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9 tips for safe and effective Yin Yoga practice

1. Take time for yourself

Create your 'feel-good space'. Reduce distractions in your practice space as much as possible and consciously take time for yourself.

2. Pain-free practice

SOS pain such as stinging, burning, numbness or pinpoint sensation is not something you want to experience under any circumstances. Still, a flat strain (stretching sensation) in your target area is okay.

3. Less is more

The optimal intensity of the pose is when you feel significant resistance. You will achieve this if you take the middle path- not too much and not too little. However, in the case of uncertainty, less is still more.

4. The magic of the beginning

One way is to set an intention for your class and ask yourself, 'How do I feel today?' and 'What do I need and where do I want to direct my energy today?

5. Relaxation

In Yin Yoga, we relax the muscles in the area of stress (for example, in the butterfly. As in the picture above, this is inside your legs. However, we must first relearn this, letting go of the muscles. Therefore, you can regularly bring your attention back to your body to observe whether you can still perceive where tension to rerelease it.

6. The three principles of Yin Yoga

There are many ways to relax our body and mind and discover the secret glow within us. Yin Yoga and how it cultivates the qualities of stillness, receptivity and surrender is one of them. It's a way of embodying the pause. And here are three elementary and efficient principles for Yin Yoga practice:

  • Come into the pose at an appropriate depth

Give your body space to open and invite it to go deeper. After about thirty seconds, the body lets go, and further depth is possible. Listen to your body and respect its wishes. We don't use our body to get into a pose; we use the pose to get into our body.

  • Decide to be still

Once we find the boundary, we settle into the pose and let go of the movement. By evoking the qualities of patience, acceptance and surrender, we find stillness.

The stillness of the body... like a noble mountain
The calm of the breath... like a tranquil mountain lake
The silence of the mind... like the deep blue of the sky

There are some exceptions here: We move when we feel pain or have trouble staying in posture. We move when the body has opened and invites us to go deeper or when there is a natural urge to explore, to adjust, to correct.

  • Rest sometime in the posture

When we have reached our limit, when we have become still, we may only linger. Yin yoga postures are usually held for 2-5 minutes. The yin tissue we are training is not elastic. It does not respond well to constant and rhythmic movement: It is plastic. Plastic tissues require long-held, appropriate amounts of pull to be properly stimulated.

7. Individuality

Trust your gut! Everybody is different. It's not about what the pose looks like, but then it's the proper position for you if you feel the pose.

8. Openness to new things

Let yourself be surprised by every pose every day and stay open and curious about what is here for you right now.

9. Mindfulness & Sensing

Practice kindness and appreciation towards your body. If your breathing is not flowing freely and calmly, you may be too deep in the pose. Allow time for yourself and your tissues to trace in your resting poses until the most intense feeling has subsided.

We wish you a lot of fun on your journey of discovery yourself.

radiantly yours,

Sabine and Philipp

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radiantYINsight does not assume any liability for the topicality, correctness, completeness or quality of the information provided. The contents of this platform editorially serve for informative purposes. They, therefore, do not represent any healing statements or promises of treatment successes and the like.


About the author

Sabine Winkler Radiant Yinsight

Sabine Winkler is an internationally active yoga teacher, coach and trainer. She lives and teaches in Vienna and leads workshops, teacher training and retreats worldwide. During her many years of travels, she has completed over 3000 hours of training in the Sivananda Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Iyengar styles. In addition, Sabine is an assistant teacher of the renowned... more


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