One of the most common questions we’re asked is: what’s the difference between restorative Yin Yoga and vinyasa Yoga? Which Yoga style should I practise?! What are the benefits of Yin Yoga and what are the benefits of Vinyasa Yoga?! We’re going to get to all of that and more in this post, PLUS we will give you 2 classes to try, a Vinyasa Yoga class and a Yin Yoga class!
Many people who enter the world of Yoga (hello YOU!) and start practicing regularly find themselves drawn to either a more gentle restorative practice or a vigorous, active practice. This is entirely normal, as everyone tends to have their personal preference.
The Difference between Restorative Yin Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga
We’ve noticed that more active and energetic people tend to seek out Power Yoga or Vinyasa flow Yoga classes. These classes match their personality and nature: they are active, energetic, and fast-paced, which suits energetic yogis. On the other hand, people who are naturally more laid back and chill usually find their bodies instinctively drawn to a slower practice, such as a Yin yoga class or a Restorative yoga class.
The funny thing is… it might be that the overactive, forever busy person choosing the hot Yoga or Vinyasa flow might actually benefit MORE from adding in a Yin Yoga practice… and vice versa.
And then… if you are completely new to Yoga, you probably feel a little bit overwhelmed because you don’t know what you like or what you need! And that is a-ok. In order to make the right decision, let’s cover off the first question…
What is Vinyasa yoga?
Vinyasa Yoga is a more active and energetic Yoga practice that links one pose to the next one in a flow-like manner. During the Vinyasa Yoga class, you will use the breath to move from one pose into the next one. Every movement times with an inhalation or an exhalation, which allows the poses to become like a smooth dance by flowing together. Try out a class here…
Vinyasa classes usually start with a gentle warm-up that allows you to wake up your body and prepare your muscles. After that, the Yoga instructor will move into an invigorating sun salutation series, which will be followed by balances, seated poses, standing poses, backbends, twists and sometimes inversions.
Vinyasa classes end lying down with a full-body relaxation, this pose is called Savasana, which is the most magical part of this practice, as it allows you to reap all the benefits of the energetic and active physical training.
We teach this style of Yoga inside MerryBody and you can read more about Flow Yoga here… we will also be teaching this style of Yoga inside our 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training! So if you want to learn more about how to actually BECOME a Yoga Teacher, join the waitlist here!
BUT keep reading because well, we actually teach both styles inside MerryBody.
What is Yin yoga?
You could say that Yin Yoga is pretty much the opposite of Vinyasa yoga. It is a restorative style of Yoga in which the poses are practiced while sitting on the floor or completely lying down. In Yin Yoga, each pose is held for a period that is longer than usual 3-10 minutes per pose). Yin Yoga offers a much slower pace than other Yoga practices; it provides no flow, no rapid movement from one pose to the next. There are also no standing poses in Yin Yoga. You can expect a lot of deep forward bends, hip openers, twists, and shoulder openers in Yin Yoga.
The idea behind Yin Yoga is for each pose to allow your body to fully relax and release all of the tension you are holding in your muscles (and your mind!). Yin Yoga will allow the connective tissue around your tendons, muscles, and ligaments to relax, which will improve your circulation, agility, and flexibility. Try out a class here…
The extra wonderful thing is that when you breathe in and out through your nose during Yin Yoga, you will switch on your Parasympathetic Nervous System, this is the system that allows you to repair, restore and rejuvenate.
Yin Yoga is a meditative and mindful approach to Yoga, and it is an inward-focused practice.
We teach Yin Yoga inside MerryBody and if you ask ANY of our members they will tell you that Yin Yoga is one of their favourite kinds of practices.
So… Yin Yoga or Vinyasa Yoga?
Yin Yoga is not better than Vinyasa Yoga, and Vinyasa Yoga is not better than Yin Yoga; they are just different and used for different purposes.
Vinyasa Yoga is an active and energetic practice that may require some hard work and sometimes sweat. You will end a class like this feeling accomplished and grounded. You may also feel energised and inspired.
Yin Yoga is a relaxing, slow practice that will allow you to release your body and mind and wind out after a long, hard day. In this busy busy world and the with your never-ending to-do list, Yin Yoga can be a practice that helps you feel calm, centered and less stressed.
You do not have to choose between them. You can find the balance and practice Vinyasa Yoga when you feel like something energising and practice Yin Yoga when you want to relax and unwind.
We personally do both. At least 1 Vinyasa and 1 Yin per week. In between those classes we do about 4-5 Pilates sessions and beach walks.
For us, this is the ideal way to move our bodies. Inside MerryBody we ALSO combine our movement with the intention and mindset work of self-acceptance, self-confidence and joy. It really is a revolutionary way to move. It’s fitness… but different.
Once you’ve tried to 2 classes we’ve shared above, why not take your next step? That next step could be a free 7 day Trial of the MerryBody App, simply download the App, create an account, and begin today!
Of course if you’re not sure if it’s for you, then reach out and we can chat!
Emma + Carla