To understand fully yin yoga is to practice it. On a definition basis, Yin classes are a slow-paced and calming style of Yoga. Unlike your typical Vinyasa (Yang class) each pose is held for longer periods of time with a focus on floor-based postures, in 60 minutes class you may do as few as 5 poses.

Yin Yoga targets the joints and connective tissues (ligaments, tendons, and fascia) to help improve flexibility, mobility and create the feeling of space and freedom in your body. Typically focusing on the shoulders, hips, and spine. During a class, multiple props will be used to achieve these results. Props like blankets, bolsters, straps, and blocks are used often to encourage you to lose the support of muscles and fully relax into each pose, essentially targeting the opening of fascia, ligaments, and tendons.

The principles of Yin Yoga are simple enough yet extremely challenging if not used to being in your own thoughts and space for prolonged moments of time. First, you find your edge but go to the limit of discomfort in a typical position and once at the edge you find stillness and reconnect with the breath.

It’s in that specific meditation-like state of stillness that most of the yin yoga magic happens. In a world where we are constantly busy ‘doing,’ we lose the sense of just being. The meditative side of Yin allows us to be with our body, mind, and our own energy. Letting go of any stress and tension you may be holding.

The first time I practiced Yin Yoga, I cried during a position and really felt anxious in those moments of stillness. I realized that being in those moments of peace, quietness, and stillness was something that I never did and something that was much needed for me to heal everything that was going on in my life and in my mind.

The more I practice Yin Yoga, the better I started to feel and at the time my dad had recently committed suicide and I was in a dark depression. The Yin Yoga practice is what gave me back control over my body and over my mind, healing me to becoming a better version of myself and letting go of the past and traumas that were caused. You really have to spend time in these moments to fully understand the power that exists there. It is truly magical. Try it out for yourself and follow my free Yin Yoga classes on Youtube, released twice a week.

“Stillness is where creativity and solutions are found.”

-Meister Eckhart.