Yoga Shrink Blog

Yin Yoga by Carla D’Orio

In my last blog, I wrote about the benefits of Restorative Yoga.  I have recently completed my third training in Yin Yoga with Christen Scott and soon we will be adding this practice to the PYT schedule.  Many people think Restorative and Yin are the same, when in fact they are not the same practice. They are similar in the sense that they are both passive, but the major difference is Restorative Yoga is comfortable whereas Yin Yoga is not. In Yin Yoga, we hold the poses for 3-10 minutes and we use less props.  The goal is to feel the pose but there should be no sharp or piercing pain, or electrical feeling. Once you find your edge it is about finding stillness in the pose, connecting with your breath.  The discomfort is stress leaving your body. The ultimate goal in Yin yoga is to find three kinds of stillness: the body, the breath and the mind.  You have heard the terminology yin/yang… Yang means masculinity, heat and light.  Yin, on the other hand, is feminine, cool, dark and very passive. The sun is considered Yang, the moon Yin.  The truth is we all have a lot of Yang in our lives: fast paced, moving energy and not a lot of time for reflection, stillness, and presence. When I started adding Yin to my practice I saw the difference off my mat and on my mat when I do a Yang practice. Yin yoga provides the body with a deep release, it helps relax the muscles and it helps increase circulation. This provides more fluid to the joints and helps your body stay younger and stronger. Yin Yoga also creates a sense of inner peace. The breathing and stillness helps lower stress cortisol levels and calms the mind. However, don’t be fooled because your mind will definitely fight you during a challenging pose and this is where Yin yoga may be simple, it doesn’t mean it’s easy.  Yin yoga is a very introspective practice that creates awareness of inner silence and wakes up interconnection. Yin Yoga helps the energy flow improving organ health, immunity, and emotional balance. It is the same kind of effect you might experience from a deep tissue massage. So give Yin Yoga a try, it has been proven to improve stamina, slow the signs of aging, and you will feel better, stronger and younger.

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