Benefits of a Regular Yin Yoga Practice

The benefits of a regular yin yoga practice are multi-fold for the mind and body. The challenge that most of us face is in sticking to the routine. It’s important to remind ourselves that a regular yin yoga practice is key to staying energized, refreshed and balanced. A yin yoga practice offers time and space to introspect, turn inward and quiet an unsteady mental chatter. It brings one to a point of stillness and bliss. In many ways, it’s a form of self-care that nourishes the body’s deep tissues and helps us let go of withheld emotions.

In this article we have outlined some of the benefits of a regular yin yoga practice – a great first step before taking up an online yin yoga teacher training course. If you are a yoga teacher looking to deepen or advance your practice, a 50 hour yoga TTC is recommended beyond this article.

  • Restore and strengthen your range of motion: Yin yoga targets the deep connective tissue which supports and strengthens muscles and joints. Factors like aging, injury, or unhealthy postures in everyday life can restrict movement. Friction and stiffness increases. This blocks the flow of energy, and causes fatigue. With a regular yin yoga practice, where one holds postures for long, the fascia gets stronger, reducing the stress on connective tissues, and increasing the range of motion. It might sound complex at first glance, however, with a course like Sampoorna Yoga’s 50 hour yin yoga teacher training online, teachers and practitioners can get a simplified understanding of the anatomy in yin yoga.
  • Energizes the connective tissue: Yin yoga adds subtle stress on the connective tissues. Long holds improve oxygen supply and blood circulation to the region, energizing and revitalizing the tissues. While yin yoga is not easy (it urges practitioners to come out of their comfort zone), it does leave one feeling stress-free, energetic and relaxed.
  • Encourages you to cultivate gratitude: The stillness and introspective nature of the practice allows one to go inward and connect with our inner selves. One can tune into the bodily functions, become more aware and content with their true self. It even allows one to tend to all facets of our being (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual). There is heightened awareness of the physiological functioning of the body. On an emotional and mental level, there is more opportunity for self-compassion.
  • Allows you to slow down: Yin yoga allows practitioners to get away from their endless task lists and hit the pause button. It brings one to the present and improves awareness. This makes space for rest, renewal and a refreshed mind and body. There is a wonderful positive impact on the nervous system as well. In fact, the nervous system is greatly benefited in yin yoga. Online yin yoga teacher training programs help, both, teachers and practitioners understand how this happens.
  • Connect with emotions: Yin yoga is known to help individuals confront emotions and accept them. In a long-held posture, the mind might waver, feelings of fear, anxiety, and restlessness might surface. But with the guidance of thoroughly trained and experienced yin yoga teachers, practitioners learn to confront and accept these emotions. Eventually, one learns to be more in check with emotions even outside class. Read more about the benefits of yin yoga here.
  • Release stress: With the positive and balancing impact on the nervous system, yin yoga helps one release stress effectively. Areas where stress accumulates, like the lower back, are stretched and stimulated, releasing tension from the deep tissues. Furthermore, when one is aware of their emotions, there is less accumulation of stress. Practitioners even learn to surrender and accept both the highs and lows of life.
  • Yin yoga prepares you for meditation: Many will describe yin yoga as a meditative practice. This itself induces a sense of peace, allowing one to sit still in meditation. Meditation can be difficult for many if thoughts and emotions are clouded or uncertain. With yin yoga, while the practice pushes you out of your comfort zone, it also instills stillness and relaxation. One learns to accept thoughts and emotions even during meditation.
  • A balanced way of life: Maintaining a balanced lifestyle and well-being is tough in today’s world. It takes time, effort and practice. A regular yin practice teaches one to stay balanced on the mat, starting with thoughts and emotions. It teaches one to prioritize physical and mental health. Once this becomes a habit on the mat, gradually one learns to take this balance forward into everyday life.

This article explores more about the physiological and psychological impact of yin yoga.

Similar to most practices, noticing these benefits may take time for practitioners. As teachers, it is important to encourage and guide students towards a regular and consistent practice. Only then will they begin to feel a difference. Sampoorna Yoga’s online yin yoga teacher training yoga is a Yoga Alliance approved program and one of the the best to consider if you are looking to advance your yoga career.

Contact us if you are interested in learning more about the healing benefits of yin yoga or discovering how you can make it part of your lifestyle. At Sampoorna Yoga Online Academy, you will find specialized help focusing on your well-being, no matter where you are.

How Can Yoga Teachers Benefit From Knowing Yoga Anatomy?

Yoga is not a ‘one size fits all’ practice. Every person is different and every body structure is unique. When teaching yoga asanas, it’s no longer just about providing instructions and the basic benefits. With health and wellness gaining immense popularity, practitioners want to know more about what they are practicing. Students look for classes that provide a holistic and well-rounded experience of yoga asanas, pranayama, and meditation, and how each of these practices benefit their body and mind.

Whether it is about what is happening to a group of muscles in a specific posture, or how a posture affects different systems, or how a breathing exercise is strengthening the lungs, there will always be questions. For teachers, knowing how the human body is structured is helpful, even if one starts with simple basics. Learning about yoga anatomy can boost a teacher’s expertise in yoga. When teachers can go beyond ‘this asana stretches and strengthens the back’, or ‘this posture opens up the chest region’, students are more intrigued and interested in what they are learning.

Let’s look at the key reasons you should take up a yoga anatomy certification course.

