Yin Yang Yoga: Practice with Balance and Harmony

Yoga is an ancient practice that balances the mind, body, and spirit. The method involves a combination of physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation techniques. It comes in different styles, each proposing its advantages. One such style is yin-yang yoga which combines active and passive yoga postures to create a balanced yoga practice.

In this guide, we will explore the benefits of Yin Yang Yoga and recommend some poses for beginners.

What is Yin Yang Yoga?

Combining yin and yang elements can bring a sense of harmony to one’s yoga practice. They are two relative qualities present in nearly all things.

You will experience passive, restorative yoga sessions in yin. They are held longer to stretch and stimulate the body’s connective tissues. These postures also draw on Taoist concepts of stillness, patience, and surrender.

On the other hand, the yang poses are more active and dynamic, involving movements that engage muscles and energy channels in the body.

Yin vs Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga is an example of yang yoga. It consists of standing postures that require balance and muscle strengthening. It also covers a range of active yoga types instead of passive ones.

On the other hand, a Yin yoga session will entail sitting or lying down and holding poses for longer periods. Although there’ll be no sweating involved, practitioners can unwind and relax. Many people find the slower practice of Yin yoga to be therapeutic.

What are the Benefits of Yin Yang Yoga

The Yin Yang Yoga practice is a balanced practice. Incorporating both passive and active yoga elements, it draws harmony to the body and mind and the nervous system. The yin in yin yang flow involves passively holding yoga poses to help release tension and increase circulation, while the more active yang postures help to increase stamina and build strength.

Yin Yang Yoga also helps bring balance to the body by engaging yin and yang elements. The advantages of yin yoga postures include stretching and stimulating the body’s connective tissues. On the other hand, the more active yang postures engage the muscles and energy channels. This balance can help to prevent injury and improve overall flexibility.

Yang’s dynamic and energising nature fuels the body’s metabolic processes, including food digestion and the heart’s rhythmic beating. Essentially, Yang is seen as a force that stimulates activity and movement throughout the body. This style involves repetition and rhythm similar to vinyasa flow.

Examples of Yin Yoga Poses

When practising Yin postures, resist the urge to stretch beyond your limits. The aim is to experience sensation without encountering any pain.

Some examples include:

  1. Sukhasana (Easy Seated Pose): To perform this position, one must sit on a folded blanket with legs crossed. The back must be upright, the shoulders loosened, and the hands must rest on the knees. The stance is sustained for a few minutes without movement.

  2. Bound Angle Pose (Butterfly): Seated with the soles of the feet together and knees wide apart, the hands hold the feet while the upper body folds forward.

  3. Reverse Table Pose: This seated posture involves placing the hands behind the hips and lifting the body into a tabletop position, engaging the shoulder blades and opening the chest.

  4. Happy Baby Pose: Lying on the back, the knees are drawn towards the chest, and the hands grab the outer edges of the feet.

  5. Savasana (Corpse Pose): This is often the final pose in most Yin Yoga practices, where people lie down and stretch their arms by their sides. While observing any feelings or warmth allows the body and mind to absorb the benefits of yin yoga fully.

Examples of Yang Yoga Poses

The practice of Yang Yoga involves exercises that heighten endurance levels as they:

  • Keep the muscles engaged

  • Improve circulation

  • Increase stamina

  • Calm the mind

  • Enhance flexibility

Coordinating movement with breath removes tension and induces a sense of relaxation. Furthermore, the more active practice facilitates smooth breathing, allowing one’s vital energy (prana) to flow smoothly.

Some examples of yang poses are:

  1. Warrior 1: Begin in a lunge position with arms raised overhead. This asana opens your hips and chest and stretches your arms and legs.

  2. Warrior 2: Start with a turned-out back foot and extended arms parallel to the ground.

  3. Warrior 3: Stand on one leg while extending the other leg and upper body forward.

  4. Upward Dog: Lift your chest and thighs off the floor from the Four-Limbed Staff Pose.

  5. Chair Pose: With feet hip-width apart, bend your knees and lower your hips, while extending your arms overhead.

Is Yin Yang Yoga Beginner-Friendly?

Yin Yang Yoga is one practice that combines two styles. A typical yoga practice will have longer holds in the yin poses, along with some more yang styles to transition through. You can try practising a shorter flow before attempting a lengthier session or when you don’t have much time but still want to restore balance.

Indeed suitable for beginners, this versatile yoga practice can accommodate various levels of skill. Those new to the practice can begin with gentler yin postures, progressively incorporating more dynamic sequences as their abilities improve.

Meanwhile, seasoned practitioners can concentrate on more demanding yang poses. They can create a tailored practice that caters to their individual needs and goals.

Try a Yin Yang Yoga Class with Sweatbox

Discover the secret to a happier, fitter you by signing up for a top yin yang yoga class with Sweatbox. Build stamina and improve blood flow through a slower practice with yin elements and more active yoga practice through yang movements.

Practitioners can work to release tension and increase circulation in the connective tissues. At the same time, they engage the muscles for strength-building and stamina-boosting. Incorporating both yin and yang aspects can aid in preventing injury, improving flexibility, and promoting mental focus and concentration.

Click here to know more and benefit from bringing balance created by both yang aspects and yin elements into your meditation practice today.

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.