What is Yin Yoga

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Practicing yin yoga is a popular and effective way to increase flexibility and achieve internal harmony in your yoga practice.

What is Yin Yoga?

Yin yoga is a slower approach to traditional yoga, in which asanas or poses are held by the practitioner for longer periods of time. Instead of achieving a continuous flow, this yoga style focuses more on inner silence and the movement of energy through the body. Long-held poses in yin yoga may last for five minutes or more, rather than the 20-30 seconds commonly practiced in other yoga disciplines. The purpose of yin yoga is to increase the strength of connective tissues and boost flexibility while finding a balance between yin and yang – the opposing aspects of nature.

Group of young people practising yoga

Yin Yoga Poses

The main poses associated with yin yoga include meditation seat, seal pose, child’s pose, and banana pose, among others.

  • Meditation Seat: For 6 minutes, ground yourself into a comfortable seat with a straight spine.
  • Melting Heart: Keeping your hips above your knees, lean forward on your forearms and clasp your hands for 3-4 minutes.
  • Seal Pose: On your belly, prop yourself up with your arms straight for 3-4 minutes.
  • Child’s Pose: Kneeling with your buttocks on your feet, stretch your arms out and place your forehead on the ground for 5-6 minutes.
  • Banana Pose or Bananasana: On your back, push your feet to one side of the mat, and your upper arms and shoulders to the same side. Form a crescent moon with your body and hold for 2-3 minutes on each side.
  • Butterfly Pose: Draw your feet in from a seated position and lean forward slowly over your feet for 3-4 minutes.

Other poses include:

  • Savasana
  • Legs to chest transition
  • Dragonfly pose

Yin Yoga Benefits

There are many benefits to the regular practice of yin yoga, that include the following:

  • Relief from symptoms of anxiety and chronic stress
  • Increase in flexibility
  • Proper circulation to extremities of the body
  • Boost to metabolism and core strength
  • Detoxification of the body
  • Strengthen the internal organs
  • Encourages self-love and communication with your own body
  • Boost to fortitude and stamina, both mentally and physically
  • Improve joint mobility
  • Release fascia
  • Improve perseverance
  • Promote afterglow

There is an almost meditative quality to this yoga style that is unique among many other popular types of yogic practices.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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