  1. Improves the effectiveness of yoga asanas: Anatomy for yoga teachers enables you to get an in-depth understanding of the human body structure, joints and their impact on movement, muscles and how they work, etc. As teachers you will know more about the alignment of asanas, and how they can be different in each individual. This will help you understand when to urge students out of their comfort zone, and when to stop. Explaining in-depth benefits of poses and how they impact various functions like digestion, respiration, stress levels, sleep quality etc., also becomes possible after a yoga anatomy teacher training.
  2. Injury prevention: A critical responsibility of yoga teachers is to ensure injury prevention. Yoga anatomy creates a framework for potential of movement, self exploration and teaching. Unsuitable instructions lead to injuries. Depending on the structure and weakness of an individual, injuries can happen in almost any area of the body. Asanas should be practiced in a safe and healthy way. Only with a deeper understanding of functional yoga anatomy, can you, as a teacher, help students progress in a safe way.
  3. Teaching in a holistic way: Yoga anatomy is an important module that helps teachers explain various concepts, benefits, contraindications and the impact on the body and mind in a holistic way. Knowing where energy gets blocked, how to open up tight muscles to allow energy flow, what to practice to strengthen a region like the lower back, shoulders, hips, etc. are aspects of yoga that provide a holistic experience. While courses on mudras (gestures), bandhas (locks) and pranayama (breathing exercises), among others, will cover such topics, a yoga anatomy online course will fill in the gaps for you from a science perspective. Read this article to get a better understanding of what yoga anatomy consists of.
  4. Providing the right guidance: As important as injury prevention is providing the right guidance. Practitioners want to know why they are doing an asana. They want details of how a particular asana is impacting systems, organs and tissues. They want to know why asanas should not be done in certain health conditions. Even in pre and post natal yoga, practitioners will ask why a certain asana is good for the mother, and why one is not. Women might want to know why inversions are not advised during periods. Sometimes, students might face challenges with postures because each body is unique. Knowing yoga anatomy will help you navigate such challenges and answer these questions with confidence.
  5. Boosts confidence and credibility: When you have answers at your fingertips, your credibility and reputation increases. If you are going beyond the basic information and providing students with more than expected, your value as a teacher increases. This improves your confidence, allowing you to teach with better clarity and focus, and in turn help your students progress. Furthermore, in the long run, this improves your career as a yoga teacher.

Yoga is not just an exercise or a wellness activity. It involves science, physiology, psychology and anatomy, among others. Knowing the multiple aspects of the subject helps you progress in a sustained and confident manner. Certain skills, like when to push a practitioner out of their comfort zone, and when to stop, are developed only with practice and knowledge. Take it a step further from ‘the Cobra Pose strengthens the lower back’ to explain how backbends posteriorly compress the lumbar spine and strengthen the back muscles, while the abdominal muscles are stretched and lengthened. Imagine the awe on your students’ faces when you explain this! 🙂

Contact us if you are interested in learning more about the functional anatomy and discover how it can make you a better yoga teacher. At Sampoorna Yoga Online Academy, you will find specialized help focusing on your well-being and expanding your knowledge of yoga, no matter where you are.

Free 30-Day Yin Yoga for Beginners Program

If you’ve been wanting to try out yin yoga but don’t quite know where or how to start—this program is perfect for you! Our 30-Day Yin Yoga For Beginners program makes it easy for you to learn about this powerful practice from the comfort of your own home. So go ahead—give yourself permission to slow down and take some time out of your day just for YOU! You deserve it!

This program is perfect for people from all backgrounds: yoga practitioners, non-practitioners, students, professionals, regardless of who you are or where you are from! Certified yoga teachers can use this program to deepen their understanding of yin yoga and become better equipped to teach it to their students.

This 30-Day Yin Yoga For Beginners Program includes 30 unique classes that build off one another and gradually increase in difficulty as you move through the program.

Let’s get started!

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Can Yin Yoga Help You Lose Weight?

Many students will ask you if yin yoga can help you lose weight. The common answer is that holding postures for longer stretches and strengthens muscles, and helps in toning the body. Or that yoga postures good for digestion will stimulate the digestive fire and improve metabolism. While all of this is true for dynamic, yang forms of yoga; yin yoga works differently towards weight loss. 

Yin yoga is a healthy complement to a regular weight loss program 

Yin yoga nourishes and balances the nervous system, strengthening the connection between the mind and body. This encourages mindfulness, healthy diet, rest and relaxation and a chance to de-stress, all key factors that affect digestion and weight loss. Not everyone has stamina or is motivated to go on a long run, do a challenging Ashtanga practice or lift weights, especially when juggling multiple tasks throughout the day. That’s where complementing regular exercise with yin yoga is helpful. 

The meditative, slow-paced practice improves blood circulation and oxygen supply to rarely-used connective tissues like the fascia, tendons and ligaments. All of these support the muscles and help in strengthening them. It improves flexibility, range of motion and stamina, giving practitioners the energy to take up dynamic exercises for weight loss. A more in-depth and better understanding of this can be achieved through a 50 hour yin yoga teacher training online.

Yin yoga, stress and weight loss

When one is under high stress, digestion is out of sync. When one is stressed, mindlessly overeating is common, leading to hormonal imbalance which doesn’t aid digestion or metabolism. Yin yoga is a strong and effective way to release stress. Yin yoga helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system, leading to a more relaxed state. It lowers cortisol levels in the body, which allows the body to melt fat more easily. This easier combustion of fat can contribute to weight loss. Researchers from Switzerland found that stimulating the vagus nerve (which relaxes the body and mind) can be beneficial to psychological conditions like anxiety and depression. Similarly, yin yoga allows one to release negative or blocked emotions, which again balances the digestive system and improves gut health. In fact, this is a key topic in a 50-hour yin yoga ttc

Furthermore, the reduced stress, with yin yoga practice, balances the digestive system, and keeps your gut healthier. This leads to a better breakdown of food, improves metabolism and weight loss. In a way, yin yoga has a purifying and calming impact on the body, improving the core of everything – the gut. 

