How Yin yoga can transform your life

Yoga_July27_AWhether you’re new to yoga or have been practicing for years, chances are you’ve heard of Yin Yoga and its many benefits to the bodies and minds of all who practice it. Yin is popular as it’s a deep and reflective style of yoga that offers a more meditative approach than the better known yoga practices. So if you’re feeling contemplative then we suggest you give Yin a try. But first, as with any new yoga practice, you should learn the facts before heading out with your mat.

So what exactly is Yin yoga?

Unlike most other forms of yoga that works the muscle through repetition, Yin postures are much more passive, focusing on floor-based moves for extended periods of time. When you perform Yin, you need to focus on exercising connective tissues, joints and bones by holding a pose for three to five minutes, and even up to 20 minutes at a time. The time spent in these poses are much like the time spent in meditation, allowing you to relax and get intimate with your feelings.

Benefits of Yin yoga

But there are similarities with other types of yoga too. Yin provides various benefits to your physical and mental wellbeing when performed correctly. Here are just some of the health benefits you get from practicing Yin.

  • Increases flexibility – Yin poses are demanding. You need to remain still for long periods of time. But this gives you a greater range of motion and increased flexibility in the longer term. By holding poses and stretches your body will feel longer, lighter, and looser. Yin also helps increase mobility in the body, especially the joints and hips.
  • Heals the body – Studies show that a Yin practice helps to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn allows your body to rest and digest so that it can begin to recover from fatigue and chronic muscle pain. Blood, nutrients, and energy can flow more freely throughout your body so that it can replenish lost energy.
  • Alleviates stress and tension – In some other types of yoga, you need to hold your breath and tighten your muscles to complete the practice. Things are different in the Yin style. Instead of trying to bottle things up, you are free to deepen your breath and lengthen your muscle tissues, lowering cortisol levels (commonly known as stress hormones) and calm the mind during the process.
  • Improves balance – Yin yoga requires you to stay in a pose for several minutes at a time. The longer the length of time you hold the pose, the more effort you need to put in to balance your whole body. Yin can serve as a foundation for creating a well-balanced body and even after a few sessions you’ll enjoy increased coordination and better balance.

If you are tired, over-stimulated, or you feel that you have too much energy, then Yin yoga is probably worth a try. So if you want to learn more about Yin, and how it can have positive effects on your general well-being, then give us a call and talk to one of our yoga instructors.

Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory. Source.

Finding the best yoga style for you

Yoga_June1_AYoga is becoming more and more popular among people who adopt healthy lifestyles. Some of the increasing popularity has to do with its reputation for being a great exercise that helps relieve stress. Finding a class used to be simple – your choices were limited because there weren’t as many people who were interested in taking up yoga. But as the number of yoga practitioners increases, so does the variety of classes and styles. The question is, how do you know which type of yoga is best for you? Here are some of the most popular yoga styles to consider.


If you’re a complete novice in yoga practice, then this is the perfect fit. Hatha’s poses are straightforward and casual. You perform a pose, come out of it, then do another – it’s as simple as that. Props and blocks are used to support your poses and to help you get the right alignment. You can grasp all the yoga basics here, whether it’s how to focus on breathing, relaxation or meditation. Hatha is essentially a gentle yoga routine that’s attainable for those who are just beginning to walk the yoga world’s long and winding road.


Looking for a challenge? Then you should give Ashtanga a try. This vigorous yoga style is ideal for athletes, since it focuses on moving from one pose to the next without rest. Ashtanga aims to generate heat in your body by performing a series of poses that become increasingly challenging as the class progresses. You can also practice Ashtanga for weight loss, since an hour of practice burns around 500 calories.


Derived from the calm half of “yin and yang” Chinese philosophy, this style requires you to move slowly into passive floor poses, which mainly work the lower part of the body, and stay there for up to five minutes to allow for a deeper stretch and greater relaxation. Yin yoga is particularly beneficial if you want to relieve pain and stress, as you’ll be practicing with meditative music and paying extra attention to breathing. If you’re exhausted or overstimulated, then Yin yoga is a perfect match for you.


Iyengar style helps your body recover from injury. Instructors are trained in biomechanics, and so have the expertise to understand which positions are most likely to cause injuries, and how to modify them by showing modification moves and using blocks and props to alleviate the intensity of the poses. Intervals between moves are longer, allowing you to perfect your position and avoid putting too much strain on the body.


Commonly referred to as hot yoga, Bikram is performed in a room heated to approximately 40 degrees celsius. Bikram helps rid your body of toxins – you’ll start sweating almost instantly, flushing out impurities through the skin. A traditional Bikram class focuses on repeating the same 26-pose routine in order to enhance your meditation. Practicing in a heated environment also elevates your heart rate, which makes the body work harder and in turn helps to develop strength and flexibility. Don’t forget to stay well hydrated before and after taking a Bikram yoga class!

Want to take advantage of yoga’s benefits? Unsure of what class to pick? Get in touch today and our experienced yoga instructors will be happy to help.

Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory. Source.