Photo credit: Alex

8 Benefits of Yin Yoga

Here’s how you can nurture your mind and body with Yoga and Meditation in Melbourne

If you are seriously stressed and have not thought about new ways you can relax, we are here to show you a new way of finding more peace and reconnect you with your inner calm.

Yin Yoga

Perhaps something very different what people traditionally think of Yoga as being the more dynamic and flowy style of class with lots of planks, hand stands and back bends.

Yin Yoga is for everyone, the busy minded man or woman, those seeking deeper relaxation and even those who struggle to switch off.

It is the perfect alchemy of yoga and meditation combined and especially for those who have struggled with the two in the past.

If this is you, read on.

What is Yin Yoga?

Yin yoga is a slow-paced and therapeutic style of yoga. Through a specific series of postures, it creates the space for you to tune into your inner experience. Yin Yoga is focused on your mind, body and soul. Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions of Yin Yoga is that it is a physical practice to get us fit. Truth is, there are many exercises that will get you that effect but yin is not for that.

The term ‘yin’ comes from the Taoist tradition. While yang relates to movement and creating heat in the body. Yin is about finding stillness and cooling the body. We need both the yin and the yang to find balance and stay in optimal health throughout every stage of our lifespan.

If you want to learn more about how you can balance your life through the philosophy of Yin & Yang, you can read more here.

What can you expect in a Yin Yoga Class?

Yin postures are more passive, mainly done on the floor either seated or lying down. If you’ve ever done a Yin class you’ll know that it differs greatly to a yang style/dynamic-based class. You will not find planks, warriors, standing postures fast movement of any sort in a Yin class.  In Yin Yoga you relax into the posture, allowing the body to soften and release naturally without pushing or straining.

While Yang style yoga (Vinyasa/Ashtanga) physically target our ‘superficial’ muscles, in Yin you connect with the deep connective tissues of your body – the ligaments, joints, bones, and deep fascia networks. It’s the closest thing to having an internal massage – something your body loves!

Yin yoga invites you hold your poses for an extended period of time, usually between 3 – 10 minutes. The time spent in these postures can be lightly compared to time spent in meditation. Yin yoga is excellent for calming your mind and dropping you into the deep intelligence and wisdom of your body. It is a beautiful practice for deeper self-inquiry and exploration, as well as having many physiological health benefits.

Key benefits of practicing Yin Yoga

1. Yin Yoga Helps you Slow Down

We live in a culture that is constantly on the go, requiring a lot of movement, activity, stimulation, and responsibilities. A Yin Yoga class asks you to do the opposite – to slow way down, return fully to the present moment, and connect mindfully with yourself.   

2. Increase Your Flexibility

Big-time. Yin yoga stretches and targets both the deep connective tissues between the muscles, and the fascia throughout your body. The aim is to increase your circulation in the joints and improve flexibility as the poses stretch and exercise the bone and joint areas.

3. Increase Energy

More often than not, we spend our days locked in sympathetic nervous system overdrive, constantly being pulled from one thing to another. In Yin Yoga your breath slows down significantly, drawing you deeper and deeper into this parasympathetic, or relaxation mode.

This is where your internal organs get a chance to catch up on its own to-do list such as digest, eliminate toxins, heal and repair. Activating your parasympathetic nervous system is beneficial to lower stress and tension, lower blood pressure, regulate sleep, assist digestion, boost immune function, balance hormones and increase your overall energy and wellbeing.

4. Improved Sleep

Yin invites your body to let go of held stress and tension in both your physical body and the mind. If you spend most of your day in a more yang or active state.

Yin practice can help to ground your energy and promote more rejuvenating rest.  
Here are some more ways to improve your sleep!

5. Helps Reduce Stress

We live in a world of deadlines, craziness, social media, and global pandemics – no wonder our anxiety and stress are sky-rocketing. What better way to switch off than to find stillness in poses and let time pass us by for a bit. By doing Yin, you are giving yourself plenty of time to do nothing other than ‘just be.’  

6. Fosters Self-Love

Yin Yoga is amazing for opening your heart, calming your nervous system, and providing a space for your body to deeply relax. It also offers a deeply nourishing and nurturing environment where you can cultivate compassion and love for yourselves on a deeper level. The practice is a beautiful way to reconnect to your body in a gentle and compassionate way.

7. Releases Stored Emotions

The poses and the way they are held can release incredibly strong sensations. Your emotions are stored in various parts of your bodies.

Memories, anxiety and tension linger in cells stored deep in your tissues. When you go into a yoga pose that works on the body part where this is stored, memories and emotions can resurface. This can lead to a wide array of reactions, yet essentially, it helps you to let go of things that don’t serve you and that you have been holding onto for too long. It can be truly cathartic to release these stored emotions during a Yin class. 

8. Know Yourself Better

Get ready to get intimate with your feelings, sensations, thoughts, beliefs and emotions. When you begin to practice Yin, you learn to listen to your body and recognise your thoughts instead of having them racing through your mind like a puppy on the loose.

Are you ready to try a Yin Yoga Class?

Yin Yoga is a wonderful practice that is particularly healing for your mind, body and soul. The unique physical, mental and emotional benefits that come from a Yin Yoga practice leave you feeling thoroughly refreshed and renewed.

It leaves a lot of the ego associated with modern yoga at the door and the gentle and nurturing nature of the practice is about you giving yourself the TLC (tender, love and care) that you need deep down.

Yin Yoga can seem like a simple practice, but make no mistake it is not always an easy or comfortable one! Yin Yoga has the raw power to take you beyond your regular comfort zone – but we all know this is where the magic lies.

Not all Yin Yoga classes are the same. If you are looking to nurture your mind and body, we invite you to try our flagship Yin Candlelit class at Mirosuna – Melbourne’s home for mindfulness and meditation. We’d love to Yin with YOU. 

Learn more about our classes here.