Yin yoga, mindfulness and diet 

The truth is, the only way to lose weight is by decreasing the intake of calories (through diet) and/or increasing the use of those calories (through active exercises). And, the best online yin yoga teacher training programs will tell you this practice is not one such form of exercise.

However, as a complementary practice, yin yoga, which is meditative and calming, makes the practitioner self-aware and positive. With yin yoga one experiences reduced stress and improved mindfulness. This allows for better food choices and less stress eating. This leads to an overall improvement in weight management. Explore the best yin yoga online course to learn about this in detail.


Yin yoga, strength and weight loss

When the above factors start working positively for a practitioner, digestion and metabolism become steady and stable. Simultaneously, with yin yoga postures one is indirectly strengthening the core and muscles. This happens because the connective tissue gets stretched and stimulated. And with better blood circulation and oxygen supply, these tissues work together to support and strengthen the muscles. It provides mobility and flexibility of joints, which translates into better performance when practicing active, dynamic exercises. Gradually, one’s body gets stronger from within. Furthermore, one’s stamina and focus improves. The improved health of bones, ligaments and other connective tissue, makes it possible to exercise better. Online yin yoga courses explore these benefits in a greater way. 

Now, with this, when one starts a weight loss program that consists of dynamic exercises, performance is better. The only way to tone a muscle is by making the muscle work against resistance – gravity, body weight, and lifting weights. Here, yin yoga is not engaging the muscles directly. Its target is to bring flexibility to the fascia of the muscle, so the muscle can recover better and quicker after a dynamic workout. Consider a yin yoga certification online for a better understanding. 

Restore and recover with yin yoga

A yin yoga course online will help you understand how yin yoga complements a weight loss program. In brief, as a complement to your dynamic workout, yin yoga also allows you to restore and relax. It gives you the downtime you need before your next active workout. It continues to strengthen your body from within, healing strained regions and improving resistance to injuries. It improves the functioning of internal organs and strengthens targeted regions. Regular practice has a positive impact on well-being and quality of life, which itself facilitates natural weight loss.

Contact us if you are interested in learning more about the healing benefits of yin yoga or discovering how you can make it part of your lifestyle. At Sampoorna Yoga Online Academy, you will find specialized help focusing on your well-being, no matter where you are.

What is Yoga Anatomy?

What is yoga anatomy? Why is it important to have an understanding of functional anatomy? What does a yoga anatomy course consist of? Do these questions sound familiar? As yoga teachers, a basic understanding of yoga anatomy is critical to teaching students in an effective and injury-free manner. It is very helpful in understanding a student’s progress, where one needs support, and what is too much or too little. 

The term anatomy refers to the field of biological science and includes the study of organs, systems, and structures in the body. The subject looks at each part of the body as a separate region and deep dives into how it functions. Yoga anatomy is not very different. It consists of the science of anatomy from the lens of yoga asanas.

What should you know about yoga anatomy? 

As yoga teachers, learning about yoga anatomy might be overwhelming, especially if one is not from a science background. The good news is you’re not here to earn a master’s degree. Learning yoga anatomy is a process and you don’t need to know everything from the get-go. Too much information will end up confusing you. A good yoga anatomy course is normally well-structured into different modules providing information in an understandable, adaptable and sequential manner. 

Know the basics: Understanding yoga anatomy starts with the basics. Every individual’s anatomy is different. Every individual has a different structure (tall, short, broad shoulders, short legs, narrow waist, etc.). So when practicing yoga asanas, postures and alignment might look different for each person. For example, in the seated forward bend, for one person the forehead might reach the knees, but for a person with a shorter torso, the forehead might only reach the thighs, despite great flexibility. Similarly, in the Eagle Pose, one person might find it harder to intertwine the legs, while another person who has long and slender legs will find it easier. 

Understanding the skeleton system: Did you know the human body is made up of about 206 bones? And, approximately 53 bones are in the hands and feet? Knowing about the skeletal system improves one’s understanding of how these bones support the muscular system and various movements. The most important of these is the skull, spine and ribcage. They make up the axial skeleton, and form a base for our more mobile limbs. 

While doing yoga postures, movement in the axial system is in the spine and ribcage. The spine itself is divided into four sections, the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (upper back), lumbar spine (lower back), and sacrum and coccyx. During yoga asanas, the four regions of the spine work together to produce the required movement. Many backbends work on different parts of the spine. So when guiding students through the Wheel Pose, for example, being able to tell students that all the spinal muscles, starting from the external rotators and erector spinae, are engaged to keep the upper arms externally rotated is more impactful than saying the Wheel Pose strengthens the entire spine. 

Joints and muscles: In Sampoorna Yoga’s online courses we teach students about the different joints, and muscles and how they function. The mobility of joints affects one’s movement and range of motion. This means one person might have more variability in hip-opening asanas as opposed to another. So, a basic understanding of the different elements in the human body and how this varies in each person is the first part of yoga anatomy. 

