Yin Yoga 101: Everything You Need to Know - Sweatbox

Just when you thought you’d had enough yoga practice and yoga therapy, or you have attended too many yoga classes from a yoga school or studio, you heard about the yin yoga practice. While a part of you is saying you’ve gone to many yoga classes already enough to pursue your own practice or put up your own yoga business, you still can’t help but get curious about yin yoga training and how to get a yin yoga certification.

For one, many qualified yoga teachers are now offering yin yoga classes. Additionally, it is already as if a yin yoga certification is a standard for yoga students and other yoga enthusiasts.

If you haven’t taken a yin yoga class yet, you might be curious about what this type of yoga entails. You may have tried doing yin yoga postures or have attended two or more yoga classes and are now wondering even more about this type of yoga.

What does it take to have a yin yoga certification? What do you have to go through in a typical yin yoga teacher training? Where do you find a certified yin yoga teacher? What yin yoga sequences, yin training, and yin yoga pose should you expect when attending yin yoga classes?

If you are curious about the answers to these yin yoga-related questions and more, this article will tap into each detail. Let’s help you get started with what you need to know about yin yoga classes, yin yoga poses, yin yoga sequences, and many other things you can think about when you hear yin yoga.

Introduction to Yin Yoga

By observing various yoga classes, you will easily notice how the yin yoga poses done in yin yoga classes are considerably slower compared to what is referred to as the yang yoga practices. This will give you a quick understanding of yin and yang and their differences.

Unlike in a typical yin class, yang practices are more energetic with dynamic poses. Some samples include power style, flow, and hatha yoga classes.

On the other hand, yin classes include passive movements and holding each pose for 1 to 5 minutes. This will allow the yin poses to target your connective tissues instead of your muscles.

However, while holding the poses for five minutes or fewer sounds easy, you will realize that it’s not once you begin the practice. Aside from exerting physical effort to accomplish the goal, holding yin postures also require a lot of mental work.

What Are the Benefits of Yin Yoga?

Physically, the focus of yin classes is on release.

1. Works on your fascia

Your fascia gets manipulated when you practice yin yoga’s breathwork and postures. Fascia is the dense connective tissues that wrap around muscle groups and individual muscles.

2. Works on your tendons

Yin yoga also works on your tendons that connect your bones to the muscles, which help you move and become stable. Tendons are connective tissues that work hard to stabilize your joints and muscles. As a result, they naturally become used to the physical exertion that they are able to resist change.

3. Enables you to hold poses longer

As you age (especially if you have a sedentary lifestyle), your connective tissues suffer and lose their elasticity. As a result, you become more prone to limited joint mobility, sore joints, and stiffness.

This is where yin yoga classes can help. Yin yoga progressively loads weight into your body’s different connective tissues and helps you in holding long static poses. Through this, yin yoga helps restore the elasticity of your muscular fascia, resulting in stronger and more flexible ligaments. So when you practice yang yoga, your muscles have more space to stretch. And your joints become more adaptive and comfortable in your everyday mobility.

4. Improves your overall physical health

With regular practice of yin yoga, whether it’s a yin course or personal practice, you become more comfortable sitting even for an extended period. This benefit will help a lot when practicing yoga and meditation techniques.

What Should I Consider When I Strike a Pose?

You will become more mentally aware by attending yin classes, finishing a yin yoga course, or practicing yin yoga at your own pace. This is a more effective technique targeting the mind than a vinyasa class’ one-breath-one-movement exercise.

1. Handling your mental state better

Part of the work that goes into a yin yoga session is deciding how to handle your mind. You can improve your connection to yourself, therefore, understanding it better. You can use this time to fully get into your thoughts and feeling, an exercise fundamental to a complete yoga practice.

2. Be one with yourself

You can also begin with yin yoga if you have thought about starting a meditation practice. You can take the time to be one with yourself without dwelling on problems and other external factors. Alternately, you can focus on the many sensations and emotions that surface while holding a yoga position.

For instance, you might detect sections of your body that feel open and spacious or rigid and stagnant. Do your daily movements have any patterns that might be causing them? You may notice that certain parts that initially seemed “stuck” have relaxed as you hold a yin yoga pose. This might be a very subtle experience that intensifies with regular yin meditation.

