Yin Yoga vs. Restorative Yoga
Yes they are 2 different styles of yoga!
The intention of restorative yoga is to rest passively into a pose with support utilizing props. This creates a mild, muscular stretch. The props holds the body in place and stops it from going deeper into the pose, making it easy to relax.
Below is a restorative version of Supta Baddha Konasana - Reclining Bound Angle Pose
In this restorative pose, you will set up a bolster or a few blankets behind your lower back while sitting on your mat. Then place a block underneath each leg. The blocks under the arms are optional for additional support. Slowly recline back.
You may also place a block underneath the head of your bolster/blankets to raise your head up higher.
Yin yoga is a healthy, yet highly sensational practice that stretches the deep inner connective tissue and fascia; the shock absorber for our body. With the understanding that our issues are in our tissues, this practice is very detoxifying not just physically but mentally and emotionally. For someone that finds restorative yoga boring because of it's mild sensation and passivity, give Yin yoga a try. Sensation junkies love this practice! Just remember not to push, pull or force yourself into this practice.
Below is a Yin version called reclined butterfly
The depth of this practice comes with time. Literally! Give time it's time. The longer you stay, the deeper you'll go and the more you'll heal. You can stay in each pose anywhere from 3 to 20 minutes. Just know you're body is going to feel stiff coming out of the pose but it'll quickly pass and your joints will be happily hydrated.
Yin is a practice of receiving. We can't really give if we don't know how to receive. So just allow your body to receive the shape and be in it. You can play with arm variations. What I really love about Yin yoga is that it teaches us to follow what feels good. If you're mind is super active, try placing your hands on your pelvis to feel the rise and fall of your breath.
To add a chest stretch, stack your hands underneath your head. Or your arms can be straight out palms up in the shape of the letter T.
While it's not a sin to use props, I just highly encourage you to practice playing with space. If we prop every part of our body then we never allow ourselves to experience our bodies full range of motion or the true depths of ourselves. If you're experiencing pain, just back out a little bit. If that doesn't work, use a prop and enjoy experiencing a healthy deep stretch yin yoga pose.
Here are a few benefits of this pose. It's personal preference in the way you decide to experience it:
- Stimulates abdominal organs like the ovaries and prostate gland, bladder, and kidneys
- Stimulates the heart and improves general circulation
- Stretches the inner thighs, groins, and knees
- Helps relieve the symptoms of stress, mild depression, menstruation and menopause
It's always worth experiencing a variety of styles to see what you like most. They all have their place and time in our lives. Experience our Gentle Yoga Stretch & Deep Stretch Yin Yoga classes to get a feel for what your body is desiring right now.