October 29, 2022

Understanding Yin Yoga and its benefits

With the help of our expert Yogi, Jamie Strathairn, below we’ve unpacked everything you need to know about Yin Yoga and why you should start incorporating Yin Yoga flows into your daily routine ASAP.

What is Yin Yoga?

Yin Yoga is a style of yoga practice where we relax into the poses for several minutes at a time; to release tightness around our muscles and joints, to de-stress our fight and flight responses, and to improve the way our body’s different systems communicate and work with each another.

“Yin” activities help balance out all our “Yang” activities including any fast-paced and dynamic exercise programs like HIIT, running, flow yoga or any other strong work out where we get our heart rate up. In fact, adding Yin Yoga to your regular workout routine will complement these other activities for improved performance overall.

As all our Yin poses are done lying down or sitting it is a very restorative and therapeutic practice that anyone can do – perfect for countering the general busyness of our modern lives.

Yin Yoga also incorporates principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine because the poses stretch open the internal channels where our energy (called “Qi” in TCM) flows. So, it’s a great way to balance and harmonise the functioning of our digestion, circulation, overall health, etc, including our emotional health, and mental clarity.

What parts of the body does Yin Yoga target?

Yin Yoga focuses on helping you release major muscle groups, joints, and general areas of tightness and tension because the poses stretch you from one end of your body to the other.

Different classes will focus on different body regions including your arms, shoulders, chest, hips, back, and thighs – all our major muscle groups! To put it simply, Yin Yoga targets your whole body and with consistent practice, you will improve your range of movement and feel balanced and released.

Another important and perhaps less obvious part of the body which is targeted through Yin Yoga is your mind. Due to the relaxed and gentle pace of a Yin Yoga class, you’re able to let your mind embrace your thoughts, allowing yourself the chance to work through any emotional turmoil, and dissolve any uncomfortable emotions. Yin Yoga can have a de-cluttering effect on your mind.

Who is Yin Yoga good for?

Yin Yoga is going to benefit anybody and any body who is able to do gentle movement. It is suitable for beginners and experienced yogis alike as we offer options throughout the practices to modify the postures; which makes it suitable for every body and level of experience – no matter how stretchy or stiff you are.

Yin Yoga is a welcomed practice for anybody who:

    • Is currently working out and wants more variety in their routine
    • Is looking for movement to complement and support more vigorous and intense exercise (e.g. HIIT or running)
    • Is looking to improve their “qi” (aka energy flow)
    • Wants to release tension from sore or tight muscles
    • Is looking to better balance their emotions or release emotional tension
    • Needs to feel a good stretch in their body

What are the benefits of Yin Yoga?
    • Helps to improve your sleep
    • Boosts your circulation and increases blood flow
    • Harmonises your organ health
    • Supports your emotional well-being
    • Helps to reduce stress and anxiety
    • Increases your flexibility and range of motion
    • Encourages you to slow down

Can you practice while pregnant?

Yin Yoga is also suitable for those that are pregnant, however, caution needs be taken towards the end of pregnancy, as during this time the body begins to release hormones which relax the joints and tissues in preparation for birth. If practicing towards the end of pregnancy it is advised that you don’t work to your limits – ie, don’t go further than you normally could when not pregnant.

It is always important to consult with your qualified health practitioner / doctor before undertaking any new forms of exercise or if you are unsure if this practice is suitable for you.

For anyone taking on a Yin Yoga class, it is normal to feel uncomfortable (ie, that “stretch” feeling) but you should always stop if you feel sharp pain.

If you’re eager to try out Yin Yoga, check out our brand new Yin Yoga minis! 10 minute Masterclasses to make mindful movement part of your everyday.