Yin is a restorative style of yoga where you hold poses for longer than usual. You don't go as deep into a pose though. You are invited to support yourself with as many props as you'd like and then encouraged to commit to complete stillness, focus on your breathing, and observe your thoughts. Be fully in the now, that's when the magic happens!
Poses are performed close to the earth, for upwards of three minutes per pose. Yin yoga works along the body’s meridian lines to massage and nurture the body’s fascia, bones, and ligaments. Holding each pose for time creates the conditions necessary to cultivate an internal stillness of the body, breath, and mind.
Yin Yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga as exercise, incorporating principles of traditional Chinese medicine, with asanas (postures) that are held for longer periods of time than in other styles. Practitioners may stay in one asana for five minutes or more. The sequences of postures are meant to stimulate the channels of the subtle body known as meridians in Chinese medicine, and as nadis in Hatha yoga. Yin Yoga poses apply moderate stress to the connective tissues of the body—the tendons, fasciae, and ligaments—with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility.
A more meditative approach to yoga, its goals are awareness of inner silence, and bringing to light a universal, interconnecting quality. Yin Yoga was founded in the late 1970s by martial arts expert and Taoist yoga teacher Paulie Zink. Yin is not intended as a complete practice in itself, but as a complement to more active forms of yoga and exercise.
In the U.S., Yin is fast becoming one of the most popular styles of yoga to practice. At The Woods, we like to say "yin is in". Give it a shot and let us know what you think!