Yin Yoga is gaining popularity in today’s yoga studios.
So what is it about, who is it for, and most importantly, why practice Yin Yoga?
In this article, I’ll offer 5 top-tier benefits of this slow and mindful practice.
We’ll talk about why your belly will love Yin, how Yin can help you become a better ‘feeler,’ and how just 10 minutes of practice a day can unravel tension from life’s hustle and bustle!
Here’s a story to begin.
It’s Tuesday afternoon and I’ve been sitting at my laptop all day so far.
The coffee I began the day with has long since left my system, leaving me agitated and low energy.
I feel like I’m craving something, but I’m not sure what: some chocolate? A nap? A hug?
My mind is filled with ideas for ‘moving things forward,’ things I ‘must get done’ before the weekend, and traces of last night’s vivid dreams still linger, leaving a taste of something I can’t quite put my finger on in my mind.
I take a deeper breath, recognizing that my breaths have become shallow and my chest collapsed.
Instead of reaching for something, trying for more, and staying stuck in what’s been going on, I decide to ask: what is the most loving thing I can offer myself right now?
The answer? Yin Yoga.
When I am depleted, frazzled, or just generally ungrounded and not here, the answer is almost always Yin Yoga.
Yoga is a holistic science that touches all aspects of our experience: physical health and stamina, mental and emotional balance, energetic vitality, and spiritual fulfillment.
Yoga is far more than physical postures… in fact, it’s far more than any of its popular and powerful techniques for breathing, moving, and meditating. There is this whole side to yoga — the yin side — that has a special way of clearing the body-mind and welcoming one back into the stillness of now, where all inspiration and nourishment are found.
Yin Yoga is a slow-paced, long-hold practice of postures. It’s meditative and passive, nourishing and inspiring. We can hold Yin Yoga poses for 1 minute and sometimes up to 20 minutes at a time! Almost all of the postures keep the body close to the ground, for a supported and grounded approach to working the tissues, joints and fascia. Yin Yoga is known to help increase circulation, restore energy flow, and enhance inner calm.
As a whole, Yin is a way of being in the world. It’s a slow, spacious, and friendly approach to life.
Yin Yoga is both a path to take and an experience to behold. It’s both a way to increase our longevity and enjoy the moment that’s here now. It both fulfills our needs and clears away cravings. It’s both a means for cultivating self-love and expanding our love to include all others. It’s both personal and universal, effortless and disciplinary.
Yin Yoga is you — it’s your quiet and contented side. It’s how you perceive the world when everything falls away and the waves on the surface still. It’s how you move through the world when you recognize that time is all that you truly have, and with time and trust, it all unfolds just as it should.
Below are 6 main benefits of Yin Yoga.
From body to spirit, Yin continually graces me through and through. But don’t take my word for any of this! The benefits listed below have been my personal experience with the practice, and are by no means the only benefits nor the guaranteed results. You’ll have to try the practice and see for yourself whether Yin Yoga can uplift your life the way it has mine (and countless others).
Benefit #1: Yin Yoga Can Enhance Blood Flow & Overall Health
Yin Yoga is a slow-paced, simple practice, but that does not make it an easy practice.
Holding postures for a sustained amount of time ‘stresses’ the body’s tissues; when done properly, this focused ‘stress’ enhances the strength and resilience of the tissues, joints, and bones, bolstering their longevity. Because the postures gently squeeze joints and joint cartilage and smooth out areas of tension, Yin Yoga can enhance blood flow circulation, and allow natural revitalizing energies to wash through the body, assisting health and healing.
While feeding the flow of blood and energy, Yin Yoga can also support digestion, healthy menstrual flow, and other natural processes. Overall, this practice reduces the effect of negative stress on the body and can have a positive impact on our physical well-being.
Yin Yoga can enhance blood flow, reduce tension, and help regulate natural bodily processes.
