Value of Yin Yoga
Cultivating a balanced mindset is essential when working towards a balanced lifestyle and yin yoga is an excellent strategy to combine mind and body exercises.
Courtney Cornwall, Outrun Gravity
There are many types of yoga that target different attributes of the practice. Compared to the fast-paced yoga types known as the “yang” styles, yin yoga is the opposite.
Focusing on slowness and intention, yin yoga targets your deep connective tissues with the meditative purpose of aligning your mind and body.
Here are some benefits of slowing down and practicing yin yoga:
– Balance Emotions
Yin yoga strongly focuses on the breath and connecting mind and body awareness. The still poses in this style of yoga practice allow time for strong emotions to surface. While this can feel overwhelming at first, with practice, you can learn to embrace your emotions, feelings, and thoughts and find balance and release.
– Improves Flexibility
Yin yoga involves holding poses for an extended time period to focus on lengthening the connective tissues. People who regularly practice yin yoga will experience improvement in their flexibility and mobility.
– Stretch Connective Tissue
Compared to yang yoga which focuses on the muscles, yin yoga lengthens your connective tissue, including your fascia, joints, ligaments, and bones. The fascia is a connective lining that wraps around your muscles and bones, and with a regular yin yoga practice, you can gently stretch your connective tissue to make it longer and stronger.
– Boost Circulation
Yin yoga involves deep breathing cycles as you focus on each pose. Focusing on deep inhalation allows your body to intake more oxygen that can travel throughout your body to boost your circulation and blood flow.
– Improve Sleep Quality
Yin yoga is a particularly grounding form of yoga that allows you to slow down and focus on your breath. When you soothe the nervous system in this way, you will encourage the calmness of your mental energy which can improve your sleep quality.
– Enhance Mental Focus
The longer-held poses of yin yoga encourage individuals to find patience throughout their practice and become present in the moment. This practice of slowing down and being mindful challenges your brain to strengthen your mental pathways which in turn improves your focus.
– Promote Relaxation
Modern humans are more than familiar with the constant over-stimulation within today’s society, but with a regular yin yoga practice, they can learn to slow down and truly relax. Due to the nature of many of the poses being performed in a seated or reclined posture, it is attainable to practice relaxation throughout your yin yoga practice.
– Develop Breath Awareness
Breathing is an important aspect of a yin yoga practice because with the nature of poses being held for an extended duration, focusing on the breath can help people work through the discomfort of different postures. As you practice yin yoga, you may notice that you become aware of your breathing not only during your yoga session but also throughout your daily life.
Cultivating a balanced mindset is essential when working towards a balanced lifestyle and yin yoga is an excellent strategy to combine mind and body exercises. Connecting the mind and body through a yin yoga practice is a peaceful activity that can change your life. For more yoga tips, check out the Outrun Gravity blog.