Yin yoga is the new kid on the yoga block (and mat).
Except that it’s not new.
It’s, like, you know, thousands of years old.
Originally called “daoist yoga,” yin yoga is a deep, meditative kind of yoga that’ll have you sipping stillness from the universal cup, and feeling totally zen.
And, yes, you guessed it, you smarty — the yin comes from yin and yang.
Let’s talk about the differences.
Yang yoga is characterized by the lengthening and contracting of muscles and a focus on building internal heat. (Fire = yang) An example of a yang yoga class might be a power vinyasa flow, ashtanga, or any practice that’s more dynamic.
Yin yoga, though, focuses more on the connective tissues, for example: the bones, ligaments, and joints of the body that normally are not worked as much in a more dynamic and active yoga practice. It’s deep and juicy, as the postures are held from 1 to 20 minutes each.
However, this isn’t a “restorative practice” — there’s work involved. (So if you were thinking that you were going to get to just flop around on pillows like a lethargic walrus and say that you “did yoga,” your plan is foiled. This practice, though part relaxation is also part firestarter, as you’ll see in the video. ? )
Yin yoga provides a brilliant balance to your other physical activities, and once you’ve done it and felt the fire, you may find yourself hooked on this beneficial practice.
(Doesn’t that last one sound awesome and mystical and feng shui-y? You know you want that.)
Today, we have the great pleasure of being guided in this deep and fascial releasing yoga practice with Gemma Vassallo. Gemma is a yoga superstar here in Paris. She’s a très experienced yoga teacher, yoga teacher teacher, a wellness coach… oh, and she was on the cover of Esprit Yoga. (So cool.) Plus, she’s an adorable human being with a charming Aussie accent — which just makes it that much easier to agree to hold “happy baby pose” three times longer than you’d ordinarily want to.
We know that you’re going to love practicing with Gemma either in person in Paris (here’s her schedule,) or virtually, right here, right now!
Let’s jump to it.
We hope you enjoy this practice, and that you’ll do it often. Remember… even 30 minutes, a few times a week, can do your body a world of good. The golden rule with anything you want to improve: Do less, more often.
Then you’ll be like this awesome straw…
So cozy up with some cushions and get ready to streeeeeeeetch it all out.
Let’s get flexible, friend.
P.S.S. Want more bite-sized yoga practices? Check out all our Magnifique Yoga Breaks.