What is yin yoga
Mindful Living

Why I Love Yin Yoga and What are the Health Benefits

What is Yin yoga and how can it help you, compared to other yoga.

Yin yoga is a quiet contemplative practice, which works deeply into the body with passive, longer-held poses. It targets the deepest tissues of the body, connective tissues, ligaments, joints, bones and the deep fascia networks of the body and meridians.

This is in stark contrast compared to more yang focused yoga practices such as Vinyasa (hot and power yoga) which targets the muscles.

For the last few years, Yin yoga has started to gain popular momentum in the western world, as a practice that not only works to help tone the body, but rather help people deal with stress and anxiety.

It goes without saying most exercise routine, whether that be Pilates, HIIT or another form of running or weight, all still do play their part in helping someone deal with the stresses that come with life. However, Yin yoga (and most yoga practices to be honest) help you on a more spiritual level, unlike any other form which of exercise, as yoga alone itself helps to bring awareness to your body, your space and the space that surrounds you.

Because of the restorative and calming effects Yin yoga provides for the body, it has become a popular choice of yoga for both yogis and beginners as it helps you balance the body and the mind.

As previously mentioned, unlike more active forms of yoga, which focus on building strength and flexibility through dynamic movements, Yin yoga involves holding gentle poses for longer periods of time, often up to several minutes at a time.

This practice has several benefits for the body and mind, including increased flexibility, reduced stress and anxiety, and improved overall well-being.

One of the key benefits of Yin yoga is its ability to increase flexibility and range of motion. Because the poses are held for longer periods of time, they allow the muscles to slowly stretch and release tension, which can help to improve flexibility over time. 

This is particularly beneficial for people who may be experiencing stiffness or discomfort in their joints, such as those with arthritis or other mobility issues.

Yin yoga can also have a significant impact on mental health and well-being., and there have been several studies to back this claim also.  

The practice is known for its calming and meditative effects, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety. 

The slow, deliberate movements and focus on breath work can also promote mindfulness and relaxation, helping to reduce feelings of tension and anxiety.

Another benefit of Yin yoga is its ability to improve circulation and promote healthy digestion. 

By design, the slow, gentle movements of Yin yoga, can help to stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body, which can help to improve overall health and well-being. This can in-turn then also help to stimulate the digestive system, which aids in the elimination of toxins in the body and promote healthy digestion.

For me, Yin yoga is a great way to relieve tension and pain in the body.

The gentle, sustained stretches can help to release tight muscles and alleviate chronic pain, particularly in areas such as the hips, lower back, and shoulders. This is especially beneficial for a lot of chronic pain and tension I deal with daily from stress, injury, and other underlying health issues I have.

There is nothing more soothing after a Yin yoga practice to know you have massaged your deep tissues and organs. 

So, how do you know a Yin yoga class has worked?

Well (and I apologise in advance for the graphic details here), after a class, I need the toilet (number one) and I you won’t believe the amount of fluid that comes out. That doesn’t mean that you will get the same response. But if you are open to speaking to a few people after class to see how they went afterwards, I guarantee most will have the same response.

This is because you are essentially wringing out your organs and cleansing them for any excess waste, toxins, and built-up fluid, so after a class it is ready to come out. And the feeling afterwards is incredibly cleansing. 

My body always feels strong and revitalised after a Yin yoga class compared to other fitness class, and even after other styled yoga classes, like Hatha. This is because the stretches we hold are usually held for anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes. So, your muscles get a deep release, which is so great after a stressful week, and sitting at a computer nearly every day.

My body feels stretched, relaxed, renewed and my skin even looks flushed and fresh, as the toxins have now been removed from my body after the deep class.

Now, don’t be turned off by the idea poses in this class are held for a long time. Most poses are held on the ground on your mat, so they are easy to relax into, after you have got through the first few minutes of discomfort. And you will find most of that discomfort comes from your mind, not from your body, as you must teach yourself to be quiet and teach your body to stop and be still whilst awake.

This is particularly hard when we are all running at 100 miles an hr every day, with our heads up in the air – right? Admit it, we are all guilty of that.

Once you can get through that mental discomfort, the deep stretches are easy to manage, and you will find them uber relaxing to hold and will feel great afterwards.

And just an FYI: If you are a beginning to Yin Yoga, most beginner classes will only have you hold the poses for 5 minutes, to help you master the concept of keeping still.

I am a freelance writer and content creator who designs website and manages social media. I also write travel and beauty for www.renaesworld.com.au, and a weekly beauty column for www.bondibeauty.com.au whilst managing my own personal travel and lifestyle blog at www.my-life-journal.com

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