Benefits of Yin Yoga
Yin yoga is a wonderful, relaxing type of yoga that really allows you to stretch into poses. When you take the time to get in those deep stretches, you become deeply relaxed. It’s a great kind of yoga to do in the evening as it will promote a peaceful sleep. After a long workday, yin yoga is a beautiful way to unwind and let go of all that stress from the day. Yin is lovely too because it’s slow. You don’t have to be super fit to get involved in the practice. Through deep breathing, you will fall deeper into the poses and you have all the time to do so. Here are some of the great benefits of a yin yoga practice.
What is Yin Yoga?
Yin is a Taoist concept, which relates to the yin and yang which we know to be the two oppositions that exist in everything. Yin is stable, it is static, it is the hidden aspect of things. Yang is more about movement and change. The connective tissues in our body such as tendons, ligaments, and fascia are considered yin. So a yin yoga class is going to consists of poses held for a long time. You will spend a lot of time on the floor, mostly focusing on the lower part of the body. This would be the hips, pelvis, lower spine and thighs. They are the areas of the body that have a lot of connective tissues. Many of the poses in Yin yoga will be held for at least five minutes.
Calms and Balances
When you go so deeply into stretches, you have the time to consider your feelings. As the poses do address certain emotional manifestations in the body, you may feel them. When you have no movement, you have the opportunity to look at your feelings. As you’re in the midst of a yoga class, you can often see things in a more positive light even if it’s a scary feeling.
You are calm and so you can manage the feelings you may have been repressing. When you’re willing and able to look at it, you become more balanced. Going through the layers of repressed emotions can be deeply healing and can create a balance within you. When doing Yin, your teacher is usually going to encourage you to look at the feeling inside of you but not identify with them. It’s a meditative approach where you become the witness just looking at what’s going on with your ego. Suppressing all these emotions inside wreaks havoc on the body. Yin helps you to let it all go and you release all the tension that it caused on a physical level.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
A lot of anxiety hides in our hips and Yin yoga does a lot of hip opening and stretching poses. Yin yoga can help ease all the worry you usually experience. You are able to let thoughts go because again, staying in the poses for such a long time is quite meditative. You have to be mindful of your breathing as it helps you stretch deeper into the poses.
Letting all those thoughts go will alleviate the stress. Putting aside all the things that normally cause us tension for the class will usually extend into the rest of our life off the mat. You experience a greater sense of deep relaxation just from doing the poses. The calming effect of Yin are truly a natural progression.
Some of the Yin yoga poses will remove blockages in the myofascial meridians. What this does is balances the body’s internal organ. The muscles become very relaxed around all the connective tissue. This is what the stretches are designed to do. At a deep level, you will get a stretch that is usually very hard to achieve. This helps to increase circulation and also helps to improve flexibility in big ways. Joint mobility will also be improved when you experience this myofascial release in the Yin practice.
Internal Organs are Balanced
When you do Yin yoga, you’ll be directed to focus on breathing deep into the belly. This is one of the reasons it’s so relaxing. It triggers the parasympathetic nervous system which helps to manage all that stress, tension, blood pressure, how you sleep, how well you digest, your immune functioning, and hormonal balance.
The deeper you go into the practice of Yin yoga and use that breath, you fall deeply into relaxation mode, which starts to work on your internal organs. That’s right. The internal organs will have the opportunity to do their job instead of putting out fires that come with being stressed out. Your digestion will improve, the body will eliminate toxins, and you they will heal and repair the body.
The tissues of the body will be revived. As you release deeper into poses, you lengthen and hydrate all those tissues. This makes them more pliable. There is a reduction of risk for injury and you will generally feel a great sense of well-being after a Yin class. Going to a class is a great place to start because the teacher will remind you to breathe deep to get into a deeper stretch. You will be guided along feeling your emotions that becomes “dislodged” from the practice. You’ll also get necessary adjustments to ensure you’re doing the poses to best benefit you. A Yin yoga practice will make you feel like you just had a deeply relaxing massage.