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Yoga Benefits

The Powerful Benefits Of Yin Yoga For The Body And Mind

December 14, 2022

The benefits of Yin Yoga are truly unparalleled, offering a comprehensive solution for both your physical and mental well-being.

If you’ve tried yin yoga before, you most likely finished the session feeling utterly relaxed and replenished. 

A regular practice of Yin yoga can lead to improved flexibility, joint mobility, and overall physical health, making it an essential addition to any fitness routine.

But the benefits of Yin Yoga go far beyond just physical improvements. The slow, meditative nature of this therapeutic style of yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety, allowing you to escape from the demands of daily life and find peace within. The holistic approach of Yin Yoga also offers emotional, mental, and spiritual benefits, making it a comprehensive form of exercise that truly has the power to transform your life.

If you’ve recently started a yin practice or are considering doing so, this article is for you.
Read on to discover how you will benefit physically and mentally from a regular Yin yoga practice!

benefits of yin yoga butterfly pose
Butterfly Pose, from the Yin Academy online course.

Benefits of Yin Yoga For The Body

Improvement of Flexibility & Mobility

All “yang” styles of yoga, such as Hatha, Vinyasa, and Ashtanga, are known for increasing flexibility and mobility. This is due to stretching the muscles, the superficial tissues of the body. 

The benefits of Yin yoga, however, go beyond just muscles. Yin yoga uniquely lengthens deeper connective tissues – the fascia, tendons, and ligaments – due to the long holds and passive style of stretching. This type of stretching is crucial for fascia, as it needs at least 120 seconds of sustained stretching to be affected.

Thus, the benefits of Yin Yoga complement “yang” styles of yoga perfectly, providing a full-body stretch and improved flexibility and mobility for many who start a Yin practice. Many people who have practised Hatha or Ashtanga yoga for years find their flexibility and mobility considerably improve once they start a yin practice.

Yin Yoga Increases Circulation

Like other styles of yoga, Yin encourages slow and deep breathing, which slows the heart rate and improves blood circulation.

However, in yin yoga, you breathe into the part of the body you are stretching. This improves blood and oxygen flow not only into the superficial tissues but also into the deep fascia layers. This, in turn, stimulates the flow of “chi” or “prana,” our life force energy.

Benefits of Yin Yoga For The Mind

benefits of yin yoga for the mind

Yin Yoga Reduces Stress & Anxiety

A five-week study on clinically stressed adults noted several benefits of Yin yoga, especially a decrease in stress symptoms and depression.

Researchers concluded this by measuring the Plasma Adrenomedullin levels of each participant before and after the five-week program. 

Adrenomedullin is your body’s cardiovascular response when exposed to stress; the more stressed a person feels, the higher the levels will be. The researchers found a significant reduction in plasma ADM levels among the participants post-study compared to pre-study, suggesting their stress levels had greatly diminished. 

The benefits of Yin Yoga are likely due to its calming effect on the nervous system and mind. Moreover, the stillness the practice promotes gives yogis a much-needed “slow down” in their fast-paced daily life. 

Without doing practices like yoga and meditation that help you connect to the present moment, it is easy to become affected by the many minor stressors that occur every day. However, mindfulness practice allows you to stay calm and peaceful.

Improvement of Sleep Quality

The benefits of Yin Yoga were shown to improve sleep quality in the study mentioned above. Participants reported better sleep after five weeks of practicing Yin Yoga. This is because Yin Yoga slows down mental activity, reducing the common issue of an overactive mind that disrupts sleep.

The benefits of Yin Yoga also shift the nervous system into rest and digest mode, promoting natural relaxation and preparation for sleep. With our constantly fast-paced lives, our nervous systems often remain in sympathetic mode, making it challenging to unwind. However, practicing Yin Yoga before bed can help calm worries and signal the body to relax, leading to improved sleep quality.

cat pulling its tail yin yoga
Cat Pulling its Tail Pose, from the Yin Academy online Course

Yin Yoga Promotes Self-Awareness 

All yoga styles help you become more aware of your body’s sensations. However, the benefits of Yin Yoga specifically enhance this self-awareness due to its long holds.

You hold Yin poses for between 1 and 5 minutes, depending on the targeted tissues. This gives you time to notice how your body responds to the stretch. With practice, you discover what feels good and what doesn’t, and thus, you learn how to adjust the posture to make it work for you.

In Yin Yoga, you work on finding what is known as “the edge“. This is the sweet spot where you are at your maximum, feeling the tension of the stretch but not experiencing pain. 

In other yoga styles, where you typically stay in poses for 5 breaths, you don’t get a chance to find your edge. This is why injuries and overstretching are common in “yang” yoga. 

Along with observing physical sensations, yin yoga helps you develop more awareness of your thoughts and emotions. As yin yoga is a mindfulness practice, the goal is to become aware of any thoughts and feelings that come up but not get caught up in the stories about them. 

Energetic Benefits Of Yin Yoga

yin yoga meridians
12 Major Meridians Card from the YIN Deck

Yin Yoga is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. It works with the Meridians (energy channels); thus, the practice also benefits our emotional bodies. By holding postures for a long duration and targeting specific meridian channels, the benefits of Yin Yoga can lead to emotional healing.

As each organ has specific functions and is linked to different emotions, the energetic benefits differ depending on the target meridian. 

For example, a blocked liver meridian can cause anger and frustration. However, by practising postures that target this meridian, such as Bananasana, Butterfly, and Dragon, you may feel these negative emotions lessen and cultivate a sense of calm and quiet instead. 

Thus, by learning what each meridian relates to and which poses target which channel, yin yoga can be a powerful source of emotional healing. 

To help you maximize the benefits of Yin Yoga,, we added meridian icons on every card from the PlayPauseBe Yin Deck. We recommend you first read the included manual for a description of the meridians and the symptoms of imbalance. Then, you can use the icon system to quickly build sequences around the meridians you feel need healing.

Final Thoughts

The slow, mindful practice of yin yoga can give you many benefits such as improving your flexibility, reducing stress, helping you sleep better, and much more.
If you’re keen to start practising this blissful yoga style, order the PlayPauseBe Yin Deck today. The deck is designed for all levels, so you can start creating your own replenishing sequences immediately, even if you are a beginner. 
Moreover, to deepen your understanding and gain even more benefits of Yin Yoga, check out Yin Academy, our most comprehensive online course dedicated solely to this style of yoga.

yin yoga deck
The YIN Yoga deck.

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Beginner: no or little experience in yoga
Intermediate: a few years of experience in yoga
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