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Yin Yoga 101 Secrets Uncovered- Unlock Deep Relaxation that you really don't want to miss

Updated: Sep 26, 2022

<img src="meditation-graphic.jpg" alt="woman meditating in front of a yinyang symbol." title="It's all about balance">
Yin Yang symbol with an illustrated lady sitting in meditation

The Yoga Practice You Might be Missing- Yin Yoga Secrets Revealed

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As with anything that we do regularly, yoga can become routine. And while this is great for building strength and conditioning our bodies, it can also mean that we begin to overlook things in the practice that make it special. In this case, that element is yin yoga. Yin yoga may seem like just another form of vinyasa or hot yogic class — but it’s so much more than that. It’s a slow-paced type of yoga that focuses on poses held for extended durations to lengthen and stretch the muscles in the body. Now, if you’ve ever taken a vinyasa class, you know how taxing these fast-paced practices can be — which means adding yin yoga into your routine makes perfect sense! Let’s take a look at why you should be practicing yin yoga!

Yin Yoga Helps you Recover Faster

If you’re someone who practices fast-paced forms of yoga regularly and are looking to add yin yoga to your routine, then this is a great benefit of the practice! You’ll note that the yin poses are much longer than their vinyasa counterpart — which means that you’ll be able to recover much more easily from your fast-paced practices. You may even notice that you don’t experience as much muscle soreness after a yin practice then after vinyasa practice. This is because yin yoga works to release lactic acid and other toxins from your muscles — allowing you to recover much more quickly than if you were to engage in vinyasa practices. And the best part is that you can reap the benefits of yin yoga even if you’re a beginner! So even if you’re someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey, you can still benefit from the calming and restorative properties of yin yoga.

It’s good for your joints.

One of the biggest benefits of yin yoga is that it’s great for your joints. Now, what do we mean by this? Well, as you age, your joints begin to slowly lose the ability to move the way that they once did — this is what we refer to as arthritis. And while we can’t undo the effects of aging, we can take active steps in our lives to help slow down or even stop the progression of arthritis. And practicing yin yoga is a great way to do just that! While vinyasa yoga is a great way to strengthen and build muscle, it’s also a very taxing practice on your

<img src="twisted fist hand.png" alt="a hand pointing and the arm is twisted like a pretzel>

joints — which is why yin yoga is such a great alternative. If you’re someone who regularly practices vinyasa yoga and is looking to add yin yoga to your routine, then you’ll note that yin poses are very slow and calm — which means that it’s a gentle practice for your joints. With this type of yoga, you won’t feel pressured to push yourself to your physical limits — which means that you don’t have to worry about injuring yourself or your joints!

It strengthens your muscles.

Another great benefit of yin yoga is that it strengthens your muscles. Now, this may seem like a contradiction to what we said above, but it’s true! While it isn't even close to lift weights, it can release chronic tension, increase blood flow and nerve impulses to the muscles, and promote balance within the body. These things add up and together cultivate calm, flexible yet resilient muscles. Connective tissue wraps around the body but is also found embedded throughout the muscles and even to bone, and the long holds of yin yoga allow the body to

recover faster. And the best part is that you can enjoy these benefits no matter how old you are! While yoga is often practiced for its benefits to flexibility, this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have other benefits as well. If you’re someone who is looking to build muscle and strength, then yin yoga is a great post exercise practice that can speed up your recovery time dramatically!

It helps you become more flexible.

Another great benefit of yin yoga is that it helps you become more flexible. Now, you may be thinking, “how can holding a pose for such a short period of time help my flexibility?” To understand this, we first have to talk about the connective tissues in your body — they’re responsible for connecting your muscles to the rest of your organs, bones, and skin. When you’re in a yin pose, you’ll be actively stretching and lengthening these connective tissues — which means that you’ll also be gaining flexibility. Now, you aren’t going to be able to magically become a contortionist overnight — but you should see an improvement over time if you stick with your practice!

“The essence of yin is yielding. Yang is about changing the world; yin accepts the world as it is. Neither is better than the other. There are indeed times when it is appropriate and even necessary to change the world; other times, it is best to just allow things to unfold. Part of the yin practice is learning this yielding.”


How to Practice Yin Yoga

Now that you know all about the benefits of yin yoga, you may be wondering what a yin pose looks like. Well, we’re going to break down some of the most popular yin yoga poses and tell you how they can benefit you! The Seated Twist is a great pose for improving spinal flexibility and reducing lower back pain. Caterpillar is a rejuvenating yin yoga pose that is great for improving blood and lymphatic flow, as well as increasing flexibility in the hamstrings and calves. Butterfly is great for improving flexibility in your hips and legs — which is especially useful for those who spend a lot of time sitting! The Dragonfly is great for opening up your hips and increasing flexibility in your lower back. Savasana is a restorative pose that is great for anyone looking to de-stress their bodies and minds!

Where can you find yin yoga classes?

If you’ve followed all of the advice in this article and have decided that yin yoga is the right practice for you, then you’re in luck! If you are located in South Jersey and would like to try a yin yoga session, email me to schedule a class. I teach yin at Lavender Koi Yoga in Berlin, NJ for more information and class schedules go to Yin yoga is starting to become popular so you can probably find yin yoga classes at many yoga studios and gyms (I wouldn't count on seeing yin in a gym setting but it could happen!), as well as through online yoga websites and apps. Remember to listen to your body! Some people see the slow tempo of yin yoga and assume that they can teach it without the proper training, but that is just wrong. Because yin yoga focuses on the fascia and tissue around the joints, improper practice of yin can quickly lead to injury. And if you’re looking for a class led by a special instructor, you can always do a quick Google search for yin yoga teachers in your area. There’s no reason to wait to start practicing yin yoga — so get out there and find a class today!

To practice yin yoga you just need to have a yoga mat, a pair of yoga blocks, a blanket, and, of course, a water bottle. The blocks help to support the body in order to release the muscles faster and safer.

The Yin Yoga Starter Pack

<img src="savasana_blkwht" alt="corpse pose. Lay flat on your back. very relaxing" title="Savasana for rejuvenation">
Savasana aka "Final resting pose" The best part of any Yoga practice!

Final thoughts

Yin yoga is a great way to slow down and calm yourself both physically and mentally. And when you combine this with the health benefits of yin yoga, it becomes clear why yin yoga is such a special practice. Whether you’re someone who regularly practices vinyasa yoga or is just getting into yoga, yin yoga is a great addition to your routine. And with all of the benefits that yin yoga has to offer, there is no reason not to add it to your routine!

Check out my Yin yoga mash up to get a peek at what a yin yoga practice looks like. The video is sped up because we have short attention spans these days, but I wanted to show people this amazing practice. If you like the video, subscribe to my channel for more yin yoga content.

**Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products, tools, services and learning resources I’ve personally used and believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can’t afford or that you’re not yet ready to implement.

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