Have you tried yin yoga?
YIN SAY WHATTTT??? yeah, that's exactly what I said before giving it a serious try! It’s a style of yoga. But not the downward facing dog type of yoga.
It differs enormously from Vinyasa yet is the perfect complement! The yin way is to hold a pose under reasonable, non-maximum stress for long periods of time. In the classes I’ve taken, it's typically three to five minutes per stretch AKA pose.
I try and do this practice at my local studio 1-2 times a week at night, preferably when the day is done and my mind is spent.
I also prefer to be in a HEATED studio. A really great thing about this practice is that you can totally do it at home once you've mastered the moves.
3 reasons why I’m obsessed:
1. It increases your flexibility.
Yin yoga stretches and targets both the deep connective tissues between the muscles and the fascia throughout the body. The aim is to increase circulation in the joints and improve flexibility as the poses stretch and exercise the bone and joint areas.
It also helps us to regulate the body’s flow of energy. All the poses are very “lengthening” which I’m a big fan of! You'll walk out feeling taller.
2. It's forced meditation (LOL.. but really)
It’s kind of like meditation for beginners.
I call this “slowing down to speed up” …. Get ready to get intimate with your feelings, sensations, and emotions—something that can perhaps be ignored during a faster-paced class.
Especially if you're like me, just trying not to fall over.. ha!
When we begin to practice Yin, we learn to listen to our bodies, slowing everything down.
We learn to recognize our thoughts, to see them coming in and out of our mind, and to experience and digest them, instead of having them race through our mind like an escaped rollercoaster.
This in turn increases our ability to be in the present moment and practice gratitude, slowly bringing us closer to our authentic self. I sometimes wish I had a notebook with me because I typically think of my greatest ideas in Yin. I will often times grab my cell phone after class and immediately take notes if any great ideas came to me.
3. It melts your stress away + gives you a fabulous afterglow.
If you are anything like me you are constantly on your phone. We have a million different requests from other people being thrown at us all ALL TIMES!
We live in a world of deadlines and appointments, craziness and social media, anxiety, and stress.
What better way to switch it all off than to sit still in poses anywhere from three to ten minutes? By doing Yin, you are giving yourself plenty of time to do nothing other than ‘just breathe.’
It is a truly perfect way to find space, to slow your mind down, and to be guided deeper into your practice.
Have you practiced Yin yoga before? What is your favorite thing about this particular yoga practice? Share your thoughts with me in the comments!