Yin yoga is a functional form of Yoga derived from Taoist practices in China. Classes are slower paced as poses are held for longer periods of time. The purpose of this is to stress the connective tissue in the body (bones, fascia, tendons and ligaments) so they are strengthened over time.
Most forms of yoga and other exercise focus mainly on muscular activity. What many people don’t realise is it’s also important to work/stress our connective tissues to keep them healthy and strong which is one of the main focuses of Yin Yoga.
Additionally, as Yin Yoga is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine it revolves around the core Chinese concepts of Qi and Meridians. Qi is essentially the life force within the body and Meridians are the lines/channels in the body through which this energy flows. Yin Yoga uses acupressure to stimulate the flow of Qi through the meridian lines which helps to clear blockages in the body, providing many health benefits.
Yin Yoga gives us an opportunity to slow down and listen.
A quote from Bernie Clark – “You need to experience this to really know what Yin Yoga is all about. After you have experienced it, even just once, you will realize that you have been doing only half of the asana practice.”