Yin yoga is another type of yoga practice that is very beneficial to the body and is complementary to other forms of yoga and/or physical activity, which are commonly yang orientation. Yin yoga is a deeper stretch that stretches the connective tissue in the hips and lower back, creating more space in these joints. There are no standing postures; all postures are on the floor and supports such as bolsters are provided if need be. Strong sensations, numbness or tingling may be felt in some postures due to the type of stretch that is created.
Yin yoga is a sitting sequence and each pose is held for 3-5 minutes, which may seem like a long time, but this is important as time is essential in stretching the connective tissue. Instead of engaging muscles, we are trying to soften into the pose to achieve the full effect. In the poses, there is an element of non-striving, of letting go of expectations and releasing fully in to the pose. Gravity is doing all the work. The essence of yin yoga is finding relaxation in stillness and because of this, yin yoga can be considered as a more meditative form of yoga and a breaching to meditation.
As yin is associated with the moon, night time and cooling energy, yin yoga is especially calming on the body at night time, though it can be practiced at any time during the day. After a yin yoga class, it is very common to feel lightness in the body and an opening through the hips and the lower back. Yin yoga is a very underestimated style of yoga and is beneficial to people across the spectrum.