What exactly is Yin yoga – and why should you practice it?

Yin yoga is a unique style of yoga that works your body and mind in a totally different way from other classes. Find out why you should try it out!

What exactly is Yin yoga?

In a general flow yoga class, we target our muscles. Yin yoga goes deeper to target deep connective tissue in the body including ligaments, bones, and joints.

As opposed to a more active flow class, yin yoga involves passive stretching – most of which happens on the floor (woo!). Yin yoga encourages you completely relax in the pose, softening the muscle in order to move closer to the bone. In this way, it offers deeper access to our bodies than we can normally access in a more yang style practice, like a Vinyasa flow class.

Yin yoga sometimes has a reputation for being ‘easy’ or ‘boring’ – totally not the case! Once you start practicing you’ll realise how challenging slow, deep, mindful movement can be, and how much you learn about yourself and your body in the process.

What can I expect in a Yin yoga class?

In a Yin class, we usually hold poses for 3-5 minutes at a time, and it tends to be quite a meditative practice. When we practice Yin yoga, we’re trying to access the deeper tissues of the body, and many Yin yoga poses focus on areas like the hips, sacrum, and spine. It’s important to note that Yin yoga isn’t the same as restorative yoga, and can be quite intense physically. Be sure to tell your teacher about any recent injuries so that they can offer you some modifications.

What are the benefits of Yin yoga?

Mentally, Yin yoga is a great way to grow your meditation practice. Without the constant distraction of movement that we can come to rely on in a more yang/flow practice, Yin forces us – gently – to slow down and go inward. Learning to be comfortable in stillness is a hugely important skill, and one that is easy to let slide in this world of near-constant stimulation and distraction that we live in.

Physically, Yin is an amazing way to maintain flexibility and mobility in our joints, which is especially important as we age, or if we play a lot of sports that tighten our muscles.

Where and when can I practice Yin yoga?

Funny you should ask! YogaHub has lots of Yin classes taking place throughout the week. You can check out the timetable here. And keep an eye out for Yin workshops, which we offer regularly. Our workshop schedule is here.

We hope this has helped shed some light on this lovely style of yoga! It’s definitely worth trying out a class or two to see if it’s something that you’d like to add into your regular practice 🙂

Sarah

Author Sarah

Sarah is a vinyasa yoga teacher and wellness writer based in Dublin, Ireland. Yoga is her true love, the thing that she is called to share with the world. She has also always had a passion for writing, and loves nothing more than combining the two things that set her soul on fire and writing about yoga! You can follow her on Instagram at @thesmilingyogi_ for lots more posts about yoga, wellness, and happiness :)

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