Yin Yoga 101

By now, most people are aware of the many benefits of yoga. However, they may not realize just how many different types of yoga there are. There are around 14 styles of yoga, and Yin Yoga is one of the less popular yoga styles in the western world, and was previously referred as Taoist or Daoist yoga. It targets the body’s deep connective tissues and fascia. It also helps regulate the body’s energy flow.

The postures that Yin Yoga uses are passive, mostly floor based, and there are only a few dozen poses. It is a highly unique method- as you relax in your posture it softens the muscles, moving closer to the bone.

While Yang poses are superficial, Yin poses are deep. The poses generally last around 5 minutes, though they can last for as long as 20 minutes. As postures are held, the time can be spent meditating, encouraging you to spend time experiencing your thoughts and feelings.

The concept has been around for thousands of years and there are just 16 postures noted in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. These postures promote meditation.

What is Yin Yoga?
While Kundalini Yoga relies on chanting, and other types of yoga focus on the stretching and exercise aspects, Yin Yoga is a meditative approach. The practitioner tries to access deeper tissues, with many of the postures focusing on the areas encompassing a joint, such as the spine, hips, and sacrum.

As we age our joint flexibility decreases and Yin is an excellent way to maintain that. Unfortunately, many people aren’t overly concerned with their flexibility until it’s too late and it’s gone.

This yoga practice is intimate and requires practitioners to be prepared to get close to their feelings, emotions, and sensations, all things that are easier to avoid when doing fast faced yoga.

Additionally, according to YogaActivist.org and Recovery.org Yin Yoga is often used in programs dealing with anxiety, addiction, trauma, and eating disorders.

For those people that struggle to be alone, Yin Yoga allows them to sit with their feelings and challenge their negative behaviors. It provides practitioners with greater mental stability.
The Benefits
• Energy regulation in the body
• A reduction in stress levels
• An increase in stamina and energy
• Balance and calming for the body and the mind
• Increased lubrication to protect the joints
• Reduces the symptoms of TMJ and migraines
• Increased joint and hip mobility
• An increase in flexibility in connective tissue and joints
• Deeper states of relaxation coping mechanism for stress and anxiety
• The ability to meditate for longer

Yin Yoga can assist people struggling with anxiety, eating disorders, depression, and addiction. It will allow you to be true to yourself, while facing the reality of who you are, and what you have faced in life, as well as what may cause you to seek negative behaviors. It encourages you to listen to yourself, and provides you with an ability to appreciate being comfortable on your own.

It compliments other styles of yoga, as well as your personal life. It forces you to spend an extended period of time in one position, asking you to just be and to accept the moment that you’re in.

This is something that everyone can benefit from- as many of us don’t know how to be happy on our own. We struggle to experience our emotions; Yin Yoga offers you the opportunity to tap deeply in to your emotions.

According to the Qigong Institute Yin Yoga provides practitioners with an opportunity to connect with themselves and clear their mind of all of their troubling feelings and emotions.

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