By practising Yin yoga, you will work gently on stretching and improving your joints and connective tissues as well as profoundly calming the mind through mindfulness and meditation while carrying out these mostly lying or sitting postures.
Most yoga practices, including gentle Hatha, include some aspect of both Yin and Yang styles. Yang yoga is more focused on standing postures which help strengthen and stretch the muscles while increasing the heart rate and heating in the body. Warrior poses, sun salutations and any flowing movements are mostly part of the Yang style. Yin, on the other hand, focuses on poses which cool the body and slowly but deeply stretch the tendons, ligaments and fascia in the body by holding these seated and lying poses for longer periods of time.
The term “yin yoga” comes from the Taoist tradition. Practitioners hold poses for three to five minutes and focus on mindful awareness to release muscular effort and tension. The poses are similar to the ones used on more dynamic forms of yoga such as seated forward bends, lunges and backbends which, although slow, are still challenging and really work to stretch, strengthen and all round improve the condition of delicate connective tissues.
Another huge benefit to practising Yin yoga is the effects of mindfulness while you practice. Focusing on the breath and the effects of the postures on the body is a great way to keep the mind in the present taking it away from the usual ‘busy mind’ condition. Yin yoga was actually developed as a way to help students to meditate who found it difficult or uncomfortable to sit still whilst meditating. Allowing the mind to quieten by learning to accept stray or negative thoughts but not focusing on them or feeling the need to finish the thought allows the mind to slip into the parasympathetic state which is deeply healing and nourishing.
This quiet simple practice is beneficial, therefore, to both body and mind leaving the practitioner feeling deeply relaxed and refreshed after taking a break from the normal day to day bustle of their lives to focus on themselves. As this class is relatively static and floor based, it is advisable to wear slightly warmer clothes but our studio is heated to ensure no one gets cold.
Yin yoga at the Float Spa is suitable for complete beginners and more experienced yoga practitioners. The instructor will give you options and adaptions to any techniques you find painful or too difficult as well as ways to challenge yourself further if you wish.
You’re very welcome to bring your own yoga mat if you like but one will be provided for you if you need it. Click here for a full schedule of our classes or to book yourself a place.