During a yin yoga class, it might not seem like much is happening as you hold the poses in stillness for a few minutes each. But yin yoga actually has an important role to play! Discover the benefits of yin yoga, as well as the best times of the moon cycle for practicing yin.
Yin vs Yang
To understand what yin yoga is all about, it’s important to understand the key concepts of Yin vs Yang.
Yin energy is slower, colder & calmer than yang.
Yang is faster, warmer & more active than yin.
We need both of these energies in our lives, but often in our fast-paced world we have an excess of Yang energy. Yin helps us find more balance – your yin yoga practice can help you slow down & find stillness.
How to do yin yoga
Yin yoga is very different from what you might expect in a vinyasa or hatha yoga class.
You can expect to hold poses from anywhere from 2-10 minutes, where your yoga teacher will encourage you to relax into the pose & to release tension.
The idea with yin yoga is to NOT activate the muscles, so you can target the connective tissue. Your connective tissue is your joints, ligaments & fascia – the stuff that connects the muscles to bones.
Yin yoga can improve joint health, range of motion, tissue elasticity, reduce stress & anxiety, and releases emotions & stagnant energy.
As emotions & energy can get trapped in the connective tissue, it’s not unusual to experience an emotional release during a yin yoga class. You may even shed a few tears – this is completely normal!
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The best times to do yin yoga
You know I love working with the moon, and yoga is no exception!
While I love a strong vinyasa flow during the waxing moon, the waning moon is ideal for slowing down with your movement practice – and this is where yin fits in.
While you can practice whatever style of yoga whenever you want, I love to use the moon to help me find more balance with my yoga practice.
For this reason, I’ll usually do yin yoga around the waning crescent & new moon phases.
This time of the moon cycle is when we have the lowest energy, so it’s ideal for a slow movement practice.
The energy of the new moon is very yin (compared to the yang energy of the full moon) so this also makes sense to do yin yoga on the new moon.
Comment and let me know: do you practice yin yoga? What do you love best about this style of yoga?