3. Block all the distractions

It’s also possible to become aware of any mental worries or comfort as you practice yin yoga. Can you identify their causes?

On the other hand, you may find it easier to concentrate on the objective, if it’s something professional or personal, and block all the distractions.

Or perhaps, you have been working toward a professional or personal objective. When you are in a yin position, you may find it easier to concentrate solely on your objective and block out the distractions surrounding you.

Do I Need to Close My Eyes?

Closing your eyes may help your body and mind relax completely when you practice yin yoga for the first time. Since you are constantly surrounded by stillness, you are more prone to distractions.

You can reduce visual disturbances that trigger various thoughts by closing your eyes. However, it’s still up to you. You can choose to open your eyes during the practice if you think this makes you feel more comfortable physically, emotionally, and mentally as you practice yin yoga.

Is Alignment Important?

In contrast to yang yoga, yin yoga has an entirely distinct concept of alignment.

In yang yoga, alignment prevents ligament tension in the joints and keeps you from stretching or directly strengthening certain areas of your body. Since yang yoga involves faster movements, preventing these issues reduces the likelihood of overstressing or hurting the body as you go along.

The principles are somewhat different in yin yoga since it relies on gravity to sustain postures. It also focuses on some regions that yang alignment hopes to protect.

For one, in postures like forward folds, where your upper body is relaxed, you may be told to keep your spine long as you hang from your hips.

In addition, some poses may be called different names in yin yoga, such as “butterfly,” which common yoga name is Baddha konasana. The differences hope to prevent practitioners from moving similarly in yin yoga as they would in yang yoga.

Yin yoga also emphasizes that practitioners’ postures be influenced by the following factors:

  • Joint insertion
  • Skeletal composition
  • Trauma
  • Injuries

This means that there is not one meaning of proper alignment. But instead, the definition depends on each practitioner. When doing the yin yoga poses, you will know that you’re doing it right if your body feels a sensation but not pain.

Should I Worry When I Feel Discomfort?

As yin practitioners progress with a yin yoga course, they often get more attuned to their discomfort. A yin yoga instructor frequently gets asked about the meaning of discomfort in the practice of yin yoga. This typically happens in person, in live classes or live sessions, or even when students attend online learning, online training, or class recordings.

One’s successful completion of the yin yoga practice depends on a registered yoga teacher’s teaching experience and teaching skills. Their deep understanding of the functional anatomy of yin yoga, yin yoga history, and yin theory allow them to come up with nicely explained concepts and relevant feedback about all things yin.

Whether it’s a 50-hour yin or a shorter yoga class Singapore doesn’t matter. Students won’t feel the pain if the yin yoga teacher makes it a very enjoyable course.

And there should not be any pain in the first place. It’s easier to get acquainted with the yin yoga practice if a yoga teacher has taught you how to find your edge.

After understanding that you can hold a pose for as long as you want, you can take your time in reaching your edges. So when you reach your first edge, you can savor the thoughts, feelings, and sensations, as you would when doing a mindfulness practice.

Additionally, it is also ideal for reaching a level of comfortable discomfort as you try to go through and experience your edges. For example, if you’re in a banana pose or bananasana, you are targeting the side area of your body. The comfortable discomfort level means you are breathing easily while you feel an intense stretching sensation on your side.

However, pause or ease back when your breathing becomes strained, and you start feeling sharp pains. This is how important the guidance of a certified yin yoga teacher is in teaching yoga. Regardless of your injuries, they will tweak the movements and suggest props to make it easier for you to do the poses without any pain.

Why Choose Sweatbox For Yin Yoga Training?

Finally, as much as yin yoga classes can help you deal better with the stillness and achieve overall balance, you can only enjoy the process under the leadership of a yoga alliance certified teacher with a yin yoga certification. Let us help you start your journey toward enjoyable, safe, and effective yin yoga training. Try a class or two at Sweatbox to check if this is the most suitable yoga for your health and preferences.

About the Author​

Lynette is fully dedicated to the support and empowerment of the growing community of committed yoga students and teachers. As one of the Lead Instructors for Yoga Teacher Training, she is here to share tips on how to grow your profile as a yoga teacher or build a yoga business either physically or digitally.