Deep, deeper, deepest? How far should you go in your stretch?
Yin yoga is a popular yoga style that goes very well with yang yoga, like Vinyasa or Ashtanga yoga. Anyone who’s ever been to a yin class will know that you spend more time in certain poses than you might be used to in other styles of yoga. So how far can you go? In this blog, you’ll read about what it is and how far you can go.
What is yin yoga?
In yin yoga, the aim is to release as many muscles as possible in order to relax completely. The postures focus on the joints and connective tissue, which become more flexible. This creates more space in your body for energy to flow through the meridians. A wonderful counterpart to yang yoga! You will notice that you experience more peace and space in your body and mind.
Why yin yoga is so good?
Besides making your muscles more flexible, there are many other benefits. Yin yoga helps you learn to relax better. It seems so easy to stay in the same position for a few minutes and do ‘nothing’. It’s the relaxing in the pose that can be so difficult. Not only that, but it doesn’t always feel good in your body and especially not if you are in the pose for a longer time. Mentally, it is also quite a challenge. Your thoughts quickly go in all directions, so yin is a good way to learn to relax. For anyone who finds meditation difficult; start with yin!
It is about total surrender in the postures. You let gravity do the work while you relax. Stress and tension are released, and therefore this form of yoga is also good for people who are experiencing feelings of stress. In addition, Yin yoga is easy to follow and therefore great for beginners!
Curious to learn more about common yin poses? Here are some beginner’s poses for inspiration.
Deepening: how far can you go?
Every body is different. How deep you can go is therefore different for each person. Yin yoga is a passive yoga style where you learn to listen to your own body. You need to be present and mindful during the postures. Do you suffer from injuries or are your muscles painful? Yin can help you recover. Holding the static postures releases blockages in your body. Make sure you have good guidance. Report any injuries to the teacher, and never go beyond your own limits. For example, do you notice a shooting pain during a yoga pose? Come out of the pose slowly and try an alternative pose.
Tip: Use yoga bolsters and cushions to relax completely. You’ll notice that it’s suddenly easier to hold on to the postures.
Your body will tell you what it can and cannot do. So it’s really about trying and getting to know yourself!