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​Images by Miki Yamawaki Photography

  • Chika Yamawaki

5 amazing health benefits of yin yoga (and why you should make time for it right now)

Updated: Oct 25, 2018

1. Release tightness and tension in the body

For me, practising yin yoga feels a bit like bathing in the hot water. I can feel the muscular tensions melting away while softening into each pose. During the practice, you are encouraged to drop into stillness and surrender. There is no forcing, no striving. In fact we want the muscles to be switched off so we can work with deeper parts of the body – connective tissues, ligaments and joints.

2. Reduce stress and anxiety

Yin yoga is the time to slow everything down! There is no hurry while we practice. We take time to arrive in each pose, stay there for a while and take time to come out. We rest between poses without rushing from one pose to the next. We have no agenda in mind. Just taking time to sit quietly with ourselves and let things unfold. It is so healing!

3. Enhance healthy function of the organs by encouraging healthy flow of chi in the body

Yin yoga is a little like a marriage between Traditional Chinese Medicine and Yoga. We work with acupressure points and can work with specific meridians (energy channels) in our body, which encourages healthy flow of chi or what yogis call prana. This nourishes our organs and helps our organs to function fully. It feels a bit like getting an acupuncture session, but without using the needles.

4. Allow us to cultivate acceptance

This non-striving practice helps us to cultivate more acceptance in our life. There is no need to neither push nor force our body into a posture. We allow our body to go as far as it can naturally go. We often notice one side feels tighter than the other and take it as an opportunity to get to know our body and practice more acceptance. There is no need to achieve anything in this practice. We drop DOING and enjoy BEING.

5. Make meditation a little easier

As we sit in each pose for 3 to 5 minutes, we stay present in each moment, noticing the sensation of the body changing. We watch our thoughts or feelings coming and going. We are meditating as we remain in each pose! Yin yoga can be seen as a mini meditation session and it might be an easier place to begin meditation practice for some people. Many people find it challenging to remain still in a seated posture even for a couple of minutes. (because of throbbing in the knee, tightness in the hip, achy back etc.) Yin yoga helps you to give more flexibility in your hips and so it often helps you to sit longer more comfortably.

About me, Chika

I’ve been a student of yin yoga for the last 10 years and sharing the teachings for the last 4. I got introduced to yin yoga by Sarah Owen, Australia’s first and only Insight Yoga endorsed teacher based in Sydney. I studied further with her teacher, Sarah Powers (the founder and the director of Insight Yoga Institute) on multiple occasions including level 1 & 2 trainings, workshops & silent retreats. I have over 150 hours of specific training in the field of yin yoga and total of over 500 hours in yoga studies. I’m a Yoga Australia registered teacher for both adults & children and see myself as a lifetime student of yoga and this beautiful thing called life. I run classes, workshops, retreats on the Central Coast NSW and love making deeper connections with people through private yoga.