Yin Yoga has the same goals and objectives as any other school of yoga; however, it directs the stimulation normally created in the asana portion of the practice deeper than the superficial or muscular tissues (which we are calling the yang tissues). Yin Yoga targets the connective tissues, such as the ligaments, bones, and even the joints of the body that normally are not exercised very much in a more active style of asana practice.
Yin Yoga postures are mainly passive and are practiced on the floor. It is an unique style of Yoga, in that you are asked to relax in the posture, soften the muscle and move closer to the bone, thus offering a much deeper access to the body than other yang like yoga styles. Postures are held for long periods of time, 3, 5 or even 20 minutes. The time spent in these postures is a meditative practice.
Ying is a more meditative approach to Yoga with a physical focus much deeper than Yang like practices. The intent is to access the deeper tissues such as the connective tissue and fascia. Many of the postures focus on areas surrounding a joint (hips, sacrum, spine). As one ages flexibility in the joints decreases and Yin yoga is an incredibly effective way to maintain that flexibility.
This is an intimate practice, that requires students to be ready to get intimate with the self, with feelings, sensations, and emotions, something of which can be easily avoided in a fast paced yoga practice. Yin yoga is ideal to deal with addictions, eating disorders, anxiety and trauma. People with addictions usually struggle with being alone, sitting with feelings and sensations, but practicing exactly that, being in the moment in a supporting and loving environment, allows for healing.
Ying Yoga is the perfect balance for Yang Yoga (a more active practice) and for al kinds of athletes.
Some of the benefits of Yin yoga are:
- Calms and balances the mind and body
- Lowers of stress levels
- Greater stamina
- Regulates energy in the body
- Increases mobility, especially the joints and hips
- Protects the joins by improving lubrication.
- Creates More flexibility in joints & connective tissue
- Release of fascia throughout the body
- Improves your ability to sit in meditation for long periods of time.