Joints are critical to movements in the body. A lubricating fluid, called synovial fluid, keeps the joints strong and healthy. Yoga asanas are an effective way to ensure the fluid continues to facilitate smooth movement. Joints are also held together with connective tissue, like ligaments. The practice of yin yoga is an effective way to strengthen and nourish the connective tissue. A yoga anatomy course also explores the different types of joints such as hinge, ball and socket, etc. 

Muscles, on the other hand, count to over 600 in the human body. Don’t worry, it is not necessary to know all of them. However, knowing which ones are voluntary and involuntary, like muscles in the heart, are useful. Some muscles, like those used in breathing, are both voluntary and involuntary. In yoga postures, muscles get contracted, expanded, flexed, and twisted. Many students might ask teachers what the effect a particular asana is having on the targeted muscles. A functional yoga anatomy course equips teachers with this knowledge. 

Injury prevention: This is the most important aspect of learning yoga anatomy. If one tries to teach without knowing the right movement, it could lead to injuries. Pelvic stability and joint mobility, knowing good pain vs bad pain and knowing when to stop and release a posture are important cues. For example, with the spine, one must know how much to curve the back, how far to bend and when to stop. Listening to the body for unusual signs will prevent excess pressure on the nerves, muscles and tissues.

Concluding thoughts 

Yoga anatomy is a deep subject. However, knowing the basics and progressively learning more is helpful for teachers -and for practitioners- to know the importance of warm-ups, natural alignment of individuals, the use of variations, as well as the importance of rest. Knowing a foundation of the workings of these systems and the framework allows one to understand what is common and what is unique to each body. Irrespective of each practitioner’s challenges, strengths and weaknesses, teachers can identify, encourage and guide students in a safe and progressive manner. At the same time, the practice is more meaningful and impactful for practitioners when they understand what is happening in their body during a posture. 

Contact us if you are interested in learning more about the functional anatomy and discover how it can make you a better yoga teacher. At Sampoorna Yoga Online Academy, you will find specialized help focusing on your well-being and expanding your knowledge of yoga, no matter where you are.

The Next Big Thing in Yoga

Hot yoga, power yoga, aerial yoga…sound like familiar styles of yoga? Popular at one time, these fast-paced and dynamic forms of yoga are now making way for yin yoga. Gaining popularity worldwide, this slow-paced, yet intense practice has a deep impact on the mind and body. Let’s look at why yin yoga is the next big thing.

What is Yin Yoga?

‘Yin’ comes from the Taoist tradition. The practice is about finding stillness in the body and mind. Most other forms of movement are dynamic, produce heat and require immense stamina such as running, cycling, Ashtanga yoga, Vinyasa yoga, etc. Yin yoga, on the other hand, complements these dynamic forms as well as the fast-paced, stressful lives many of us lead today. It is practiced by holding each posture from 3-5 minutes up to 15-20 minutes. The long-hold allows practitioners to access deep connective tissues. This improves strength, flexibility and mobility as well as blood and oxygen supply. This infuses the body with more energy, balances the nervous system and induces a sense of calm.

Constant use of devices and social media makes it hard to break free from the external world. Burnout, fatigue and exhaustion are common conditions one faces today. Yin yoga requires immense mental strength and focus to hold a posture for longer, helping one quiet the restless mind. An online yin yoga teacher training, like Sampoorna Yoga’s 50 hour yin yoga TTC is highly recommended to get an in-depth understanding of the practice.

Practiced as prone, supine or seated postures, yin yoga uses props and accessories to help practitioners to achieve deep stretches. Furthermore, the alignment in each posture might differ from person to person. The best online yin yoga teacher training courses will equip you with how to use props, understanding alignment and more.

Why is Yin Yoga the New Favourite?

A significant increase in many practitioners taking up online yin yoga courses shows how popular this practice is becoming. Let’s explore a few reasons why it’s the new favorite:

  • Flexibility and mobility: Holding postures for longer increases the flexibility and mobility in that specific region. The deep connective tissues are stressed and nourished in the region making it stronger as well.
  • Select postures: Common postures involve backbends, forward bends, hip openers and twists. A few examples of postures are Butterfly, Swan, Cobra, Dragonfly. The names are slightly different from those practiced in Hatha Yoga, which commonly are in Sanskrit. The reason for this difference is to separate the physical form of the posture with a preconditioned way of practicing that involves a more yang attitude. (To deepen this topic watch “Why do Yin Poses Have Different Names?”)
  • Accessing ignored regions: Most active/dynamic “yang” forms of movement, such as running, cycling, Vinyasa Flow, Ashtanga Vinyasa, etc., work on strengthening the muscles. They create heat in the body, burn calories and strengthen certain functions of the body. However, in these forms the connective tissues are usually neglected. In yin yoga, the connective tissues are strengthened and nourished. If you’re looking to get a deeper understanding of how this works, our online yin yoga teacher training programs take avid practitioners through an understanding of anatomy in yin yoga. In short, yin yoga stretches, compresses and twists the deep connective tissues like tendons, ligaments and bones. To keep the fascia strong, a healthy pressure needs to be applied, which can be done through longer holds. This makes the tissues flexible and stronger, and increases blood circulation and oxygen to the regions that have been ignored.
  • Relieves stress and anxiety: The practice balances the nervous system by providing a stimulus to specific regions. This is detected by the sensory nerves around the tissues and a signal is sent to the brain and spinal cord for processing. This leads to a heightened sense of awareness. The parasympathetic nervous system is activated and the nervous system learns to relax, lowering stress hormones and the heart rate. The practice is grounding, calming and energizing.
  • A mindful practice: Considering its slow-paced nature, yin yoga is known to improve mindfulness. When holding posture, students are guided to pay attention to the feelings and sensations in the mind and body. Emotions, pain or uncomfortable thoughts may arise. Students are encouraged to hold the postures, go inward and accept the different patterns. With practice, one becomes more mindful and calm, and learns to stay in the present. One even learns to take this mindfulness skill off the mat and into everyday life.
  • Embracing discomfort: Yin yoga is slow-paced, but not easy. It takes effort and determination to hold still in every posture. It urges practitioners to come out of their comfort zone and embrace discomfort. That’s where the benefits lie. This includes physical, mental and emotional benefits. Students are encouraged to let go of fear, confront anything and everything they feel while in the posture, and accept those feelings.