Benefit #2: Yin Yoga Can Increase Mental & Emotional Clarity
The body and mind are intimately connected. When the body is tense, the mind is tense. When the mind is tense and cluttered, it makes feeling and experiencing our emotions much more confusing and overwhelming. But when the body is relaxed, the mind grows quiet, leaving more space to feel sensations, reflect, and understand.
Yin Yoga is a passive practice of allowing and acceptance. When you relax into a Yin Yoga posture, you become free to feel the flow of emotions as they come and as they go. As we consciously let go into this flow, we remember how to soften up and release the need for control in our daily lives. Life becomes more graceful, purposeful, and emotionally stimulating.
Yin Yoga helps us to relax, open up, and be in the flow of what is.
Benefit #3: Yin Yoga Can Balance Energy & Enhance Mood
Energetic balance is one of the key benefits of Yoga practices in general. Including a Yin Yoga practice with your more active, yang-style practices will mean that you are working and giving attention to different aspects of yourself: your effortful self, your relaxed self, and everything in between. Meeting all sides of yourself means finding your balance, and a balanced being is a happier one! Yin Yoga can help us to find the balance of slowness and receptivity that is needed to thrive in our daily lives.
Yin Yoga is known as the ‘lunar’ practice, which points to its potential to down-regulate the nervous system and help one prepare for states of rest or even sleep. Yin Yoga is calming, cooling, and collecting. This sort of receptive and nourishing practice could be an excellent balance to a fast-paced and ambitious lifestyle. Remember, there is no such thing as ‘bad’ or ‘good’ energy; there is only energy that is in balance or imbalanced. Yin reminds us that there is a time to receive amidst all of the doing. When our lives are hot and moving quickly, Yin Yoga can bring us back down to earth to cool our jets and refuel.
Yin Yoga can bring the balance of slowness to a fast-paced life.
Benefit #4: Yin Yoga Can Stimulate Your Creativity
From an energetic perspective, your creative center — the sacral center — is housed in the belly and pelvic region. Almost all of the Yin Yoga postures are focused in this region below the belly button, making it an ideal practice for those looking to feed their creative juices.
Yin Yoga invites us to step back and allow something to happen through us. It’s a passive practice of surrender and trust. This is the perfect practice for creative living and any creative act. Creative living means allowing life to flow through us as we feel, express and dance with the events of our day. It means learning to let go and trusting in our intuition, our inner knowing. When we step in rhythm with the creative way of life, and we relinquish our need for control, the most beautifully authentic expressions can move through us. Our creative center comes online and our whole life becomes a living, creative act. We blossom like flowers in the garden opening up to the spontaneous dance of life.
Yin Yoga stimulates the hips and belly — your creative center.
Benefit #5: Yin Yoga Can Offer Space to Find Spiritual Fulfillment
Yin Yoga (and all yoga practice) is just a tool, and the tool is designed to allow you to get to know yourself — your true self — in a deeper way. In Yoga philosophy, this is known as swadhyaya, or self-study.
When we are deep in our Yin Yoga posture, going inward, feeling the breath and the body, and noticing the mind, we are having an experience with ourselves. We have an experience in awareness, as awareness. And through experiences of inner connection like these, we begin to understand ourselves in a deeper way. Maybe we broaden our perspectives or learn to meet ourselves with compassion and acceptance. Maybe we begin to better understand our body, our needs, or the habits of our mind. Maybe we find clarity for our decisions or inner guidance and wisdom for our journey.
These inner experiences allow us to spiritually grow and become comfortable with who we are, just as we are. We realize that there is nothing to fix about ourselves, and our practice becomes something we do out of the love of meeting ourselves authentically, and in devotion to this life we’ve been gifted.
Yin Yoga gives us space to become aware of our true, inner self.
Try a 10 Minute Yin Yoga Practice!
From Our Free 21 Days of Yin Yoga Challenge
I hope you’ve found this list inspiring and helpful! And again, don’t take my word for any of this, see for yourself! You can get to know the Yin Yoga practice with our Free 21 Days of Yin Yoga Challenge on YouTube — perfect for beginners and all Yin-lovers! I’ll see you over there.