Originally called Taoist Yoga taught by martial artist, Paulie Zink, Yin Yoga as it is understood today was first introduced by Paulie’s student, Paul Grilley, and Grilley’s student, Sarah Powers. It is comprised of about 25 mostly prone, seated or supine postures aimed at releasing tension patterns in namely the hips, legs, shoulders and back. It is a slow, steady practice that targets connective tissues, unlike Yang forms of yoga that target muscle.
Therapeutic Yin Yoga incorporates breathing, meditation, and mindfulness-based practices in conjunction with stretching to provide a deeply restorative experience (appropriate for all levels of practice). Stretches are held anywhere from 1-5 minutes. We strongly discourage aggressively stretching to end ranges of a joint for long periods of time, as hyper mobility can be directly linked to instability in both functional movement and postural deviations.
Proprioception is the ability to sense stimuli arising within the body regarding position, motion and equilibrium. Proprioceptors are part of the communication highway between the body and the brain (central nervous system), as it allows us to process information from special receptors in the skin, joints, muscles and tendons and know how to respond with deep awareness. Hyper mobile tissues often lack such awareness and can often lead to instability, injury and pain.
While the benefits of Yin yoga are vast, it is not a stand-alone practice, as those who are prone to hyper mobility need to address tissue balancing in other ways. Both active and restorative forms of yoga are necessary for a fruitful, satisfying practice.