What is Yin Yoga?
Yin yoga is a slower moving yoga practice during which you will hold postures for a longer duration of time. Each pose may be held anywhere from 2-10 minutes. The style of Yin Yoga we offer at The Hot Yoga Spot comes from the teaching lineage of Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers.
Why is it called Yin Yoga?
Yin Yoga gets its name from the Chinese concept of yin and yang. Yin refers to things that are passive, negative, dark, earthy, watery, cloudy, cool, delicate and soft. Yang refers to things that are active, bright, sunny, hot, hard, dry, and rigid. Both qualities reside in everything however most things tend to be either more yin or more yang.
Why should I practice Yin Yoga?
Yin yoga is a lovely compliment for both the body and mind for those who tend to practice more yang (active) styles of yoga such as Vinyasa or Bikram. Our bodies need a balance of both yin and yang. Yin yoga specifically works to target the connective tissues (Fascia, ligaments, tendons) of the body to help increase circulation to the joints as well as increase flexibility. Holding each posture with only a moderate amount of sensation does this. Most people who practice yin yoga once or twice a week experience less stress in their body and are able to excel more efficiently during their other practices or workouts.
How do I practice Yin Yoga?
The instructor will guide you into each pose. Props may be used to help you find comfort. There are three main principles to adhere to during your yin practice.
1. Come into each pose and play the edge. Do not go too deeply into each pose or the body may start to unintentionally tighten up for safety. On an intensity scale of 1 to 10 we recommend staying around 2-5. Listen to your intuition.
2. Relax the muscles in the targeted area. You’re other connective tissues will not receive the full benefit if your muscles tense up when you’re holding the pose. The idea is to achieve a passive stretch.
3. Stay relatively still for the duration of the pose. For optimal results you want to do your best to avoid fidgeting or moving around unnecessarily. Safety obviously comes first. If you find yourself experiencing pain then it’s time to come out or modify. It could be an indicator that you went into the pose too deeply for what your body was ready for. Ask the instructor for modifications.
Sound like something you might be interested in? We highly recommend you give it a try. Come with a sense of patience and an open mind. Keep in mind it sometimes takes a few classes before you really start to feel the benefits and are able to fully embrace yin yoga into your weekly routine.
-Written by Aaron, a yoga instructor at The Hot Yoga Spot in Albany, Latham and East Greenbush. Aaron teaches yin yoga every Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
Check out our website to see when Yin is being offered next at The Hot Yoga Spot.