Yin yoga is a slow and mindful practice, where you hold postures for much longer periods than in most forms of hatha yoga, typically 3-5 minutes. Rather than muscular effort, you use gravity and your bodyweight to go deeper into the postures. This allows access to the fascia and connective tissue, which in the Taoist tradition are thought of as the “yin” tissues of the body. Different Yin yoga poses stimulate and remove blockages in the myofascial meridians in the body, which in turn balances the body’s internal organs and systems.
There are a variety of breathing techniques that are known to reduce stress, aid in digestion, improve sleep, and cool you down and heat you up. In yoga, we refer to this breathwork as pranayama which translates to the extension of life force. Research shows that a regular practice of controlled breathing can decrease the effects of stress on the body and increase overall physical and mental health.