Not only your mind but also your body can benefit from a regular Yin Yoga practice even if you don’t break a sweat. At the end of the article, a Yin sequence awaits you to print out so that you can start practicing right away.
The Benefits on Your Body
If your training plan looks very powerful and mainly serves your need for dynamic (Yang), then you should definitely allow your body to practice passive, calmly executed asanas (Yin) as well. That’s why:
Whereas dynamic Yoga styles like Vinyasa train the „superficial“ muscles, Yin Yoga affects the deep connective tissues of the body. In Yin Yoga, we hold the poses for up to 5 minutes. That enables the connective tissues to get longer and stronger. Also, blockages and stuck fasciae soften with this passive exercise style. If the fasciae are hardened, it can lead to physical pain and a poorer supply of blood in the internal organs and systems. With Yin Yoga, you make sure that the blood supply and your general well-being increase. Also, your body is less prone to physical issues like back pain.
The Benefits on Your Mind
On some days it can be challenging to stay in a pose for so long and this is completely normal. We are used to receiving multiple stimuli during the day so the stillness can be quite overwhelming. But this allows you to look inside and feel all the feelings that come to your mind.
It probably helps you to sort your thoughts and recapitulate your day. However, in Yin Yoga, there’s no need to find solutions for your current problems and issues. Set your mind free and don’t try to judge the feelings that come to you. If you can’t stop thinking about a special situation that happened to you today, perceive the feeling it gives you, accept it and try to let it go.
If your mind makes you believe that you have to plan something right away, then tell yourself that now isn’t the right time. Just be.
How To Integrate Yin Yoga Into Your Daily Life
For me, the ideal time to practice Yin Yoga is in the evening between 7 PM and 9 PM. After an evening Yin practice, you will feel physically relaxed and your mind will be calm which is the perfect status for a restful sleep.
You don’t have to practice Yin Yoga for one hour every evening. If you had a stressful day and you feel like falling into bed right away you can also practice 10 minutes in your bed. Here’s an example for an evening practice in your bed.
If you can manage to include Yin Yoga into your Yoga schedule 1-2 times a week that’s totally fine and you will benefit from it especially when combined with Yang styles.
Here Are Some Tips for Your Yin Yoga Practice:
- Wear warm clothes as the practice can get uncomfortable when you feel cold because of the lack of movement
- Try to avoid distractions. Mute your mobile phone and tell the people around you that you need to rest alone for a little while.
- If you become a Yin Yoga lover I can recommend you to buy a Yoga bolster and a Yoga belt. They give you more opportunities to relax comfortably in the asanas.
- Turn on some calming minimalistic music
- Light some candles and turn down the lights
- You can also combine the practice with meditation in advance. I often take my Mala and meditate for several minutes as it helps me to calm down. Then I start my Yin practice.
Now enjoy your evening practice and have a peaceful sleep!