Yin yoga is the one!
In yin yoga, instead of flowing from one pose to the next, we focus on just a few postures, holding each of them for a minimum of 10 breaths. In this style, time, not intensity, is the active ingredient. We work alongside gravity to release deeply-held tension, exerting as little muscular effort as possible and prioritising stillness and receptivity over movement and strength.
As yin yoga is a restorative practice, we typically use props to support us in the poses. These include blocks, straps and bolsters. Blocks and straps are inexpensive and well worth the investment and you can always substitute a bolster with cushions and pillows when you’re starting out.
All styles of yoga improve your overall sense of wellbeing but yin yoga is particularly effective if you are somebody always on-the-go who finds it hard to relax. If that is you, this technique may be just what you need to give your body and mind the time to properly rest and rejuvenate.
In yin yoga, as in all yoga, the breath is primary. We aim to breathe in and out through the nose throughout the session, deep down into the abdomen.
Diaphragmatic nasal breathing triggers the parasympathetic nervous system and allows your muscles to let go of tension. As you settle into each posture, try to slow your breathing right down to a pace that is comfortable and soothing. As you become more experienced, you can start to draw out the length of your exhalations. For example, breathing in for 4 counts and out for 6 or 8. This is because, as you will discover, the release of tension takes place on the exhalation.
WHAT IS IN THIS COURSE?
- 15 x 15-minute yin sessions
- 2 bonus 30-minute sessions
The best time to practice these sequences is in the evening before bed. You will need a mat, a strap and 2 blocks. A bolster is optional.