In today’s competitive world, it’s no longer a surprise that you’re constantly being bombarded with stimuli that make your mind busy. Ultimately, since your mind is already used to being busy, you may crave this level of stimuli even if you’re in a state of relaxation. Instead of giving your mind some time to rest, you’ll end up looking for things to do just to fill the gaps. Thankfully, performing yin yoga poses will help you achieve the much-needed relaxation to combat any stressors or stimuli you encounter on a daily basis.
So, if you want to incorporate yin yoga into your daily routine, read on to learn the nature of this type of yoga, including its benefits as well as some beginner poses and a sequence you can try at home.
What Is Yin Yoga?
In yoga, “yang” yoga focuses on your muscles, while “yin” yoga targets your connective tissues, such as your bones, ligaments, joints, and fascia. The latter type of yoga is also much slower and meditative compared to the former. Hence, yin yoga aims to give you an opportunity to introspect and tune your mind with your physical sensations.
The goal of yin yoga doesn’t revolve around moving through different poses freely. Instead, yin yoga encourages you to hold poses for a longer period than any other type of yoga –– around three to five minutes for beginners, but experienced practitioners can go up to 20 minutes.
Benefits of Yin Yoga Poses
As mentioned above, yin yoga targets your connective tissues. These tissues respond well to a steady and slow load, which is the reason why yin yoga involves holding poses longer. By performing a yin yoga pose, you’ll gently stretch your connective tissues, forcing your body to respond by making the tissue longer and stronger –– the main physical benefit that yin yoga brings.
The stillness and meditative nature of yin yoga will assist in balancing your nervous system, mind, and body from any stimuli or stressors. Since your body no longer needs to create this balance on its own, you’ll prevent yourself from burning out, getting injured, becoming ill, shutting down, and more. Additionally, holding poses for a longer duration will teach you proper breathing and how to deal with any uncomfortable thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations you may have.
With that in mind, yin yoga then offers a myriad of benefits. This includes helping you alleviate any tension or pain your body is feeling. Also, yin yoga has mental benefits in the sense that its poses may help you get in touch with your thoughts, as well as relieve feelings of anxiety and stress. Thus, practicing yin yoga may generally improve your well-being.
Yin Yoga for Beginners: Poses
It’s important to note that performing any yin yoga poses shouldn’t cause you any pain, despite the fact that you’ll be holding a pose for three minutes or more. If you’re new to this type of yoga, take a look at these beginner-friendly poses.
Start in a seated position. From here, bend your legs and place both of your feet’s soles together. Then, lean forward so you can feel a comfortable stretch.
Begin by lying on your stomach, and then place both of your elbows under your shoulders. Allow your weight to rest on your forearms and relax your lower back. Ideally, you want to feel a mild compression in your lower back. If the compression isn’t felt, press your palms down and straighten your elbows.
Start by widening your knees to the yoga mat’s edges and sit back on your heels. Then, lower your chest to the floor. You can then decide to reach your arms to the top of the mat or reach them behind you while your palms are faced up.
Yin Yoga Sequence You Can Do at Home
As a new practitioner of yin yoga, you can begin performing a beginner yin sequence. The beginner yin sequence contains poses that engage several parts of your body –– like the hips and chest. This sequence doesn’t demand any equipment other than a yoga mat, making it much easier to do at home.
To perform the sequence, begin with the butterfly pose, which is mentioned above. After three to five minutes holding the first pose, follow it up with the following poses.
Heart Melting Pose
Start on all fours in a tabletop position. Make sure your knees are parallel with your frontal hip bones. Gently walk your hands forward and out, but ensure they’re slightly wider than shoulder-width distance. While keeping your arms outstretched, allow your chest to go down the yoga mat and keep your hips stacked over your knees. Maintain the position and rest your forehead on the mat for three to five minutes.
From the Downward Facing Dog pose, place your right foot between your hands. Then, drop your left knee and foot to the mat. Allow your right knee to flex deeply as your left hip goes down the mat. You should feel a comfortable stretch in the front thigh and hip.
Lay on your back and position your knees on your chest. You can then spread your arms while resting the back of your hands on the floor with both of your palms facing up. Then, slowly lower your knees all the way to the right side of the yoga mat.
Lay flat on your stomach while resting your right cheeks on the mat. Lift your left hand up high and bend the same elbow. Allow your opposite arm to rest by your side with your palms facing up.
Stressed? Perform Yin Yoga Poses Daily!
Before practicing yin yoga, always consult a healthcare professional. This is especially important if you’re a beginner, taking medications, or you have a health condition. After your doctor gives you the green light, you can then search for a reliable local or online studio that offers yin yoga classes. Once you’ve found a yoga studio, you’re about to say goodbye to stress, especially if you perform the poses on a daily basis.