What is yin yoga?

Yin yoga has grown ever more popular in Basel and many studios now offer regular yin classes. Wondering what it’s all about? Here’s a quick overview of yin yoga.

The “yin” in yin yoga

Let’s start with the name. “Yin” comes from the well-known concept of yin and yang, and infers a passive and cool style of yoga. This contrasts with the “yang” of a fiery vinyasa flow. Yin yoga is slow and meditative.

Supported yoga

Yin yoga is a supported style of yoga: all the poses are done on the floor, often with the help of props. You may use bolsters, cushions, blocks and straps to help you get into and sustain a pose.

Holding the poses

Probably the most striking differentiator in yin as compared to other styles of yoga is the length of holding a pose. You may stay in a yin pose for two to five minutes, much longer than in a vinyasa flow. The poses are supported and passive, not requiring muscular effort. This allows the yin practitioner to hold the poses for a longer length of time.
Yoga practitioner in sphinx pose

Benefits of yin yoga

Yin yoga targets the connective tissues, ligaments, and joints. This offers different benefits from the strength building and stretches of vinyasa yoga. Yin helps to increase flexibility in a gentle way, with no muscular straining.

Besides physical benefits, yin yoga can bring the practitioner into a very relaxed and meditative state. The slow pace and gentle poses induce a feeling a calm. It takes some mental strength to slow down, stay in a pose that may be on your edge of discomfort, and be in the moment of yin yoga.

Like to try yin yoga in Basel? Join our workshop on January 27 for an afternoon combining vinyasa flow and yin yoga.

Categories: Yoga styles

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