Updated: Nov 21
Yin Yoga is a yoga practice that emphasizes long-held, passive poses that strengthen and lengthen the connective tissues in the body. It is a slower-paced practice that is focused on pranayama (breath work) and meditation. The aim of Yin Yoga is to cultivate stillness and inner peace through the release of physical and mental tension.
The long-held nature of the poses allows the muscles to relax and the joints to open. This allows the practitioner to access a deeper layer of the body – the connective tissues, such as the ligaments, tendons, and fascia.
Yin Yoga is a very effective way to achieve balance and inner peace. The slow, meditative nature of the practice helps to quiet the mind and calm the nervous system. The deep tissue release from the long-held poses can help to release mental and emotional tension from the body.
Example sequence for a Yin Yoga class
To illustrate the principles mentioned, here is an example class with a focus on the target zone thigh. In this long sequence, all muscle groups and thus the fascial tissue that envelops the muscles of the thighs are stimulated and gently opened.
Phase 1: Arriving in the body
Short initial relaxation in the supine position, initial meditation, chanting OM – everything that helps you to arrive and leave everyday life behind.
Phase 2: Asanas
1. Butterfly lying down
In the lying butterfly, the hips and especially the insides of the thighs, the adductures, are gently opened. Aids: If necessary, support the thighs with pillows.
The sitting, grooved forward bend opens the hips, groin, the insides (adductors) and backs (hamstrings) of the thighs.
Aids can be used supportively, for example, place rolled blankets under the hollows of the knees, place them on a folded blanket. For shortened hamstrings, it is recommended to bend one leg and then change sides.
The sitting forward bend opens and stretches the entire back of the body, including the hamstrings. Aids: Again, it makes sense to sit on a folded blanket or similar for short muscles.
4. (Sleeping) Swan – right knee in front
The swan (in Hatha Yoga: pigeon) is a great hip opener, but we also reach the muscles of the thigh fronts (quadriceps) and the hip flexors (psoas) of the stretched, rear leg. Aids: It is often helpful to support the buttocks of the bent leg with a pillow.