Yin Yoga & Restorative Yoga
Dating back to the earliest spiritual books in India, ‘Yin’ like
yoga is said to be the first type of asanas practiced,
mostly seated and holding for multiple minutes at a time.
This transitioned over the centuries to ‘Yang’ like yoga (Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Power, Bikram) that was more intense, faster paced and focused more on the physical body.
In the last decade of the 20th century, two western
teachers, started to to bring yin postures back into the prominence they once had in the yoga world: Paul Grilley
and Sarah Powers.
Yin Yoga is a slow-paced style in which poses are held for
3-5 five minutes. Even though it’s passive, Yin Yoga can be
quite challenging physiclly and mentally, due to the long holds, particularly if your body is not used to it. The purpose is to apply moderate stress to the connective tissue – the tendons, fascia and ligaments – with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints, improving flexibility and relaxation.
The development of restorative yoga is attributed to B.K.S Iyengar – an authority on yoga and the creator of his self-named style of alignment-based postures. He is known for using props to modify poses to avoid strain and to help students recover from illness or injury. Judith Lasater (one of Iyengar’s students) was instrumental in popularizing restorative yoga in the West. Restorative is a tad more gentle, relaxing, and passive, allowing students to relax and release the body into a gentle stretch with blocks, bolsters, blankets, towels and straps to eliminate all unnecessary muscular effort.
In both style classes, poses are held longer, allowing muscles to release through passive stretching. The postures are usually adapted from supine or seated yoga poses and their shapes can be modified to disengage muscular effort.
Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga are great for days you are not feeling well, are super tired, or are recovering from illness or injury. They create a truly active form of total body relaxation, moving the body towards a perfectly, balanced state physically, mentally, emotionally and energetically.
- Enhances flexibility
- Deep relaxation
- Stills the mind
- Improves healing and balancing
- Balances the nervous system
- Boosts the immune system
- Develops qualities of compassion and understanding toward others and self
- Enhances mood