5 Reasons to make Time for Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga is everywhere these days. It’s hard to find a studio that doesn’t offer at least one yin class per week (mostly in the evenings or on lazy Sundays) and there are good reasons for that. 

Yin yoga offers a much needed break from the more active and fast-paced Vinyasa styles that are dominant in many western world yoga studios. 

Nevertheless, yin yoga is not a new wellness trend. Just like Vinyasa style classes, it derives from the ancient practice of Hatha yoga, the most common style of yoga practiced in today’s western world. Hatha (and yin as well) focuses mostly on the body, the physical practice. Breathwork and meditation are combined with the asanas, yet in Hatha and yin, our bodies are the means of restoring our bodies and minds to optimal health. 

There are many reasons to make time for a nourishing and restoring yin session that will help you leave the class feeling rejuvenated and light. 

The need to slow down

Everything in today’s society is changing at a rapid and fast pace. We have almost never the time to stop and take a moment to reflect upon what we are doing and where our life is heading, because we are so busy planning, working and managing family, friends and life. 

And while it’s great that we are all busy bees, working on our dreams and building beautiful lives, sometimes all we need is to slow down, rest, relax and recharge. Yin yoga is the perfect practice for this, as it allows our body and to anchor into the present moment and just be here, without the need to do anything. The nourishing and grounding postures of yin yoga help you to unwind and calm the mind.

Stress release

With being very busy also often comes being stressed. Oftentimes, we can feel overwhelmed with all the tasks that have to be completed day by day, resulting in our bodies and minds reacting with stress and sometimes even shutting down completely. Stress as such is not a bad thing, in fact it is vital for our survival. Stress only becomes harmful when we face an excessive amount of stress day by day that becomes chronic. Unfortunately, in our day and age this is not a rarity. Being constantly ‘on-the-go‘ leads to being stuck in our active state of the nervous system, the sympathetic nervous system and leads to an excess secretion of the stress hormone cortisol. Yin yoga fosters diaphragmatic breathing along with the restorative postures. When practicing yin yoga, you breath deeply into your belly. This helps you to let go of stress and come back into the parasympathetic nervous system, our restful state. 

Yin yoga can be practiced by anyone and anywhere

Yin yoga, along with restorative yoga, is one of the most accessible practice that can be practiced by anyone, regardless of age or ability. It is very grounding and many postures happen seated or lying down. This makes the practice perfect for anyone suffering from physical illnesses or recovering. 

Along with being practiced by anyone, yin yoga can also be practiced anywhere. We don’t need fancy props or heated rooms to practice yin. We just need our bodies and maybe a comfy carpet, mat or anything else so we don’t hurt ourselves on the ground, but nothing more is needed. You don’t even need to visit a yoga class for yin yoga (but it helps of course), just breathe for ten minutes in child’s pose – there you have your practice. 

Emotional and physical release and healing 

Yin Yoga has the wonderful ability to trigger our fascia, the deep connective tissue that runs through our whole body. Holding the poses for a long period of time (five minutes plus) will encourage our connective tissue to soften and lengthen. This is not only physical beneficial, as it revitalizes the body and creates flexibility, but it is also emotionally healing. Our body holds and stores emotions and trauma in our connective tissue. With the help of yin yoga, we can finally release stuck emotions and trauma from our body and mind. It is a deep emotional healing process. Often forgotten emotions might come to the surface to finally be released and healed. This journey is not an easy one, but normally emotions only surface that are ready to be released. Yin yoga isn’t meant to be comfortable, in fact it will lead us into discomfort. The power of yin yoga is that it forces us to stay in this zone of discomfort despite the minds begging to leave.Yin yoga allows us to breathe through all the discomfort and to finally come to that sweet point of physical and emotional release. In that regard, it is a potent form of emotional and physical healing and transformation. 

It increases self-love

Yin yoga is a wonderful tool to open our hearts and to stay with ourselves, no matter how uncomfortable that may be at times. Yin yoga helps us to acknowledge and love ourselves, with all our imperfections, our stress, our emotional turbulence or whatever we may be facing. Just dropping in the body and staying there shows us that we are enough. We do show up for ourselves on the mat and cultivate a happier self. In her book Insight Yoga, Sarah Powers describes yin yoga as a “coming home to our bodies“ and “taking up residence“. That is exactly what yin yoga is all about. Feeling who we really are at our deepest core and allowing ourselves to be this part, no matter if society or the media tell us different. 

Are you ready to unwind, nourish your body and give yourself some much needed and deserved love? Join one of my yin yoga classes online or from the studio in Berlin. Find my schedule here.

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