You may have heard of Vinyasa Yoga, Flow Yoga, Hot Yoga and Hatha Yoga… maybe you’ve even tried these styles of Yoga before?! But what is Yin Yoga? Why is it gaining so much popularity?! Great questions, we’re excited to answer them and get you feeling inspired to try Yin Yoga (there’s a full length class for you below!).
Trust us when we say, that you might just fall in love with this type of movement and how it makes you feel.
What is Yin Yoga?
Yin Yoga is one of the most passive approaches to Yoga in which you perform the majority of the poses seated on the floor or completely lying down. All of the poses are held for longer periods of time; sometimes from three to five minutes. In some cases, poses are held even up to twenty minutes. This might seem a bit excessive, but almost everyone who tries Yin Yoga changes their mind about it.
Yin Yoga targets our connective tissues and ligaments with the aim of lubricating and therefore protecting our joints. Yin Yoga is special and unique because it targets areas of the body that are often not reached with different Yoga styles or other fitness or workout regimes.
The yogi practicing Yin Yoga will benefit both the mind and the body since Yin Yoga is a more meditative form of Yoga. In fact, if you are keen to start meditating but find the idea of sitting still for 20 minutes near impossible, we would say that Yin Yoga is the perfect gateway to meditation.
Before your first Yin Yoga class, you should know that holding poses for extended periods of time can cause a bit of discomfort in the beginning, especially during the first few classes you will take. Nevertheless, Yin Yoga teaches you how to breathe through the discomfort and unease. This action builds resilience, strength and focus. Strengthening your ability to work through difficult situations, like the discomfort within a Yin Yoga class, improves your inner strength and centers you as a person. Everything you learn on the mat, you can walk off the mat too.
Health Benefits of Yin Yoga
There are several physical health benefits to practicing Yin Yoga, but there are plenty of mental health ones as well. As previously mentioned, due to its meditative nature, Yin Yoga is beneficial for both the body and the mind.
Here are some of the fantastic benefits of Yin Yoga you might experience:
- Lubrication and protection of joints.
- The relaxation of muscles provides more profound access to the body.
- It regulates energy in the body.
- Calming and balancing for the mind.
- Stress reduction and ability to release anxiety.
- Improves flexibility.
- Release of fascia throughout the body.
Yin Yoga Increases Bone Density!
Perhaps the most exciting and amazing benefit of Yin Yoga is the fact that it can increase bone density. The way that the bones are pulled apart from the long hold stretches puts a healthy stress load on the bones. This healthy stress can increase new bone build up. This is really important at all ages but especially important to take note of as we age.
As we age, it is normal for bones to become more brittle, some people suffer from conditions like Osteoperosis, so adding a weekly Yin Yoga practice is beneficial for overall longevity of your amazing body.
Read this from o2Active:
“This healthy stress loading caused by weight bearing is essential for increasing bone mass as it leads to increased osteoblast activity which is responsible for the deposit of new bone build-up to the outer surface of the existing bone structure (Ring, 2017). Therefore, participating in Yin Yoga can encourage an increase in bone mass which in turn helps reduce the likelihood of fractures.”
Who Should Try Yin Yoga?
Many people nowadays live stressful and fast-paced, active lives, and their workouts always seem to match. Whether it’s jogging, soul cycling, or grinding our teeth through an intensive Ashtanga Yoga class, our workout classes are usually pretty hard-core.
When we spoke to our friend Emily who is also a trained Naturopath she mentioned that one of the most common issues with her clients is an overload of stress. So adding a high-intensity workout to an already stressed-out state is not really a great idea all the time.
She agrees that Yin Yoga on the other hand can be a practice that counteracts this stress. It’s a slower, more meditative way to move.
So, the short answer is everyone! Everyone should try Yin Yoga just once, but those who like winding down after a long, stressful day at work with a slow, steady, and relaxing workout are in for a treat (wait, doesn’t everyone want that?!).
It’s really obvious in the MerryBody App Community that our members LOVE Yin. We schedule it every Sunday for a bliss out session to end the week. It’s this perfect way to wind down the week that was and set yourself up for a calm, grounded and productive week ahead.
Now you’ve read about Yin Yoga, no doubt you are wanting to try a class!
Here’s free Yin Yoga Class to try from the MerryBody App called Love Your Liver Yin.
It’s a 35 minutes of liver loving class of goodness. During this class you will compress, stretch and twist your Liver Meridian. You will balance your Liver Meridian which in turn will help regulate the energy of your mind and body. *Meridians are invisible rivers of energy within the body. Chi (Qi) or Prana energy flows along these Meridians, connecting all organs similar to the blood vessel system.
Once you’ve done the class, let us know, how did you go? We’d love to hear from you.
Otherwise, if you’re looking for another class to try, then why not try this Slow Flow Yoga class, it’s perfect for desk workers!
Emma + Carla