Yin yoga… everyone’s crazy about it… but it’s actually NOT that crazy! It’s so relaxing, sometimes it’s better than taking a nap. Which is WHY everyone loves it so much!
We all work hard every day. Going to work, exercising, keeping up with our friends and families, and hopefully a regular yoga practice! But sometimes we need a break, and we all deserve it!
The physical side of yoga has been popularized by yang-style disciplines such as vinyasa, power flow, and Ashtanga. But Yin yoga, codified by Paul Grilley, is a chance to slow down and get deep into some juicy poses while you just breathe it all out.
Not only that, but it helps restore your body’s energy and exercises your fascia, connective tissue, joints, ligaments, and tendons. Yang-style classes mostly work on the big bulky muscle groups, but in fact, almost 50% of our flexibility comes from our fascia… which we can only stretch through long and deep holds!
Yin yoga is characterized by holding restorative-type postures in seated or reclined positions for anywhere from 2-20 minutes (on the extreme side!). It also blends in Traditional Chinese Medicine theory of the meridians and elements to connect the postures to different organs and/or ailments in the body which can be quite healing for those who practice.
Give yourself a little yin love next time you feel you need to slow down and embrace the present moment.
My 3 Favorite Yin Poses
1. Square Pose
This is a stretch and release for the outer hip muscles. From a seated position, stack the shins so they are parallel with one on top of the other. Fold forward and hold for 3 minutes.
2. Melting Heart Pose
Come onto your hands and knees. Walk the hands forward so the head drops down to the floor. Breathe deeply into the chest and shoulders, as if your heart could melt into the earth. Hold for 2 minutes.
3. Shoelace Pose
Kneel on all fours and cross one knee in front of the other. Keep the knees squeezed tightly together and sit the hips back on the floor. Make sure both sitting bones are grounded. Fold forward and release the head downward. Breathe deeply into the hips here for 3 minutes.