General Benefits / Effects: Yin Yoga Overview

  1. As with other yin practices, Yin Yoga is intended to bring balance to yang practices that generate heat and focus on muscular engagement and muscular stretching, for example.
  2. As with nearly all yoga practices, Yin Yoga tends to help balance the nervous system, a vital reason for yoga’s many benefits. Being yin in nature, Yin Yoga encourages slowing down and invites parasympathetic activation.
  3. Yin Yoga specialists including Sarah Powers and Josh Summers speak of the effect of Yin Yoga on energy deficiency and stagnation, leading to resolution of various physical and mental conditions.
  4. Because of the long holds in Yin Yoga, a significant aspect of the practice centers around presence and mindfulness.

Yin Yoga Addresses Energy Deficiency and Stagnation

The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approach to health is promoting a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang energies… Different yoga styles influence the Qi [prana] in different ways. Yin and restorative practices are great if you’re suffering from Qi deficiency: low energy, poor appetite or digestion, a weak voice, or chronic illness. Stagnant Qi — which manifests as pain, tension, stress, or irritability — settles in your joints. Yin Yoga gently stresses the joints to loosen that stagnation and restore the relaxed flow of Qi. After that, an active, or Yang, yoga practice will pump fresh Qi through these areas, and you’ll feel renewed. Yin and Yang Yoga go together beautifully—like, well, Yin and Yang!– Josh Summers

Staying with Physical and Emotional Sensations

I practice yin yoga as a way to learn to cope with being truly uncomfortable, both physically and emotionally. Yin is so much more challenging for me than active yoga. Sitting and staying with the physical and emotional sensations that arise is difficult, but also rewarding as I learn to surrender and accept what arises. – Student, Seattle Yoga News

Strength, Balance, Peace of Mind

Yin changed my life. Yin has helped me gain my strength, balance and peace of mind after several serious injuries. The physical work helps me build strength, as well as trust in myself. The time to hold positions also helps me quiet my mind and bring peace to my heart. I feel safe to practice at my own pace and modify when I need to. I also feel the kind of balance that helps me through my day. – Student, Seattle Yoga News