Unlike yang yoga which focuses on building muscle, flexibility and endurance; its spiritual brother, yin yoga, is slower and more attentive, with an emphasis on deep relaxation and relaxation.
Yin yoga poses relate to connective tissue; tendons, fasciae and ligaments.
What makes Yin Yoga different?
If you are new or unfamiliar with the practice of yoga, some of the more well-known yoga poses belong to a style known as yang yoga. Yoga yan includes styles known as Vinyasa, Vini, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Anusara, Kundalini, Power, etc. Although many Yin Yoga poses closely resemble the famous Yang Yoga flows and poses, they have different names and are used in different ways.
Yin and yang yoga are based on the Taoist concept of opposing and complementary principles of nature, and while yang yoga is based on strength, yin yoga is slow and deliberate. The focus is on releasing and rejuvenating connective tissues that keep your muscles healthy and flexible. It mainly focuses on the Chinese theory of meridians; or energy highway in the human body.
The goal of practicing yin yoga is to increase circulation to the joints and improve flexibility. It offers a more relaxed and conscious approach to yoga, awakening the awareness of inner silence and contemplating a universal and interconnected energy.
Is Yin Yoga Good For CrossFit Athletes?
For athletes of all kinds, including CrossFit athletes, yin yoga is a great practice for recovery. Recovery can be overlooked in any strength training or cardio workout, but yin yoga offers a new way of moving that helps relieve muscle pain and helps prevent injuries and DOMS. It is excellent for mobility.
In addition, the contemplative, meditative and inner reflection provided by yin yoga can help with an athlete’s mental game; providing the kind of mental toughness needed for some of the toughest workouts.
Is Yin Yoga Good For Beginners?
Yin yoga is a great practice for beginners to try. Her relaxed nature means you can settle into each pose at your own pace and at your own pace. You typically hold each pose between 45 seconds and 4 or 5 minutes, or even longer.
This gives the connective tissues time to stretch and relax, loosening tight muscles and sore joints caused by office work or heavy training. Yin yoga poses are infinitely scalable, so there is no need to push yourself too hard.
Is Yin Yoga difficult?
While the poses and flows of yin yoga themselves are not as difficult as those of power yoga, for example, some people may find yin yoga extremely difficult. This is because while you stretch and relax your body, yin yoga encourages you to stretch and relax your mind. Sitting quietly for 5, 10, 15, or 60 minutes can be a huge challenge for our brains, which typically need to be alert and functioning for at least 8 hours a day. Yin yoga postures bring awareness to the body and the breath and allow us to disconnect from our daily worries and stresses.
Yin Yoga Poses for Recovery and Reconnection
Here are 10 yin yoga poses to relax, unwind, and massage connective tissues essential for movement, stability, and injury prevention. While the practice is meant to be peaceful, you are looking for a state of “comfortable discomfort”.
You want to feel a stretch and be able to relax. End the practice if you experience severe discomfort or pain.
This movement has many names, and the Pigeon Pose is one of them. Pull your right knee towards your right wrist. Bring your right foot in front of your left hip and slide your left leg back. Depending on your flexibility, you may not be able to step forward above your knee, but rest on your hands on the elbows, which is most effective.
Hold this pose for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. This pose opens up the hips, stretches the hamstrings, and releases tension in the nervous system that can be a cause of sciatica.
Similar to the Cobra, or Bhujangasana, the Sphinx is a more relaxed version of the yang yoga pose, which usually involves full extension of the spine and arms. This movement encourages gentle flexion of the spine.
Lying on your stomach, lift your chest off the ground and rest on your forearms, like the famous Sphinx in Egypt. Keep your lower body and legs sunk into the ground. The pose is to open up your chest, and stretch and strengthen the spine. Hold this pose for 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Yin Yoga Postures: Butterfly
A great pose for opening the hips, the butterfly (sometimes called the bound angel) stretches the joints in your pelvis. Sit with your back straight and bring the soles of your feet together. Push your seated bones into the ground and lengthen your spine. Your legs should form a diamond.
