Yin Yoga is a less popular form of yoga, which is gradually in the phase of gaining popularity. Many people thought might have heard of it, have hardly any knowledge about what exactly Yin Yoga is. Yin Yoga poses target deep connective tissues of the body, which aids in regulating the flow of energy in our body. You might require quite a few warm-up sessions just to understand what impact do Yin Yoga asanas have on your body. The Yin Yoga postures are more of passive positions which offers more in-depth access to the body. Let us try to understand the various Yin Yoga postures.
What is Yin Yoga?
Yin Yoga poses can be considered as modern-day yoga in slow motion. In this yoga, the regular yogasanas are done at a slower pace with greater hold time. For beginners, the hold time could be 45 seconds to 2 minutes while for advanced level practitioners at the same time could go up to 5 minutes or even beyond.
History of Yin Yoga:
Yin yoga was begun in the late 1970s by martial art master Paulie Zink under the name Taoist Yoga. The Yin Yoga as taught by teachers Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers in America and Europe is, however, not the authentic Yin Yoga, but is a practice to complement more active forms of yoga. Only Master Zink’s approach under the name of Taoist Yoga includes a complete range of Yin and Yang Yoga.
Yin Yoga for Beginners:
The Yin yoga sequence is usually performed in a seated or lying down pose. While the many poses of this yoga might look at the regular ones, the major difference lies in the way it is approached. It does not involve your muscles! Take a look of yin yoga exercises for beginners.
Anahatasana: This is also known as the heart-melting pose. It will help to open the joints of your chest, shoulder, and upper and middle spine.
- Rest on your forearm support, and your knees have to be beneath the frontal hipbones.
- Place your hands forward, making sure that it is slightly wider than the shoulder-width distance.
- Keep your arms stretched out well, making way for your chest to fall towards the mat you are lying on.
- Place your forehead on the ground and breathe slowly for about 5 minutes.
Although they might not be the easiest to do, practice will definitely help you to overcome this challenge. Some of the most basic Yin yoga poses are listed below for you to try.
1. Dragonfly Pose:
This pose helps in decompressing the spine and energizes the liver meridian and clears the urinary bladder pathway. Here is this yin yoga workout.
To begin with the dragonfly pose, you must stand in the mountain pose first.
- Shift your right leg and bring the left in such a way that it crosses your right thigh.
- Bend forward and bring your palms towards the floor. Bend your right leg and twist your torso.
- Bring your elbows down and bring the left foot on to the shelf. Now bring the right thigh and the left upper arm to rest.
2. Seal Pose:
This pose compresses the lumbar spine, and hence, one with the back problem or shoulder or wrist injury must avoid doing this Yin yoga pose. This is not so difficult yin yoga positions.
- Sit on the mat and bring your knees to the side. Lift your legs so that they are as high as your chest.
- Now hold your ankles with your hands. Inhale and take a roll backward. Keep your head and neck off the mat.
- Exhale as you push your feet together. Inhale and roll upwards. Put your feet together another three times.
3. Saddle Pose:
This pose targets the quadriceps and mildly stimulates the rectus abdominis.
- You need to lie on the mat and gently bend both your legs inwards in such a way that they go behind your buttocks.
- Keep your eyes closed and your hands spread out.
- Now lift the hips higher and take heavy and deep breaths.
Do this exercise four to five times to get a good result.
[Read: Samadhi Yoga for Beginners]
4. Square Pose:
This is among the best Yin yoga for the spine.
This is easy to do and is the best Yin yoga poses, among many.
- Sit on the yoga mat with your spine straight.
- Rest your fingers on the floor on either side of the body. Bring your gaze to the space between your eyebrows.
- Hold for one minute and then release very slowly. Extend both your legs along the floor.
5. Child Pose:
The child pose is one of the simplest Yin yoga positions and has tremendous benefits.
- Kneel on the floor.
- Exhale and bring your torso between your thighs.
- Lay your hands on the floor and let your palms face the ground.
- Stay in this position for about thirty seconds to a minute or so and then repeat.
Remember to do this Yin yoga flow daily. This one is good for your spine.
6. Deer Pose:
The Deer pose is the easiest to do and has a large number of benefits. It gives your body a good stretch and improves your digestive system. However, while doing this pose, you can also rest and bring your head to the floor. It all depends upon your comfort level. This is among the best Yin yoga for shoulders.
- Fold your legs at the knee and twist your hips slightly, bringing the knees on to touching the floor, to the left.
- Your left knee should be on the floor and the right knee towards the inwards of the floor. Allow some distance between the knees and the thighs.
- Gently inhale now and raise your spine, while twisting the torso towards your left. When doing this, place your left hand behind you, on the floor.
