Reasons to Practice Yin Yoga
There are soooooo many reasons to practice Yin Yoga, it was honestly difficult for me to narrow down a list to just 5. But I wanted to keep this manageable so I did my best! There are many types of yoga, and many different benefits, but for now we’ll focus on Yin Yoga. So in this blog post, we’ll review 5 reasons to practice Yin Yoga in particular.
Reason #1: Relaxation
Pausing in a pose and focusing on the present moment helps engage our relaxation response. This is the opposite of the realm of “Fight or Flight” which we tend to spend too much time in, overwhelmed by obligations, external stimuli, and not enough time resting or sleeping.
To combat Fight or Flight, we want to engage the parasympathetic nervous system, or our “Rest and Digest” mode. In Yin Yoga, we allow ourselves time and space to do this. We have the opportunity to slow down and quiet our mind as we let ourselves melt into each Yin pose.
Staying still for longer periods of time (generally speaking, 3-5 minutes), can be challenging for some people. But that’s just one more reason to give it a try. Learn to be still and reap the rewards of the practice.
Reason #2: Flexibility
“I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible enough.”
This, my dear friend, is a fallacy. How do you think stretchy people got stretchy in the first place? Okay, sure, there are some super-duper flexible people out there who can magically touch their toes to the back of their head (or whatever), but the rest of us get and stay flexibly by practicing it.
It’s not about looking like someone else, it’s about how each pose feels to YOU. It’s about practicing for the benefit of, and within the abilities of, your own body.
Yin Yoga targets the joints and connective tissues of your body, so you feel more open and less tight. If you can get down on the floor, you can practice Yin – especially with props which will make you even more comfortable.
Reason #3: Focus
Focus is a fantastic reason to practice Yin Yoga! Finding stillness in each pose and focusing on your breath can have many benefits to your physical and emotional wellbeing. And yes, it can even sharpen your focus. The practice of Yin can leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed, ready to stay centered, grounded, and… focused.
However there’s another definition of focus we could focus on (see what I did there?). The focus of Yin Yoga isn’t on muscles and movement, like most other yoga practices. The focus of Yin is on connective tissue, including fascia, tendons and ligaments. How unique is that! Take a class with a different focus.
Reason #4: Breath
Deep breath in, deep breath out. Sounds relaxing, right? It is! But sometimes in a Yin Yoga class, we need to learn to breathe in whatever shape we’re in, even if it’s a little restrictive – like when we do a twist or a fold.
Whatever pose you’re in, find stillness, comfort, and let your breath be whatever it needs to be in that moment. Maybe that’s the greatest gift/lesson/challenge of all… and also the most rewarding.
Reason #5: Stability
Yes, Yin Yoga helps with stability! Maybe not in the more conventional way that a traditional hatha or vinyasa practice might, but it helps nonetheless. Strengthen connective tissue and joints through Yin poses, and stay steady on your feet. Be strong like a mountain and flow like a river!
Also… Yin can help you feel stable in your emotional world. Breathe in, breathe out, go with the Yin flow. I think you’ll agree we could all use more of that.
To experience Yin Yoga awesomeness, sign up for my 4-class seasonal series! The next one starts January 16th 2022, but they’ll be offered throughout the year so be sure to sign up for my mailing list to be notified and receive special discounts.