For those starting their yin yoga journey, it could be difficult in the beginning. It takes time to get used to holding a pose for longer, not to mention the strength and effort required. But regular practice will improve your awareness, health and well-being.

Eli Aguilar, The Yinside Yoga Program Founder

We recommend exploring an online yoga alliance approved yin yoga course if you’re a yoga teacher or practitioner looking to deepen practice or branch out and offer more value to your students.

Contact us if you are interested in learning more about the healing benefits of yin yoga or discovering how you can make it part of your lifestyle. At Sampoorna Yoga Online Academy, you will find specialized help focusing on your well-being, no matter where you are.

Teaching Yin Yoga: 10 Tips for Teachers

Slow-paced and gentle, yin yoga is a practice that stresses the deep connective tissues. It provides a chance to get away from endless to-do lists and de-stress the mind and body, and is suitable for anyone looking to engage in a quiet and reflective practice. In a yin yoga class, since each posture is held for 3-5 minutes, it positively impacts the deep connective tissues (bones, joints, fascia and ligaments) in the body. When these tissues are stretched, they become healthier and stronger. To be an effective teacher it is important to provide the right information as well as guide students in a gentle manner. A 50-hour yin yoga teacher training online explores the different teaching qualities and techniques to make the class effective and enjoyable. While a 50-hour yin yoga TTC is a must to gain this knowledge, this article looks at the key points.

  1. Monitor comfort levels: During each pose monitor your students comfort level. You can use the system that follows the red, orange, green zone (traffic light system) to observe and judge pain or discomfort. In this system, green means students are completely comfortable in their posture and the effect of the posture is minimal. Orange indicates a mild discomfort and the stimuli are being effective. Red is the danger zone, indicating pain and risk of injuries. In the beginning of the class tell students about the zones, and continuously remind them of the zones throughout the class.Ideally, students should be in the orange zone as this means they are stressing the target area and getting the benefits of the posture. Care must be taken not to crossover to the red zone. To learn how to differentiate between zones, we recommend taking up one of the best Online Yin Yoga Teacher Training programs at Sampoorna Yoga Online Academy.
  2. Use props effectively: Familiarize yourself with the different props and their purpose. Inform students that props can make a practice more effective when used correctly. For example, a strap will act as a catalyst for practitioners to hold a posture for the intended duration and to even go from the green zone to orange. It even takes stress off the areas that are not actually being targeted in a posture. At the same time, as teachers, ensure the props are not deterring one’s practice. Of course, in our online yin yoga training we will help you learn how props can be used effectively.
  3. Voice modulation: Similar to modulating your voice between different yogic practices (for example, instructing asanas versus guiding a meditation), in yin yoga modulating your voice is a beneficial skill. Maintaining a firm and clear, yet gentle and soothing voice is helpful. Students will be more receptive and attentive when you are delivering instructions with emotion. Modulating your voice will also keep students from getting bored or zoning out (as the class is slow-paced).
  4. Create the right ambience: Consider lights, scents and eliminating external noise when thinking of the kind of ambience you wish to create. Remember, keeping your students relaxed yet engaged is the key. So, your atmosphere should be soothing but not boring. Soothing scents like lavender, jasmine or sage are popular relaxants. Avoid anything that is stimulating or too strong. The goal here is to create a safe and warm environment where students feel comfortable experiencing real sensations, feelings and thoughts that come with the practice.
  5. Focus on function: You don’t want to get stuck on the shape or form. It’s not about the aesthetics of the pose, but what effect the pose has on the mind and body. Repeatedly tell students it is okay to try variations and use props when needed. Teach students to listen to their bodies. Each student’s ideal alignment might differ slightly based on their body shape, weight and height. The key is for students to find what works for them by listening to physical cues, and for you to encourage this. This way, there is less risk of overstraining tissues or injuries. To understand this completely, we recommend doing an online yin yoga teacher training that carries a functional approach to yoga with a strong curriculum in anatomy of movement.
  6. Transitions are important: As each posture is held for long and there is a deep impact on the connective tissue, exiting a pose can be challenging for students. They might feel various sensations, stiffness or difficulty between postures. Be attentive to how they feel and offer rest time to experience all the rebound when coming out of a pose. Ensure they feel comfortable before moving onto the next pose by allowing them time to concentrate on each movement.
  7. When to speak and when to stay silent: You are trying to ensure your students have a meditative and calming experience. While instructions are important, so is staying silent. Speaking too much will interrupt a student’s experience and concentration. Try to speak only for 30-40% of the time your students are in a posture. Be short and sweet during transitions. Allow your students the time and space to go inwards. If you are helping an individual student, speak in a low yet clear voice so it doesn’t disturb the others.
  8. Plan a sequence with modifications and options: Think through your sequence (and practice it) before the class.. This way you can feel if the transitions you created in your mind actually make sense in your body. Account for counterposes and beginner to advanced versions. Consider starting with more accessible postures and variations, and offer two to three options per pose. This way, students will feel like they are working around the body in a logical way. Depending on your theme of the class, there may be a deeper focus on a specific area. So, it is important to add the right variety of poses to work through that region and to offer counterposes to balance it out.. For example, in a lower body routine, you will want to cover everything from the hip to the foot, so there is a full experience for each leg.
  9. Give time for rebound: Rebound refers to experiencing the effect of the pose. It gives the body time to relax and recover from the position it was in. During this phase, blood flow to the stimulated area increases. Skipping rebound time takes away the experience and does not allow the specific region to come back to normal. It can also lead to injuries, soreness or strain in the affected area. This also happens during transitions. Since there was a fair amount of stress on the connective tissues, students need this time to recover and restore. If you are unsure how to account for rebound time, just pause when releasing the posture, allow your students to remain in stillness and observe anything that may arise. In a yin yoga certification online you can learn more about rebound time.
  10. Offer guidance and adjustments: Make poses accessible for all students by offering variations and adjustments. It can get frustrating when poses are too challenging. Asking them to rest and wait is not very encouraging. Instead, offer variations. This way you are also showing students you care about their experience and progress. Show them how to do the pose with the help of props. After all, yoga is for all.

