Class Spotlight: YIN

 In Yoga Studio

Restorative yoga classes are the YIN to the YANG — literally.

According to yogic philosophy (and eastern philosophy more generally), Yin and Yang refers to the duality of the universe. All things exist as opposites: hot and cold, light and dark, feminine and masculine.

In yoga, Yin refers to a slower, more passive, more relaxing yoga. Yang, on the other hand, refers to energetic, dynamic, and warming yoga (think vinyasa flow and hot yoga).

As with all dualities, one should not and does not exist without the other.

If you lead an active lifestyle or have a dynamic vinyasa yoga practice, adding YIN to your routine can help to balance your energy.

At Yoga Pod West Houston, we firmly believe that there are benefits to all types of yoga. This is why we offer nearly 10 different types of yoga classes on our weekly schedule. Today, we wanted to highlight YIN yoga, as it tends to be misunderstood as “easy” or “geriatric’ yoga. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

What Is A YIN Class Like?

YIN classes are very different from podFLOW 1 and podFLOW 2 classes. When you get to a YIN class, you’ll notice immediately that it’s more relaxing of an environment. Here’s what to expect:

  • Use of props: you’ll grab blocks, straps, bolsters, and blankets to make YIN as comfortable as possible. It’s all about relaxing and holding postures, so you’ll rest your head on blocks, use straps to encourage mobility, and use bolsters to support your lower back.
  • Holding postures for two to five minutes: depending on the posture, you’ll hold up to seven minutes. The point of holding postures for longer is to stretch the body’s fascia, or connective tissue. By activating the fascia during these long holds, you get a deep stretch.
  • Calming atmosphere and music: your YIN class won’t blast Nelly’s “Hot In Herre” as you hold a high plank for two minutes. It’s much more soothing. Your instructor will play soft, meditative music, and the lights will be dimmed.

While YIN isn’t traditionally thought of as a workout, it’s also not a walk in the park either. Most experienced yogis will tell you that YIN is actually the hardest of all classes because it requires stillness, introspection, and patience.

Who Can Benefit From YIN?

YIN yoga is extraordinarily beneficial, even if you practice this yoga class type just once a week.

Consider trying YIN at our yoga studio if you:

  • Run, bike, or lift — if you have a primary fitness activity that requires dynamic movement, you should complement it with restorative yoga. Static stretching before a workout isn’t enough. YIN works deep into your muscle tissue, acting almost as a massage.
  • Stay (too) busy — do you sometimes realize that you literally forgot to breathe? Do you have a stressful job, active family life, or buzzing mind? YIN encourages relaxation and meditation — a form of self-care that we too often avoid.
  • Have chronic injuries — if you have mobility limitations or chronic injuries that make dynamic exercise difficult, YIN can be a really nice alternative.

The next time you’re feeling sore after a long jog or just want a change of pace, try a YIN class at Yoga Pod West Houston!

Check out our schedule to see YIN classes for the week.

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