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What to expect at Yin Yoga

Let's talk Yin Yoga! Have you tried it? Heard of it? Want to know more? Just what is Yin Yoga?

The very first time I experienced a Yin Class was online with my favorite Yin Yoga Instructor, Kassandra and I am going to tell you I HATED IT! This was over 5 years ago, and now Yin is my true passion. Yin is has a different focus than other yoga types, the poses may be similar but are held differently, and Yin is passive with a deep stretch and a heavy dose of meditation.

The difference between a Hatha or Vinyasa Yoga class versus a Yin Yoga class is that Yin Yoga does not focus on building strength it focuses on the joints, connective tissue, ligaments, and fascia. This is a very deep stretching type of yoga. This is a relatively new type of yoga developed in the 70’s. Another difference is that Yin yoga holds the poses differently, with less focus on alignment and more inward, meditative focus on your body.

There are 3 Principles to Yin:

1. Find your edge- don’t go to far. On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being feeling nothing and 10 being extreme a person should listen to their body and stop at a 4-5.

2. Be still- be in the present. Yin yoga can be very emotional, and a person should not resist the feelings.

3. Hold the pose- Yin yoga poses can be held from 1-10 minutes. Use props and get comfy.

Yin is very passive and comes from Hatha Yoga and the blend of Taoism and (TCM) Traditional Chinese Medicine. Yin focuses on the 12 Main Meridians, 6 upper and 6 lower ( Lungs, heart, large intestine, small intestine, stomach, spleen, liver, kidney, gall bladder, bladder, pericardium, and all over Meridian.

Some health benefits of Yin are found in the hips, lower back, sciatica, and more!

Yin Yoga for the hips can improve mobility, strengthening the connective tissue, and lubricating these tight areas. Yin yoga for anxiety work s because of the deep meditative state that allows you to sit with yourself and be comfortable with yourself.

Yin yoga is a restorative type of yoga, but not Restorative Yoga. Confused? The main difference between Restorative Yoga and Yin Yoga is that #1 principle. In Restorative Yoga you should be at a 1 feeling little to nothing. Also, I would not describe Yin as gentle. This is a very individual practice and depending on your meditative state the poses may be intense.

So, back to my first class and why I hated it. Honestly, it was because of #2 and #3. I had never held poses that long and been still. What? Yoga is supposed to be active! Well, not Yin. Yin is passive. I wasn't even meditating yet, so I knew nothing about being still and clearing my mind. It is an awesome introduction to meditation and really becoming connected to your physical self. Yin Yoga has taught me how to find that edge and have the discipline to be still. I will always recommend this to anyone wanting to get into mediation and yoga.

I really struggled with #3. Holding the pose for extended amounts of time. I had to learn to sit in stillness and become Intune with my body. Have you ever tried it? Just focus on "how your body is feeling" "what you are feeling" "where you are feeling it" and/or "why am I feeling it". The time is a long time to be with yourself and I found myself wanting to break #2 and wiggle. After, more sessions I learned that past trauma and stressors are stored in our cells, joints, and tissues. It is very common in Yin Yoga to find that during the holding the pose the body wants to wiggle out of uncomfortable tensions. These uncomfortable tensions that may start releasing can bring up a range of emotions from anger, sadness, regret, and such. Again this is why I strongly encourage anyone wanting to Mediate and do yoga, but doesn't know where to start, to start with Yin.

Yin Yoga should be done when the body is cold, not cold from the climate lol. Cold as in -no warm up or exercise before. This makes Yin Yoga the perfect Meditation partner first thing in the morning! Also, Yin Yoga is for all levels and is absolutely perfect for people who are active and need some passive to balance or are in need of a deep stretch i.e. runners, weight lifters, CrossFit, and dancers.

Interested in trying? We will be offering this 3 days a week but until we open Check out Yin Yoga on my Youtube channel You will need to turn the sound up. I recorded this while deployed. Enjoy and thanks for reading!

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