Reduce stress and improve flexibility with Yin yoga Brisbane and Toowoomba.
Yin is a slow-paced style of yoga that works deeply into the connective tissue in the body. Poses are held for a few minutes – instead of a few breaths – giving your body and mind time to let go.
We think of Yin day as treat day! It’s the perfect class to help you relax and unwind after a busy day.
If you’ve never given Yin yoga a try, don’t hesitate to pop into the Brisbane or Toowoomba studio for our much-loved Yin classes. Check out the Toowong and Toowoomba timetables to find a class time that suits you.
What is yin yoga?
Yin yoga is a slow yoga practice consisting of mostly passive, floor-based postures that are held for between 3 and 5 minutes. Yin yoga is suitable for yogis at any stage, including complete beginners.
The goal of Yin yoga is to work into, lengthen and strengthen the connective tissue, such as the ligaments and fascia. Being quite stiff, connective tissue requires time to release. Holding each pose for up to 5 minutes allows the body to minimise muscle activation and to fully surrender, ensuring the target area is getting the love and care it deserves.
As we move out of a Yin posture, we may feel a strong sensation in the target area: a change in temperature, a slight vibration, or a much-needed release of tension. These sensations follow the rush of fresh nutrients that rehydrate the target area after a Yin posture.
The best way to understand the Yin process is to think of a sponge. When a sponge is dry, it is brittle and stiff. We cannot bend it without breaking it; it has a very limited range of movement. But, when we saturate a sponge with fresh water, the sponge can twist and bend with ease. The hydration improves the sponge’s flexibility and increases its range of motion.
The same goes for our connective tissue. When we do not use our bodies to their full potential, they can become stiff. But, when we rehydrate connective tissue through a Yin yoga practice, we regain our flexibility and suppleness.
In fact, many yogis notice a faster improvement in flexibility when practicing Yin yoga than other styles of yoga.
The benefits of yin yoga Brisbane and Toowoomba
Yin yoga is a beautiful practice that can be more challenging that it looks – even more challenging than a Hot Power class! But, with patience, Yin yoga will fast become a vital part of your practice.
Why? Because you’ll reap so many incredible benefits, including:
- Calm and stillness in the mind and body
- Increase in flexibility and mobility
- Lower stress levels
- Release of tension
- An improved ability to cope with stressful or challenging situations
- Increased circulation
- The ability to relax with greater ease
- A better range of motion in the joints
- A more balanced, harmonious yoga practice
If you’re a newbie to Yin, you might be wondering how on earth you’ll be able to hold each pose for 5 WHOLE MINUTES. Don’t worry – most of the postures we practice in Yin yoga are seated or lying down, and have minimal muscular activation.
That doesn’t mean they’re easy. Yin is much more a battle of the mind than a battle of the body. It’s about learning to sit with discomfort (not pain), to accept what is, and to come fully and presently into the moment. No stories. No judgement. Just you and your breath.
Many of the postures we practice in Yin yoga are similar to those we practice in more active styles of yoga. Often, the Yin version is given its own name. For example, we refer to pigeon as sleeping swan, and a seated forward fold as caterpillar.
Another thing to keep in mind is that many of the postures we practice in Yin yoga target the lower body – hips, inner thighs, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, and pelvis – and spine. These larger areas are rich in connective tissue, and respond particularly well to longer holds.
Finally, props are often used to maximise the benefit of the stretch. We use blocks for extra support, straps for ease of reach, and bolsters and blankets for added comfort and cosiness.
Practicing Yin yoga Brisbane and Toowoomba
To summarise, here is a short overview of the practice of Yin yoga. Remember, all of our teachers add their own unique touch to our Yin classes, so this structure may be slightly different.
- First, come into the pose. Know the target area, and shift around until you hit that sweet spot. In Yin yoga, there is more room to explore a pose – perfect alignment isn’t always necessary. Find your unique expression of the posture, and use props to support yourself.
- Find your edge, the position where you feel the posture working deeply, but you aren’t over-stretching or causing injury. Yin is about surrender, not pushing or striving.
- Then, be still. Accept your position (unless you’re in pain), and meditate on your breath and the sensations you feel. Use your exhale to relax, letting go on each out breath.
- Wait out the pose. Stay in stillness for between 3 and 5 minutes.
- Gently come out of the pose. Some teachers will encourage you to come into a rebound posture – either flat on your back, on your belly, or in child’s pose. Sometimes we can feel the posture most intensely in our rebound.
Yin yoga in Brisbane and Toowoomba: nourish the mind
In addition to the many benefits Yin yoga has on the body, this quiet, meditative practice is nourishing for the mind.
Ask yourself this – when was the last time you stopped, switched off, closed your eyes, came into your breath, and found stillness? And no, going to sleep doesn’t count.
Most of us are bombarded stimuli from the moment we wake up until the moment we go to bed. Our minds are darting from this fact to that, absorbing information, running through to-do lists, making plans, worrying about the future, examining the past… the list goes on.
We rarely take the time to declutter our minds.
Through Yin yoga, we learn to sit with discomfort. The postures teach us to be calm – to come into our breath – as we face challenges both on and off the mat. Yin gives us the time and space we need to find stillness, calmness, and total relaxation.
Practice Yin yoga Brisbane or Toowoomba today
Try Yin yoga for yourself in our Toowong or Toowoomba yoga studio. It’s suitable for yogis at any stage, including complete beginners.