If you’re like me, you’d love to meditate and do yoga each day, but don’t have the time. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE doing yoga. It’s one of the few types of exercise that I thoroughly enjoy. (I’ve never been real big on fitness) Doing yoga and meditation has become a form of guilty pleasure for me, as I rarely have time to work them into my schedule.
That’s why I was so excited when I discovered
What is Yin Yoga
Yin Yoga is not as well known, in western cultures, as the far more popular Hatha Yoga. Yin Yoga is a slower paced form of yoga, which targets deep connective tissues of the body. (1) The postures in Yin Yoga are performed largely on the floor, with fewer postures than other types of yoga. Unlike other forms of yoga, where poses are held for only seconds, poses in Yin Yoga are held for 3 to 5 minutes at a time, and sometimes up to 20 minutes. Yin Yoga is the opposite of other forms of active yoga, that are considered “yang” yoga. (You’ve heard of the yin/yang symbol). Instead of pushing up, resisting and moving, (YANG) you are passive, relaxed and still (Yin).
Students are encouraged to meditate while holding the poses. Because of this, it’s considered a meditative form of yoga, and quite different than the more physical forms of yoga. Due to the meditative nature of Yin Yoga, students are often required to face themselves, their feelings and their emotions. Yin Yoga is often used in centers that deal with addictions, eating disorders, anxiety and deep pain or trauma. (1) If you have trouble meditating, or if you’re experiencing stress or anxiety, this is a wonderful place to begin.
Benefits of Yin Yoga (1. 2, 3)
- Calms the mind
- Balances the body
- Increased mobility in the body and joints
- Helps with migraines
- Increased circulation
- Helps teach meditation skills
- Releases tension and stress
- Can be done anywhere
- Improved flexibility
The 3 Principles of Yin Yoga (3)
- Find your edge – Because the poses are held for such long periods of time, it’s important to find a “comfortable” place. Don’t push yourself or go to your “maximum.
- Be still – Once you are in your pose, don’t fidget. Relax into the pose and stay still throughout the pose.
- Hold the pose – Work up to holding the pose for 5 or more minutes. Start with 1 – 3 minutes and go from there.
Philosophy and Practice of Yin Yoga
While this may not be a standard workout, leaving you sweaty and breathless, it’s giving you a different, deeper, more intimate type of work out. You’ll walk away with a calm, clear mind that has touched the soul.
Onto the routines!
Below, I’ve gathered just a few of the dozens available on youtube. If you don’t like the ones below, go to this search. It contains tons of workouts ranging in length from 15 mintues to 60 minutes. ENJOY! (I’d love to hear if you try it!)
Yin Yoga for Deep Relaxation – (30 minutes)
Morning Yin Yoga Class – Best Morning Stretches (30 minutes)
Yin Yoga Full Body Stretch ~ Flexibility & Relaxation (40 minutes)