A Beginner’s Guide to Yin Yoga
During a self-care routine, your mind and body are top priority. Maybe you’re still getting used to prioritizing these two or you’re a long-time veteran. Wherever you are in your journey, I’m sure you’ve heard of all the benefits of yoga. Maybe you’ve even tried yoga before!
A healthy body supports a healthy mind and vice-versa. Yoga is quintessential to this because it focuses on both simultaneously. Focused breathing, slow, mindful movements, everything you need to connect back in with yourself.
Who is Yin Yoga For?
Yoga is great for people who may not have mastered meditation just yet. It helps you train yourself to focus on you without having to completely remain still. This was a huge help for me when I was first starting out on my journey. I couldn’t sit still for nobody. Yoga helped disguise the stillness with difficult positions and a lot of perspiration.
There are plenty of different types of yoga out there. Maybe you tried a few and it just didn’t click, or maybe you weren’t ready for the intensity of the practice. Even if you’re new to yoga or ready to dabble, yin yoga may be up your alley.
Personal Experience with Yin Yoga
Although I currently practice a few types of yoga, I find myself always making time for yin yoga somewhere in my day. It was my first style of yoga I ever tried and I continue to use it daily! My body responds to it better, and the fact that it’s helping the support-team of the body compounds it’s benefits for days on end.
When I first started, I felt relief for days in my joints after my first few practices. I can’t even begin to tell you how much this practice has impacted me. For someone with rickety joints, this practice was a game-changer for me.
In this article, you’ll find an introduction to yin yoga, detailed differences between this and other types of yoga, and some fantastic sets to get you started!
Before starting any new stretching or physical exercise routine, consult with your primary care doctor to make sure you are able and cleared!
If you’re new to self-care, check out How to Start a Self-Care Routine, where there's actionable steps to implement now to start you off on the right foot of your wellness journey! Self-care may be completely different from your normal routine, but this new routine will give you immediate benefits! Mentally and physically, self-care has been proven time and time again as to how influential a simple change in routine can be.
Already have a solid self-care routine? Check out the Self-Care tag. Here you will find activities and guidance to add to your routine as your needs change along your journey!
Looking to live more intentionally? Take a look at the Intentional Livingtag! Here you will find guides on how to be more mindful, as well as how to build a solid, healthy mindset.
What is Yin Yoga?
Yin yoga is a style of yoga which focuses on the supportive framework of your body. These include tendons, joints, connective tissue, everything that helps support your muscle groups.
According to The American Physiological Society, joints and connective tissue contribute 47% of your ability to move freely and attain flexibility, while your muscles and fascia contributed only 41%! In other words, if you only focus on the muscles we all know and love, we’re only 41% to where we could be.
When you are practicing, each position, or asana, is held for longer periods of time, compared to other yoga practices. Some poses can last as long as 20 minutes! This focus on each position let’s the supportive soft tissue groups settle into place without actively stretching, as you would in other practices.
While your big muscle groups are relaxed, your joints and connective tissue breathe and release, creating the most ease not easily found in any other style of yoga.
What are the benefits of Yin Yoga?
Anytime you work on the support structure of your body, you’ll notice a difference in your movement, your breathing, and other aspects associated with it. Usually when we just stretch a group of muscles, the benefits linger around those muscle groups.
Yin Yoga really benefits people who may not have the ability to dive into full-blown yoga or may find it to be a bit too intense for what you’re looking for. With Yin Yoga being assisted, low-impact stretching, you’re able to engage without a lot of movement.
This practice focuses in on breathing and will help with your meditation practice! Haven’t dove into your meditation practice yet? Yin Yoga is a great way to add it into your routine. With this inward thinking, you’ll be able to access where you’re feeling your tension and creating that white space to just breathe.
With subtle movements, lengthy holds, you'll be able to become comfortable with the stillness, while still allowing your body to stretch. This is perfect for you if you're still holding back on starting a meditation practice!
Beginner Poses & Sequences
With any self-care routine, your body is just as important as your mind. Yin Yoga encompasses both of these so you can feel your best.
Exercise is the hardest self-care to implement, but I know you can accomplish this. This low-impact body work is perfect for your downtime and can fit into any schedule. When I first started, I was not into any physical activity, at all. That sounds horrible, but it was the truth!
With this type of body care, I felt comfortable and not rushed through a routine where I did more harm than good.
If you're ready to start your yin yoga practice, here are some great articles and videos that I used when I first started! Super easy, and a great way to start taking care of yourself.