- Bring your right hand to the left knee and push your body behind. Stretch the lower right side of the back.
- Remain in this pose for about a minute that will take about six breaths.
- Sit straight after you are done. Repeat the same with the right knee. When you do on the other side, increase your holding time, for at least 40 breaths.
7. Camel Pose:
- Sit on your knees and bring your hands to the back in such a way that your fingertips touch the soles of your feet.
- Put your head back and breathe.
This pose is the best for those who have hunched backs. It is the best Yin yoga for back pain.
8. Butterfly Pose:
- You must sit on the yoga mat with your spine straight and bring both your legs in a triangle position, in such a way that the soles of both your feet touch each other.
- Now bring both your legs and thighs up. Stay in this position for about thirty seconds and then repeat.
[Read: Benefits of Sadhana Yoga]
9. Squat Pose:
The squat pose has several health benefits, such as opening up the hips and providing strength to the ankles. It is the best Yin yoga for hips. All you need to do for this asanas yin yoga is
- Stand with your feet apart and then squat down, bringing both the arms in front of you, in a prayer-like position.
Yin Yoga Benefits:
Healing heart and mind at the same time, Yin yoga benefits are several and hence is widely practised by many people. It has a range of benefits to offer. These will give you some of the best reasons why you must do a Yin yoga workout.
- Your flexibility level will increase greatly. What the yoga does is, it will stretch your deep connective tissues, that is between the muscles and the fascia. It will target the tissues of the entire body, thus increasing the circulation to the joints and increasing your flexibility level.
- It is known to calm the nervous system. And it helps to relax you, that will bring an influx of energy and self-love.
- So, we know for sure that half the time, our mind is responsible for our stress. Therefore, Yin yoga focuses on the mind and helps to provide you with relief from stress.
- Patience is a must thing to have when doing Yin yoga. It is more like meditation for the beginners, that will slow your breath and calm your mind.
In a nutshell, the following are the benefits of practising the Yin Yoga positions:
- Calming and balancing the mind and body of the person
- Regulating the energy flow in the body
- Increasing the mobility of the body especially the hips and the joints
- Reducing the stress level considerably
- Boosting the stamina of the person
- Adding flexibility in the joints and connectivity issues of the person
- Releasing fascia throughout the body
- Deeper relaxation and concentration
- Better ability for sitting during longer meditations
- This will aid you in practising Yin Yoga better
- A little of both Yin and Yang yoga will do a better all-around practice
Precautions and Contraindications:
Here is something to watch out for!
- Get expert advice to do the pose if you are pregnant.
- Those of you suffering from major backaches or disc problems should stay away from doing it, or do it after consulting with your doctor.
- Be very sure that the pose you are doing is correct. Hatha Yin yoga particularly is known to be very dangerous for your spine if you do it wrong.
- It is necessary to do a warm-up before starting yoga. A couple of breathing exercises and posture check is necessary to prep you up.
The much-needed respite in today’s mad world is peace. With the world being a dynamic and mad rush for work, our minds are somewhere sure to get bogged down and are truly searching for inner peace. Yin yoga is a perfect way to get started to calm your mind. When your mind becomes healthy and calm, you will see the positivity and self-love you will radiate. That’s the power of Yin yoga. Start today, and you will see the results in no time!
[Read: How to Meditate in Sahaja Yoga]
Looking at the modern lifestyle of the people, where they are becoming prey of stress, anxiety, and illness and have lost their mental peace and calmness it is all the more important that people start practising Yin Yoga for their own benefit. So for the betterment of mankind, practice and promote Yin Yoga. Share with your friends and relatives and do your part in bringing heaven on earth, which is the divine plan of God.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:
Q1. What does Yin Yoga do for your body?
Ans: Yin Yoga is a slow-paced yoga. It targets and stretches the deep connective tissues between the muscles and also the fascia throughout the body. The whole objective of Yin Yoga is to increase blood circulation in the joints and improve the flexibility of the body. The blood flow is regulated, and thus, most of the diseases can be cured without medicines.
Q2. What is a Yin Yoga Class?
Ans: A Yin Yoga class generally consists of a series of floor exercises which are done in slow motion and with a longer hold time (usually ranging between 45 seconds to 5 minutes). The focus of the Yin Yoga class is on the lower body, which includes the spine, back, hips, pelvis, and inner thighs. All these areas are rich in connective tissues, which is the main focus of Yin Yoga.
Q3. How many calories are burned in Yin Yoga?
Ans: A typical yoga class of 60 minutes burns 200-600 calories depending upon the intensity of the workout. So a Yin Yoga class also burns anything between this range only. There are many factors upon which the calories are burnt and is dependent and is different for different individuals, so it is difficult to quantify in exact terms.