A yin yoga class can be a wonderful experience. As a teacher, approach your classes without expectations. Don’t overthink how the class will unfold. There should be no room for negative thoughts or feelings of ego, impatience or lack of interest. You are a guide to your students and your goal should be to support them in their journey, irrespective of their level, body structure or anything else. A yin yoga TTC online is a great place for you to start.

Contact us if you are interested in learning more about the healing benefits of yin yoga or discovering how you can make it part of your lifestyle. At Sampoorna Yoga Online Academy, you will find specialized help focusing on your well-being, no matter where you are.

5 Common Questions About Yin Yoga

It takes time and effort to calm our “monkey mind” that is constantly in a state of ‘go-go-go’. Gaining immense popularity worldwide is yin yoga, a slow-paced and mindful practice. Compared to the traditional and common ‘yang’ practices of Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow yoga among others, which involve more dynamic movements, yin yoga primarily works on the deep connective tissues.

Yin yoga is practiced by holding each posture for long periods of time (anything from 3-5 minutes up to 15-20 minutes, maybe even more). By holding the posture, the practitioner is targeting the body’s deep connective tissues, rather than only muscle groups in a specific region. You might think holding the Cobra Pose for a few minutes doesn’t seem so hard. However, it does take a lot of mental focus and determination to hold still. A yin yoga certification online gives aspiring teachers a thorough understanding of the impact of these still holds on the body. If you are considering an online yin yoga teacher training, this article addresses five common questions you may have about yin yoga. 

1. What is yin yoga? 

The biggest difference between yin and yang approaches to yoga postures is the way we stimulate the targeted area. Yin yoga targets tissues like fascia, ligaments, joints and bones in a passive manner,  encouraging practitioners to be aware of their body while going inward. Yin yoga stretches, contracts and twists deep tissues that are neglected on a regular basis. By staying still in each posture, one also learns to breathe through discomfort or new sensations in the body. The longer hold and deepening of poses also helps open up blockages and releases energy or life force (known as prana).

Yin yoga classes also have a sequence or flow of poses. A 50-hour yin yoga teacher training online will teach you how to create these sequences, starting with simpler postures and moving onto more challenging/complex ones. The best online yin yoga teacher training programs will also help you understand more about transitions between postures and how to guide students. Postures are typically seated, prone or supine as you need to be relaxed while holding still. Various props can be used for support or to help practitioners go deeper (bolsters, belts, cushions, blocks etc.). 

2. What are the benefits of yin yoga? 

Yin yoga has a positive effect on the physical and mental states. Physically, as it stretches, compresses and twists deep connective tissues, It makes these tissues more flexible and stronger. The connective tissue consists of tendons, ligaments, bones, etc., which are constantly supporting muscles and joints. When they are not given due attention, they begin to lose elasticity, leading to stiffness, joint pain or lack of mobility. Yin yoga is one practice that can prevent this. There is also an increased amount of blood circulation and oxygen to these deeper regions. 

Yin yoga also relieves stress and anxiety. It balances the nervous system by providing a certain stimulus in the targeted area, which is then detected by the sensory nerves around the tissues. This sends a signal to the brain and spinal cord for processing. Over time, this improves awareness of one’s sensations and the nervous system learns to relax. This activates the parasympathetic nervous system, calming the mind and body, lowering cortisol levels and the heart rate. Regular yin yoga practice helps one stay still for a period of time. This is very useful when learning to meditate or simply sit still and focus on the breath for 15-20 minutes. You can read this article to understand more benefits of yin yoga here. Another great place to dive deep into yin yoga is a 50-hour yin yoga TTC which educates you on the what’s, why’s and how’s of yin yoga.

benefits of yin yoga

3. Are postures different in yin yoga? 

In yin yoga, certain postures and alignment of the postures can be different. This is because the idea here is to induce deep stress on the targeted area to stretch, strengthen and lengthen connective tissue. In yin yoga, gravity supports a posture to help one relax in the pose, and hence postures may be done a little differently. For example, in Hatha or Ashtanga poses one is used to always being told to keep the spine straight. Whereas, in a yin yoga certification course online you will learn that in certain postures (forward bends, for example) the practitioner can curve the back slightly to relax and hold the position. 

