Yin yoga has gained its popularity in the yoga world in the past couple decades. On the surface, this seemingly gentle style of yoga doesn’t require a lot of physical exertion. For people who have never tried it, they may disregard Yin yoga as too ‘easy’ or not ‘sweaty’ enough.
For those who have practiced Yin yoga, we know that there is a long list of physical benefits. However, that’s not all. Yin yoga goes beyond the physical body to a much deeper level addressing our emotional and spiritual needs. In this article, we will explore some of the physical benefits of Yin yoga as well as its significant emotional and spiritual impact on us.
Increases mobility and reduces pain
Our body is surrounded by a web of connective tissue called fascia. Like the tough fibers that enwrap the individual slices of oranges (and the pulp), fascia wraps around our organs, muscles, brain cells, neurons, bones, and more. Specifically, Yin yoga targets the fascia that wraps around our muscles called myofascia. When we sit still for a long time, the myofascia begins to thicken and crystalize. Myofascia when hardens over time may cause immobility and pain. The practice of Yin yoga helps loosen this connective tissue and increase our mobility.
Helps calm our body and mind
Yin yoga triggers our parasympathetic nervous system also known as the rest-and-digest system. In our everyday lives, we may take on a lot of stress thus diminishing our overall well-being. The gentle folding and grounding poses in Yin yoga like Caterpillar and Chlid’s pose help us to activate the physiological responses which includes slowing down the heart rate, improving digestion and reducing the release of stress hormones.
Improves mental focus
The fundamental difference of Yin yoga compared to the more active styles of yoga is that it requires you to stay still for a long time. The typical holding time for Yin yoga poses ranges from three to five minutes long. It is only when you feel the body invites you to go deeper or if you need to come out of the pose to avoid injuries that you would move. This level of self-awareness develops our concentration. Practicing Yin yoga helps train our mental focus and energizes the mind.
So we have addressed some important physical benefits of Yin yoga. Now let’s have a look at how Yin yoga has a significant impact on us emotionally and spiritually.
Our body is an intricate system linked across multiple dimensions. As we look beyond our physical body, we quickly notice our innate emotions such as happiness, fear, sadness, worry, and anger. According to the Chinese meridian system, our physical body is interconnected with our emotions. For example, worrying may slow down our appetite and the weakening of our Kidneys may arouse in us a sense of irrational fear. Yin yoga acts as a form of acupressure and helps alleviate energy stagnation in the meridians thus releasing any emotional discomforts.
Furthermore, certain Yin yoga postures may trigger an emotional response, which I call it the ‘Golden Moment’. The Golden Moment is when our repressed emotions surface up to our consciousness, often through Yin poses, and we can resolve them through self-awareness and self-love. Click here for more insights on the emotional edge of Yin yoga.
Yin yoga offers us a safe space to transcend our emotional obstacles towards our highest self. It is a quiet space for us to contemplate, reflect, and expand our consciousness. From a point of expansiveness, we can love ourselves and people we cherish more. Yin yoga is the way towards harmony and peace.
To learn more about emotional healing and physical well-being through Yin Yoga, join me for the March 2020 Abu Dhabi 100hr Yin Yoga and Meridians Teacher Training. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE