All forms of yoga can provide benefits physically, emotionally, and mentally, Yin Yoga is based on the Taoist concept of yin and yang, opposite and complementary principles in nature. Yin is the stable, unmoving, hidden aspect of things; yang is the changing, moving, revealing aspect. In the body, the relatively stiff connective tissues (tendons, ligaments, fascia) are yin, while the more mobile and pliable muscles and blood are yang.

Yin Yoga works the deeper levels of the body/heart/mind: the connective tissues of the ligaments, fascia, joints and bones and the energetic channels of the meridians, nerves and blood system. One big difference noticed by students of Yin Yoga is the long-held, passive nature of the posture, which gives time for a deeper journey to unfold, a journey into the meditative aspects of yoga, a bridge to living life mindfully.

The four main aspects to keep in mind while practicing Yin Yoga are:

1) Focus on the breath, your breath is the doorway to release the stress and tension from your body and mind.

2) Let all thoughts come and go, you may find it hard initially to keep your awareness but you will experience it in some moments.

3) Be patient, don’t rush accept your body and keep working practicing everyday.

4) Hold poses for 2-3 minutes to good get benefit of the pose and remember to come out gently of the pose.

Yin yoga works on the Yin tissues – also known as the connective tissues. Connective tissue responds best to a slow, steady load. If you gently stretch connective tissue by holding a yin pose for a long time, the body will respond by making them a little longer and stronger – which is exactly what you want. Remember the principle of the exercise is to stress the tissue so the body will respond by strengthening it.

Benefits of a regular Yin yoga practice

1 - Increases circulation and improves flexibility

2 - Calms and balances the mind and body

3 - Reduces stress and anxiety

4 - Releases fascia

5 - Encourages deeper relaxation

6 - Improves joint mobility

7 - Brings balance to the organs through meridian stimulation

Yin yoga is almost entirely passive, although some Yin asanas contain Yang elements. During the asanas, muscles are relaxed to avoid muscle spasm, which could result from engaging muscles for long periods, expect to come feeling very relaxed after a Yin Yoga class.

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Author's Bio: 

Shivoham Yoga School is a leading yoga school in India currently offering several courses on yoga teacher training in Rishikesh and Goa.