As a teacher, it is important to know the student’s history of injuries and ailments, as these factors will influence the posture. There is no correct alignment – each practitioner finds what works for their body and identifies good discomfort versus bad pain. To guide students in the right way, it is important for you to observe and understand. You can learn how to develop this skill through an online yin yoga teacher training program, like Sampoorna’s 50-hour yin yoga training. A good example of how a posture might look different for each individual is the Baddha Konasana Pose (called Butterfly Pose in yin yoga). If one has tight hamstrings and is targeting the connective tissue along the back of the legs, keeping the heels farther away from your groin will be more beneficial. Whereas if one is targeting the adductors, keeping the heels closer to the body is helpful. 

4.What to do when practitioners get distracted, restless or can’t hold the posture?

The thought of holding a posture for a few minutes can be daunting. Many will get restless or even be fearful. Sometimes, holding still will make the mind wander, causing suppressed emotions to arise. It takes mental strength and patience to stay focused. At the beginning of a class you might get questions like ‘what should I do when holding a pose? What if my arm starts aching? What do I do if I feel a cramp coming on?’ If you’re wondering how to address such questions, we recommend considering our online yin yoga teacher training course, approved and recognized by Yoga Alliance. 

One way for students to stay focused is to keep their attention on the breath. This way, one can use this time to balance any thoughts or emotions. Similar to meditation, one learns to be an observer of thoughts. Even if pain or any emotion arises, one observes like an external spectator, rather than reacts. Focusing on the breath also allows one to become aware of sensations or feelings in the body. For example, one might notice extreme stiffness in the lower back during the Cobra Pose. Time in the posture allows one to think about whether this could be due to sitting hunched over a laptop regularly? The best yin yoga online courses will equip you to guide students towards finding stillness in each posture.

online yin yoga teacher training course

5. Who is yin yoga good for?

Yin yoga is for anyone looking to slow down and let go of their to-do list just for a little while. It’s also for anyone keen on slowing down the effects of aging. Yin yoga is not limited to a specific age-group. It also works as a healing practice for anyone recovering from injuries or managing chronic conditions. Of course, it is important for students to get a medical opinion before starting the practice. The practice is also great for anyone trying to learn to meditate. 

The best yin yoga course online will address all these questions and more in a detailed fashion. With the fast-paced lives and largely sedentary lifestyles most of us lead, yin yoga helps us find a balance. Initially, students might find it too slow. Guiding them in the right way is critical for them to experience the benefits. Once this happens, they will be keen to continue their practice. Sign up for a yin yoga certification online to gain a holistic understanding of the practice. 

Contact us if you are interested in learning more about the healing benefits of yin yoga or discovering how you can make it part of your lifestyle. At Sampoorna Yoga Online Academy, you will find specialized help focusing on your well-being, no matter where you are.

What are the benefits of Yin Yoga?

We live fast-paced, stressful lives that take us from one task to the next without much time to pause, reflect and relax. Our parasympathetic nervous system gets little time to be active as compared to our sympathetic nervous system. While yoga asana practice itself provides  calming and relaxing benefits, there are certain styles of yoga that provide a deeper relaxation to the mind and body. One such style is Yin Yoga. 

In contrast to the dynamic and challenging nature of styles like Ashtanga Vinyasa (practiced in a more Yang way), Yin yoga is a slow-paced, meditative practice. This style of practice provides practitioners dedicated time and space to pause, stretch and breathe mindfully. It helps let go of to-do lists and demands of our daily lives to go within and become aware of our internal world. If you’re considering an online yin yoga teacher training, this article explores the benefits of yin yoga.  

benefits of yin yoga

Understanding Yin Yoga 

Being slow-paced, yin yoga is soothing yet challenging. Each posture is practiced in a gentle and sensitive way trying to find that place where it’s neither too much or too little. The breath is slow and steady allowing the practitioner to recognize sensations in the body. Postures are held for 3-5 minutes (or more), targeting the deep connective tissues (bones, joints, fascia and ligaments) in the body. When the deep tissues and fascial system are stretched and stimulated, they become healthier and resilient. Being still in certain poses helps keep the body nourished and healthy even as we age. 

An online yin yoga teacher training will allow you to understand the effects of holding poses for a longer period of time in the body and the mind. A yin yoga certification online will also enable you to help students to find the variation of the posture that works for them. 

Let’s see the benefits of Yin Yoga in more detail

Yin yoga benefits for the body

yin yoga benefits for body
  • Yin yoga slows the aging process: As we grow older, our bones begin to degenerate. Mobility in the joints and overall flexibility reduces. Our fascia also tightens. Regular Yin yoga practice helps maintain and even regain mobility, reduces pain and pressure on the joints and stretches the muscles by applying the right amount of stress to the joints and giving a gentle, soothing stretch to the muscles. 
  • Improves circulation: By holding the stretches for long, all the organs get a good massage, improving blood circulation to different parts of the body. This also balances the various systems. Blockages are released, improving the flow of prana. 
  • Perfect for slowing down: The slow-paced Yin practice provides a deep relaxation to the mind and body. It is particularly helpful in balancing the nervous system and activating the rest and digest response (parasympathetic nervous system).

