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  • Writer's pictureAlessandra Cossu

Why practice Yin Yoga - second edition

In our world where everything runs a thousand miles an hour, it is essential to take time to refocus and release accumulated stress.

Practiced in complete silence or accompanied by soothing music, Yin Yoga is a form of gentle yoga providing numerous health benefits.

In this article, we present to you the origins of Yin Yoga, its benefits on the body and mind and some information regarding the course of a class.

The History of Yin Yoga

This gentle and meditative discipline is inspired by Taoism and traditional Chinese medicine.

Created in the 1970s by Paulie Zink, “Taoist Yoga” strongly contributed to its emergence. However, it was only from the 1990s that it was truly popularized under the name “Yin Yoga” by the American Paul Grilley.

Unlike other forms of yoga, this one does not aim to strengthen muscles or improve endurance. It focuses on developing suppleness, flexibility and gentle mobility and achieving a state of meditation.

It thus promotes in-depth work on the meridians, chakras and deep tissues.

In Taoism, “yin” refers to that which is stable, still and hidden while “yang” places more emphasis on that which is moving and revealed.

Therefore, as opposed to a "yang" practice, this restorative yoga is characterized by a series of static postures and a strong attention paid to listening to one's own sensations.

According to tradition, Yin Yoga is based on three fundamental principles:

1st principle: Find your own limit and be attentive to the sensations felt.
2nd principle: Stay still and relax the muscles in synchronization with breathing.
3rd principle: Hold the postures for a long time for 3 to 5 minutes in order to reach a state of full consciousness.

What are the benefits of Yin Yoga?

Relaxing yoga for the mind

Thanks to postures held for a long time and deep breathing, this form of yoga promotes a feeling of intense relaxation and relaxation.

Considered a true “zen” break and a privileged moment, this discipline is a fantastic tool for introspection and self-knowledge. It allows you to refocus and promotes a real feeling of well-being.

Furthermore, its regular practice helps to calm the mind, release tension and relieve stress. In addition, it has a virtuous effect on anxiety ( 1 ).

Its practice also results in a clear improvement in the quality of sleep and a better ability to concentrate on a daily basis.

Therapeutic yoga for the body

Yin Yoga also has benefits for the body. Indeed, its practice helps to work part of the muscles and joints, which considerably improves the flexibility and mobility of the body.

In addition, although it is a rather gentle practice, it activates the muscles and strengthens the ligaments, tendons, joints and fascia.

Regular practice of this discipline also allows us to release accumulated tension in certain regions of our body such as the hips and all along the spine. Eliminating these tensions contributes to a reduction in pain and allows practitioners to feel better.

Where to practice Yin Yoga?

This discipline is mainly practiced in group lessons taught by certified teachers. Sessions are regularly organized in studios, clubs and even associations. They are the perfect opportunity to learn the basics of yoga and practice this meditative technique.

Furthermore, know that it is also possible to deepen your practice or even start Yin Yoga at home. To do this, it is advisable to sit in a quiet room where it is warm enough because the relaxation induced by this form of yoga can tend to cool the body.

Who can practice it?

Yin Yoga is a complementary discipline to a dynamic practice such as Ashtanga or running.

As it is particularly gentle and slow, it is open to all those who wish to access a state of deep relaxation and a form of meditation.

So, whether you are beginners, children or even high-level athletes, this practice will be beneficial for your body and your mind.

Furthermore, it is also recommended for pregnant women who wish to continue an activity throughout their pregnancy.

People who are stressed or have back and hip pain will also be able to observe real changes following regular practice.

photo @delphinejoly_yogaphotorama

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