active forms of yoga, the body’s oxygen consumption increases. But no such thing happens in Yin Yoga. There is a lot less stress on the muscles and so you do not need any extra energy.
  • In other active and strenuous forms of yoga, the body also secretes lactic acid. However, no such thing happens in the case of Yin Yoga.
  • In dynamic styles, there is a higher chance of your getting injured. But no such thing happens in Yin Yoga.

Yin Yoga is basically regarded as a more complementary practice, which cannot substitute the more Yang forms of yoga. So, you can practice it for healing after strenuous and active yoga practice.

In Yin Yoga, you have to practice belly breathing. Long, slow, but deep breathing patterns will give your body the relaxation, which is the ultimate motive of this asana.

Benefits of Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga has a few amazing benefits on the body. The most important physical benefits are given underneath.

  • When you hold poses for a long time, your fascia also gets a good stretch. The fascia slowly becomes loose, and allows the flow of nutrients more easily.
  • Ligaments bind the bones, and are mostly present at the joints. It is because of them, that the range of motion of most people is limited. Moreover, they contract with age, which makes movement of body parts difficult in old age. Yin Yoga gently stretches the ligaments and loosens them, so that you can develop more flexibility.
  • Tendons connect the muscles to the bones. When you do a lot of Tang exercises, the tendons shorten and become hard. To loosen them, you need to do Yin Yoga.
  • All the physical movements of the human body happen due to the presence of joints. But there may be stiffness in them, due to various reasons. When you engage in Yin yoga, your joints become revitalized and they also become frictionless.
  • When you practice Yin Yoga, the organs get a gentle massage and are able to secreted the juices, that they are intended to. So, your body works well. When you engage in Yin Yoga on a regular basis, you tend to get numerous advantages.
  • Regular practice of Yin Yoga, tends to make you stress-free. It also helps to release the stress which is located deep inside the tissues. That is why, you may feel like crying or get emotional, when the practice is on.
  • It also stimulates the endocrine system, so you will experience better hormonal balance.
  • Your clarity of mind, also increases when you practice Yin Yoga on a regular basis.

There are some other aspects of Yin Yoga, which you should know about. You can use props in Yin Yoga, without any inhibitions, as you will be holding the pose for a longer time. The props can increase or decrease the stress levels of your body. Some of the most common props that are used in Yin Yoga are cushions, bolsters, blocks, belts, and straps.

It is also a style of yoga which is good for all, like the very young or the old. All the poses that you will practice are from Hatha Yoga, but done in a calm and composed manner. You can do these yoga styles to get relief and gain healing after a surgery. In that respect these are healing and restorative in nature. You can also call it a more modern form of Hatha Yoga.

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