Yin Yoga emphasizes passive, static postures, held for long periods of time, with our muscles in a relaxed state. Applying this “positive stress” helps promote the strength, vitality, hydration, and mobility of our connective tissues. Let’s look at why.
The “Target Area” is the region of the body that we are intending to positively stress and influence by the practice and execution of our Yin Yoga posture. But in “Playing the Edge,” we want to make sure that we recognize and understand the appropriate and inappropriate sensations in the posture.
A key principle of functional alignment in Yin Yoga is NOT stressing an area of the body you don’t intend to stress. A good way to understand this is through Swan Pose. Let’s look more closely at the anatomy of Swan Pose and the differences between aesthetic vs. functional alignment.
To understand the differences between a yang and a yin approach to the same pose, let’s consider the common cues and benefits of Yang Yoga’s Cobra Pose and Yin Yoga’s Seal Pose.
In Yin Yoga, as in all intelligent forms of physical yoga, alignment matters. But alignment in Yin Yoga has little to do with whether your foot is pointed in the “right” direction, or whether your knee is at a precise 90-degree angle. In Yin Yoga, the functional intention is the only reason to do the pose.
In order to understand what Yin Yoga is really about, it helps to directly address what it’s not about. Clear and safe instructions on how to practice Yin Yoga are critically important, so here’s some straight talk about some of the biggest misconceptions out there.
When students come to a Yin Yoga class, I often get the sense that they think of Yin Yoga as gentle, quiet, and meditative. This idea seems to stem from a common misconception that Yin Yoga is a form of restorative yoga. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Yin Yoga offers many benefits – on a physical level, an energetic level, and a mental level as well. If you’ve been thinking about trying “the other half” of yoga, here are 6 reasons to get started – and stay consistent – with your Yin Yoga practice.