Beginners should sit on a pillow or folded blanket to encourage your pelvis to tilt forward. More advanced yogis can gently bend forward, allowing your spine to gently round off and your head to drop towards your feet.
3.5 Reclining Butterfly Posture
Similar to the standing butterfly pose, the lying butterfly pose does exactly what it says. Lie on your back and bring the soles of your feet together, letting gravity push your knees toward the floor. Hold either pose for 3-5 minutes. These two yin yoga poses should help you achieve a gentle groin and hip stretch.
4. Child pose
A popular relaxation or ending pose in yin and yang yoga practice, the infant pose helps extend the spine and allow your body to completely relax. Start by sitting up straight on your knees, then slowly curl your upper body over your knees, bringing your arms to the sides and relaxing in the stretch of your spine and back.
If you want to feel even more stretched, you can lift your arms and stretch them over your head. This will open up the shoulders and stretch the connective tissues all the way through your upper body. It’s very relaxing, so you should be able to stay in this position for 3-5 minutes.
Deceptively simple, the caterpillar pose is achieved by sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. You then bring your upper body forward to bend it in half, bringing your head to your knees. Your ability to complete this yin yoga pose is hugely dependent on the flexibility of your back and hamstrings.
Yin yoga poses like the caterpillar may take a while to become fully comfortable, but it does come with practice, so don’t worry if you can only move your hips forward.
Hold this position for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, and bend only as far as possible without causing unnecessary pain.
One of the best yin yoga poses for stretching connective tissue around your back is banana. This movement is simple and very effective; Lying flat on your back with your arms above your head, tuck your legs to one side. Do the same with your upper arms and arms so that your body is shaped like a banana. You should feel the stretch all over your body. Hold for 3-5 minutes.
This movement provides lateral flexion of the spine, stretching all the lateral tissues and muscles of the body such as the IT band and the intercostal muscles.
7. Crooked root
Also known as an inclined twist, the twisted root helps release tension in the spine. To do this pose, lie down with your back on the floor. Bring your knees towards your chest and roll them to one side, keeping your back and shoulders flat on the floor. Turn your head away from your legs and bring your arms to either side.
Hold this pose for 3-5 minutes and feel the release throughout your spine. Remember to complete this movement on both sides.
8. Melting heart
This yin yoga pose is great for shoulder mobility and countering poor posture and rounded spine. You should feel your chest, ribs, and the front of your shoulders open up.
Starting on all fours, bring your upper body to the floor, keeping your hips in line with your knees and extending your arms out in front of you. You effectively âmeltâ into the ground, but keep your hips raised, letting your spine lengthen and stretch. Hold this pose for 3 to 5 minutes.
9. Yin Yoga Postures: Dragon
One of the most effective poses for stretching tight hips, the dragon pose has many different styles and variations depending on your experience and strength. The pose helps stretch the hip flexors and quadriceps of the back leg, opening up the hip and groin.
Starting on all fours or in a downward dog position, step forward one foot and place it between your hands. Step that front foot forward until the knee is just above the heel. Slide the back leg back as far as you can. Keep your hands on either side of the front foot. Feel the stretch in your groin and lift your upper body to hold the pose and relax. Hold for 30 seconds – 2 minutes or more, if possible.
10. Happy baby
One of the most ridiculous yin yoga poses, but one that opens up the inner thighs, hamstrings and groin, and releases knots in the hips and back, the happy baby looks exactly what ‘it sounds.
Lying on your back with your knees against your chest, grab your feet with your hands. Spread your knees, moving them towards your armpits. Flex your heels in your hand and rock gently from side to side – like a happy baby – massaging your spine. Hold this pose for 1 to 2 minutes breathing deeply.
Read more: 8 Basic Standing Yoga Poses You Should Master
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