Yin yoga benefits for the mind

yin yoga benefits for mind
  • Reduces stress and tension: Yin yoga is a slow-paced practice that encourages practitioners to confront thoughts and emotions that may arise during the practice. The stress applied to the tissues in each posture may help to release energetic blockages, arising in the form of physical sensations, emotional connection, and/or mental relief. Furthermore, as yin yoga activates the parasympathetic nervous system and stimulates the vagus nerve, it effectively relaxes the mind and body, relieving stress.
  • Improves mindfulness: As this is a style practiced at a slower pace, it encourages to be present here and now. The silence experienced during the practice helps one draw their attention inward and focus the mind. There is greater awareness of what is happening within the body too. Practitioners will slowly be more aware of any sensations in the muscles, joints or other parts of the body and mind. 

A yin yoga practice might trigger emotions for practitioners such as happiness, sadness, fear, etc. This is because the energy of these feelings and emotions can get stored in the body in the deep connective tissue and in the form of pain in various body parts. A yin yoga course will help you -as a teacher- to handle any such responses or reactions from students. Moreover, the 50-hour online yin yoga teacher training will equip you to understand how this style of yoga can help you improve your physiological and psychological well-being. 

By the end of this yin yoga teacher certification online you will be prepared to teach and modify poses, understand where and how students will feel the effect of postures, create sequences, understand emotions and their relation to the connective tissue and more. The online yin yoga teacher training helps you find balance, feel complete and whole. Over time, one will notice progress and growth within the body and mind. The best part is one begins to understand the art of slowing down. 

Physiological and Psychological Impact of Yin Yoga

We know yin yoga is gentle and meditative, and it is known that one after-effect of the practice is to relax the body and mind. But how does it relax the mind and body? What happens within? What is its impact from a physiological and psychological standpoint? If you’re considering an online yin yoga teacher training, we invite you to understand the know-how behind this as many students will ask you, time and again, about its impact. While a yin yoga instructor online training course will take you through the benefits of it in detail, this article gives you a peek into what you should know to start with.

Psychological impact of Yin Yoga 

Physiological benefits of yin yoga

Being a  practice where time it’s your best ally (you hold poses -in stillness- for long periods of time), yin yoga helps to improve your mindfulness, releasing stress and anxiety. In fact, it provides similar benefits as meditation such as reducing stress, stress-related illness, blood pressure, risk of heart disease and problems associated with diabetes. This study deep-dives into how meditation has an impact on cardiovascular risk reduction. Similarly, the mindfulness developed with the practice of yin yoga, can reduce depression, anxiety, and turns off the flight-or-fight response.  Several studies, like “Effects of Mindfulness on Psychological Health: A Review of Empirical Studies”, concluded the positive impact of mindfulness and how its cultivation facilitates adaptive functioning. Another five-week yin yoga intervention study showed reduced physiological and psychological risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases (e.g. cardiovascular disease).

Yin yoga has a positive and profound impact on the nervous system. When each posture is held for a few minutes, we are providing the nervous system with a certain stimulus. The targeted area’s tissues and joints are receiving a deep stretch. This stimuli is detected by the sensory nerves around the tissues, and these nerve signals are sent to the spinal cord and brain for processing. Furthermore, there are sensory nerve endings in the joint ligaments and capsules which also send information about the range of motion, muscle memory and strength to the nervous system. Over time, this improves our awareness of our body parts and also keeps our nervous system relaxed rather than in overdrive. 

Physiological and Biological impact of Yin Yoga 

From a biological and physiological standpoint, the effect of yin yoga on the connective tissues, and the effects within the muscles, nervous system, immune system, endocrine system and even within the epigenetic system are remarkable.

Yin Yoga uses the application of a distraction force. Distraction (often called traction) is the application of long-held stress that has the capacity to pull bones apart. When we do a forward fold, like seated forward bend, distraction stress is applied along the spine. This stress can help strengthen the bones and ligaments along the spine. It is through a thorough understanding during your yin yoga certification that you will be able to explain the biological impact to your future students. 

Now, if a joint is overly contracted and the range of motion is limited, improving mobility first is more helpful. A study of contracture repair compared to holding postures for a short time (like the intense stresses we experience in an active yoga practice) with long-held, mild stresses like the ones experienced in a yin yoga practice. The researchers concluded,

psychological and biological benefits of Yin Yoga

“The longest period of low force stretch produces the greatest amount of permanent elongation, with the least amount of trauma and structural weakening of the connective tissues.”

The shorter, more intense stresses resulted in “a higher proportion of elastic response, less remodeling, and greater trauma and weakening of the tissue.” Thus, yin yoga practices proved to be more effective for joints suffering contracture than yang forms of yoga, whose main benefits are experienced in the muscles. 

A static tissue stretch also has an anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic impact on the body. Thus, in a yin yoga practice, when a stretch is held for 3-5 minutes, there is a positive improvement in the body’s immune response and a reduction in the fibrotic (thickening or scarring of the tissue) restrictions to movement. During our yin yoga teacher training, we discuss (and experience!) more in detail these and other short and long-term effects of stressing tissues in a yin way. 

It’s interesting to see that other health disciplines also use this long-held stress principle to release myofascial tension (MFR), which is known to improve the healing response. For example, Sphinx pose is used in a form of physiotherapy called the Mckenzie Therapy for people suffering from a bulging disc. Considering the deep impact of yin yoga on every system, an online yin teacher training is useful to explore as a teacher. Equip yourself with a deeper understanding and the right knowledge to teach your students about all the physiological and psychological benefits of yin yoga.

Contact us if you are interested in learning more about the healing benefits of yin yoga or discovering how you can make it part of your lifestyle. At Sampoorna Yoga Online Academy, you will find specialized help focusing on your well-being, no matter where you are.