Yin yoga is the practice of relaxing your muscles and settling in to yoga poses for several minutes at a time. The physical benefits can be a relief from achy, vague pain; joints that become more movable and supple and the body feeling energized. At the same time these longer held poses are wonderful to sink into the body and learn how to feel both physical and emotional changes in our body.
Our minds can benefit greatly when we use Yin Yoga as an awareness practice, learning to fill our bodies with gentle attention. We can become aware of tensions both physical and those created by our thoughts. Learning to embody our own flesh this way, benefits our ability to consciously live and take on the challenges of life.
We hold poses for longer than in many other yoga forms, because we are targeting our connective tissue, rather than building muscles. This means that we can relax in poses fully, while still finding our ‘edge’, where tension, a stretch or compression are clearly felt but don’t overwhelm us. Holding a pose this way for a longer period gives us the time to really experience the process of release, and learn to recognize tension where we never knew it could exist.