Yin Yoga: The Fitness ‘Cult’ Magnifying Movement, Mindfulness, Meditation, and Mobility
Maybe you’re hearing of Yin yoga for the first time. Possibly, you’ve heard of this practice earlier but don’t really know the benefits of it. Or perhaps, you’ve tried Yin yoga in the past but lack knowledge and understanding of its purpose or origin. The following article on the background and benefits of Yin yoga will help you dive into the depth of this slow, meditative practice and how it is benefiting people world over. If you find it convincing, grab your mat, learn some more, and explore the unexplored as your journey unfolds.
Yin yoga: The source to ‘rerouting’ the mind
We live in an environment that is continually on the go, demanding a lot of movement, responsibilities, stimulation and activity. So, it may be unusual to experience a fitness practice that requires us to be still, which is more challenging as compared to other exercises.
Yin yoga is widely practiced because it offers the chance to relax, be present, and still, whilst stretching, breathing deeply, and creating healthy space in mind and body overall. Unlike other dynamic yoga styles (aqua, yang) the motive of Ying yoga is not to build or strengthen the muscles but to calm, revitalise, and relax them. Yin is a slow, steady, and soothing style that focuses on expanding and regaining the original pace of motion of the deep connective tissues, joints, ligaments, and bones in the body. It also targets stretching of different acupressure points as guided by the Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Yin yoga is also considered as a therapeutic and healing source that can be used to improve one’s mobility and ability to meditate. On one hand where Yin yoga supports deep relaxation, perhaps by props, it also actively stimulates confrontation with stretch, stress and sensation. Therefore, Yin yoga is often referred to as an advanced practice that involves immense pluck, patience, and power to withstand ache.
The rising trend of practising Yin: What are the benefits?
As we start aging, the mobility in our joints begin to degenerate and our fascia stiffens. If practiced consistently, Yin yoga helps to ease pain and regain mobility in the body. This happens because Yin applies subtle, healthy stretch and stress to our joints and connective tissues. Yin is suitable to those seeking deep body stretch, relaxation, and introspection. This practice is an excellent counter to the more physically intense yoga or activity so you can maintain flexibility and balance in the body.
Key benefits of Yin yoga:
- Increases flexibility
- Improves circulation
- Relieves stress and tension
- Lubricates tissues
- Encourages body movement
- Calms and relaxes mind and body
- Releases mental, physical, and emotional blockages
- Increases stamina
- Decreases anxiety
- Improves energy levels
Yin yoga, if done correctly and consistently, acts as a healer for the body since it brings pressure on the non-contractile tissues and enables them to safely and slowly stretch to accommodate balance, both mentally and physically. As a result of this, you will feel energetic, lighter, and healthier.
Practice and poses in Yin yoga
The postures in Yin are curated to consciously extend the connective tissues around the pelvis, hips, and lower back, thereby improving circulation and flexibility. The asanas of this form of yoga are held for a relatively longer duration, while the practice consists of forward-bending, seated postures that calm the nervous system and help restore energy.
Yin poses to try:
Here are commonly practiced Yin poses that can be done regularly to target different body parts.
- Butterfly pose
- Seal pose
- Chest stretch
- Lying twists
- Caterpillar pose
- Toe squat
- Happy baby pose
Yin yoga is intentionally slow, allowing you some time to be still, to focus on your breath, to relax deeply, and to just “be.” This form of yoga can positively impact your life – making you more patient, purpose-driven, and persistent.
Now that you have identified the origination, background, and benefits of Yin yoga, go out, learn the process, and experience it first-hand.
Akanksha Shukla is a content strategist, writer by the day and reader by the night- all with the trusted companionship of coffee!