Yin Yoga has many benefits. It’s slower than Yan Yoga because it focuses on the deep connective tissues, such as your ligaments and joints. It requires you to hold yoga poses for longer, which is why it enables you to stretch tissues in your body.
Is Yin Yoga meditative? Yin Yoga does have a meditative aspect. It allows you to tune into your mind and your body’s physical sensations, as well as help you to learn to breathe through the discomfort.
There are 26 Yin Yoga poses. Here are some of the best to add to your next yoga session.
Benefits Of Yin Yoga
What are some of the benefits of Yin Yoga? Here’s a rundown of the most essential ones you stand to gain.
- Yin Yoga helps you to de-stress. This is the type of yoga to try when you want to wind down. It balances the body and mind, which can help you become more mindful. A study found that it boosts mindfulness and decreases anxiety and stress.
- Yin Yoga improves blood circulation. This type of yoga encourages the release of connective tissue, called fascia, that surrounds the body’s organs, joints, and muscles, which also boosts blood circulation. This is why it reduces your risk of heart disease.
- Yin Yoga boosts your flexibility. This is because how holding poses for a long time helps you to stimulate and energize your muscles.
- Yin Yoga helps you reconnect with your feelings. It provides you with a safe space in which you can experience the feelings you might ordinarily try to ignore or push away.
Best Yin Yoga Poses
If you want to start practicing Yin Yoga, here are some poses to try.
Butterfly Pose (Badhakonasana)
This Yin Yoga pose is great for beginners. It’s easy to achieve and works well to relieve lower back pain while helping you to relax.
- Get into a seated position.
- Bend your knees and let them drop open to your sides.
- Make sure your feet are placed together in front of you.
- Bend your torso forward.
- Focus on relaxing your neck, spine, and shoulders.
- Hold your feet. You might need pillows underneath your torso if you need the extra support.
- Hold the pose for between three and five minutes.
How to exit the Butterfly Pose:
- Extend your legs in front of you.
- Stretch your arms and use them to stand up.
This is a restorative yoga pose that helps you to feel refreshed, both in your mind and body. It stretches your shoulders, arms, upper back, and hips.
- Bring your left foot to the outer edge of your right hip.
- Bring your right foot to the outer edge of your left hip.
- Gently move forward from your hips, and hold this pose for between three and five minutes.
- Roll your spine back.
- Slowly release your legs.
- Switch your legs, and repeat the pose.
If you need extra support, you can put a cushion underneath your bottom. This will also help you to increase your balance.
How to exit the Shoelace Pose:
- Press the floor with your hands and carefully straighten your spine.
- Put your hands behind you.
- Lean back to release your legs.
Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)
- Start by lying on your stomach. Make sure your elbows are under your shoulders.
- Rest your weight on your forearms.
- Let your lower back relax. You should soften your thighs and abdomen.
- You want to feel a bit of compression in your lower back. If you don’t feel this, press your palms down and straighten your elbows. This will lengthen your spine.
- Hold this pose for four to five minutes.
How to exit the Sphinx pose:
- Bring your elbows to your sides.
- Rest your forehead on your hands.
Banana Pose (Bananasana)
This pose is an easy way to relax your muscles and stretch your body at the end of a long day.
- Start by lying on your back, with your feet on the floor and your knees bent.
- Lift and shift your hips to the right.
- Straighten your legs. Move your feet to the left corner of your mat.
- Cross your right foot over your left one.
- Keep your left hip down, and move your upper body to the left of the mat. This produces a curved banana shape.
- Move your arms overhead, while bending your elbows. You want to gently hold your wrists.
- Hold this pose for four to five minutes, then repeat it on the other side of your body.
How to exit the Banana Pose:
- Lift your head and carefully move your body so that you’re lying straight.
Supine Spinal Twist
This pose is great for increased flexibility in your spine, chest, and glutes.
- Start by lying on your back. Bend your knees and put your feet flat on the floor.
- Put your arms straight out along the sides, keeping your palms facing down.
- As you release a breath, lower your knees to the left side.
- Turn your neck to gaze in any direction you choose.
- Hold this pose for three minutes, then repeat it on the opposite side.
How to exit the Supine Spinal Twist:
- Inhale and roll onto your back.
- Bring your right knee into your chest.
- Release your legs onto the floor. This will put your spine into a neutral position.
- Take several breaths, then do the same thing on the other side.
Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
This Yin Yoga pose lengthens the back of your body and relaxes your nervous system.
- Sit upright. Extend your legs so that they’re straight in front of you.
- Tilt the top of your pelvis forward.
- Fold forward so you let your forearms rest along your legs.
- Use a pillow to support your head or your knees if you feel too much sensation.
- Hold this comfortable pose for about four minutes.
How to exit the Seated Forward Bend:
- Release your feet.
- Take a breath as you lift your torso. You can do this by bringing your tailbone down and into your pelvis.
Dragon Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)
- Put two yoga blocks at the top of your yoga mat.
- Get into a table-top position (on your hands and knees) and put your right foot forward. Place it to the right side of your block.
- Straighten your left leg so that it’s straight back. Rest your knee and the top of your left foot on the yoga mat.
- Rest your hands on the yoga blocks.
- Hold this pose for around five minutes.
- Repeat this with the other side of your body.
How to exit the Dragon Pose:
- Move your back knee forward.
- Tuck in your toes.
- Press your hands on the ground on either side of your right foot.
- Step back so that you get into a tabletop position.
Since you perform the Caterpillar Pose in a straight-legged forward fold, this straightens and stretches the spine’s ligaments. It also engages your abdomen by compressing it so that you can improve your digestion.
- Sit on a cushion or folded blanket.
- Start in a seated position.
- Extend your legs in front of you.
- Fold your body forward from your hips. Your spine should become rounded as you do this.
- Keep your legs relaxed as you allow your feet to fall inwards or outwards. Let your feet get into a position that feels natural.
- Hold this pose for three to five minutes.
How to exit the Caterpillar Pose:
- Press your hands against the floor.
- Slowly uncurl your spine.
- Put your hands behind you as you lean backward. This will release your hips.
The Seal Pose restores the natural curve of your lumbar spine. It also regenerates connective tissue in the sacral area, which is located at the bottom of the spine.
- Lie on your yoga mat face-down. Keep your hands on the floor in front of your shoulders.
- Adjust the distance that your hands are from your body by checking what sensations you’re experiencing in your lower back.
- Drop your head back or forward. If you want to support your chin with your fists, you can.
- Keep your buttocks relaxed.
- Hold this pose for between three and five minutes.
How to exit the Seal Pose:
- Carefully lower your chest on the floor.
- Lie down. Keep your forehead on your hands.
This pose has many benefits, such as how it increases your hip mobility and stretches your quads and hip flexors.
Lie on your back on the yoga mat.
- Sit up on your heels.
- Lean your body back and slowly find what feels most comfortable. You could remain on your elbows or hands, or move all the way so that you lie down completely.
- Keep your arms over your head or along the sides of your body.
- You want to experience an opening sensation in your hip flexors, belly, chest, and quads, but you want a comfortable pressure in your lower back.
- Hold this pose for between one and five minutes.
How to exit the Saddle Pose:
- Engage your core.
- Use your arms to pull yourself up.
- Release your legs.
- Lie down on your back for a few minutes.
How To Practice Yin Yoga Poses
To help you in your Yin Yoga practice, here are some essential tips to remember.
- Find your comfort zone. When doing Yin Yoga, try not to over-stretch or extend yourself too much. You should focus on sinking into the pose so that you feel a stretch without any pain.
- Remain still. You want to be as still as possible in your Yin Yoga poses. This is a great way to help you get ready for meditation. Focus on your breathing and clearing your mind.
- Hold the poses for longer. One of the beneficial things about Yin Yoga is that you should hold the poses for longer. Try to hold them for as long as you can. If you’re a beginner, start by holding them for 60 seconds, then increase this over time.
- Make use of props. Yoga props and accessories, such as yoga blocks and weighted blankets, should be used during your Yin Yoga practice. These help you to find the most comfortable position during your poses so that you gain the most restorative benefits.
Should you slowly come out of Yin Yoga poses?
Use gentle movements to take you out of the Yin Yoga poses. This will help you to maintain the feeling of wellness and calm that you achieved while holding the poses.
Is a yoga strap useful for Yin Yoga?
A yoga strap is beneficial to use in Yin Yoga. This can be used to lengthen and stretch your arms or legs while helping you to remain in poses for longer.
If you want to start Yin Yoga, we’ve provided you with some of the best poses to try. We’ve also looked at why Yin Yoga is worth bringing into your life, such as its benefits, and what tips to bear in mind when practicing the poses.