Yin Yoga explained

Welcome to our weekly series dedicated to helping you navigate the confusing lingo of yoga. Beginner or not, this ‘yoga dictionary’ will be here every Tuesday to quench your curiosity about a new, bizarre yogi word.

This week’s term:

Yin Yoga

Known commonly for its pairing with yang, yin energy is meant to simply be a complement to the yang form of energy, and yin yoga is no different. This style of practice focuses on seated postures that target the tissues in your hips, pelvis, and lower spine for deep release, and can deepen your ability to practice other styles of yoga.

You’ll hold each pose from between 1 to 10 minutes, so it’s also great practice for calming your mind. Yin yoga teaches you the basics of meditation centered around letting go of tension without the level of spirituality you might encounter in Kundalini yoga.

Physical difficulty: As Yin yoga is typically performed in seated positions, the physical exertion is minimal, though you may encounter significant strain and even discomfort as you begin to release tightness in your muscles.

Best part of Yin: If you experience tightness in your joints from sport, a previous injury, or general stress, or you simply want to gain a deep flexibility in these typically inflexible areas, Yin yoga is an amazing practice. It can also help to strengthen and stretch your joints for a deeper ability to practice other types of yoga.

Once you feel like taking your yoga practice and learning beyond the studio (say, to a beach), check out some yoga holidays and retreats and indulge your inner yogini/yogi.

Last week’s term: Kundalini Yoga