Vegan ecofriendly yoga products to support your practice everyday

The Health Benefits of Yin Yoga: A Deep Meditative Practice

The Health Benefits of Yin Yoga: A Deep Meditative Practice

Yoga is not a monolith. Vigorous and fast-paced asana practices — like power, vinyasa, and Ashtanga — are known as “yang” styles. Asanas rooted in the yin school, however, are slow and deliberate. Yin yoga practitioners hold poses for two minutes or more, and the experience proves meditative for many. But the pace isn’t the only difference between yin and yang styles. Physiologically, yang yoga works on muscles and yin yoga targets connective tissues. Below, we outline six health benefits related to the latter.

#6: Lengthens Connective Tissues

Fascia is the casing of connective tissue surrounding every blood vessel, organ, nerve fibre, bone, and muscle in the body. When underused, it becomes stiff and painful. Yin yoga stretches the fascia, which elongates the tissue, leading to longer and stronger fibres.

#5: Boosts Circulation

Good circulation is one of the keys to good health. It keeps oxygen and blood free-flowing around the body, which supports organ function. In addition to long-held poses, yin practice incorporates deep breathing, and both improve circulation. 

#4: Improves Flexibility and Reduces Tension

Flexibility keeps our limbs nimble, and a lack of it leads to injury and mobility issues. Elastic fascia is a large part of what makes us flexible, and yin yoga is one of the best ways to stretch the tissue. It also releases tension in tight spots.

#3: Reduces Stress

Certain activities calm the parasympathetic nervous system — which regulates how our body responds to strain — and yin yoga is one of them. Studies have found that the practice significantly lowers stress levels, and many practitioners report that yin yoga has helped them combat and manage depression.

#2: Increases Self-Compassion

When we slow down, we’re more aware of ourselves and our surroundings. Since yin yoga is all about glacial movements and long holds, practitioners become increasingly mindful of their bodies on both physical and spiritual levels. This fosters a sense of oneness with the world and naturally increases self-compassion.

#1: Primes Body for Meditation

One of the reasons many people love yin practice is its meditative quality. At first, slow, deliberate movement can open the flood gates of thought. Ruminations about the past may come rushing forth. But once you get past that initial stage — and everyone does — yin asanas can carry you into a peaceful, mindful state. Physical stillness goes hand in hand with enhanced brain clarity and calmness.

Yin yoga is an excellent way to incorporate a meditative fitness practice into your life that benefits both the mind and body.