Yin Yoga is commonly mistaken as restorative yoga – naturally, as Yin Yoga is also a practice that brings you into stillness. In fact, it is often referred to as the quiet practice.
Like Restorative Yoga, a Yin Yoga practice extensively utilises yoga props for support and ease. The aim of Yin Yoga – unlike Restorative Yoga – is to work towards healthy connective tissues by introducing long-held postures targeting specific areas of our bodies. It is common to stay in a posture anywhere from two to 10 minutes for experienced Yin Yoga practitioners.
Unlike traditional yoga practices like Hatha yoga, Yin Yoga was not borne from any specific lineage. In fact, it was an evolution of practices from a martial arts practitioner Paulie Zink, who was seeking for a practice that would help support his martial arts practice. Overtime with self experimentation, he discovered that long held poses helped improve his flexibility greatly and started marrying his own Taoist studies with the practice, which he called Taoist Yoga.
Taoist Yoga slowly spread through yoga communities, garnering interest from other yoga practitioners notably Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers. After years of practice, the term Yin Yoga was eventually coined by Sarah Powers as a way to differentiate the style of movement from other Yang practices (such as Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga). Sarah Powers together with Paul Grilley continued to develop Yin Yoga with their own knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine, using each posture in Yin Yoga to correspond meridian points and channels within the body.
What to expect in a Yin Yoga class?
A yin yoga class takes you through a passive practice of long-held poses to target the body’s energetic and fascial layers. Each class will guide you through a journey of depth through the act of surrendering. Unlike other yoga classes a 60 minutes yin yoga class will typically have 5 to 6 poses, each of which can be held anywhere between 2 to 5 minutes.
Who is Yin Yoga suited for?
Yin Yoga is suitable for everyone – if you find yourself at your desk or computer, or driving for many hours, this class is for you. If you are an avid gym/ fitness person and are active in other sporting activities, this class is for you. If you’re not a particularly active person and desire to regain some mobility in your body, this class is for you too!
Do I need to bring anything to a Yin Yoga class?
All props (mat, blocks, straps, therapy balls) will be provided. Simply show up with an open mind and willingness to commit and trust the process.
I’ve never done Yin Yoga or any kind of yoga before.
No experience necessary – this class is slow paced and you are encouraged to start where you are. You will be guided along the way with respect, attention, and care.