Uyuteaparty: What is Yin Yoga?

Come 14th March 2015, I’ll be teaching Yin Yoga at The Yoga Co. for a charity event #OmForAGoldenHome. All the studio’s earnings for that day will be donated to this cause! The funds will be used to improve the living condition of the elderly, the sick and the physically-challenged living at one-room flats all over the island.
For this cause, Vivre Active Wear will also be setting up a pop-up store at the studio and a portion of the sales will go to this cause as well! How awesome is that?
Anyway, in this post, I will be talking about Yin Yoga, what it is about and how you should incorporate some into your lives. Both the top and bottom are kindly sponsored by Vivre Active Wear. More information about the apparel will be at the end of the post.
Forward Fold
What is Yin Yoga?
To my understanding, Yin Yoga is a slow class aimed at stretching out tight, frequently used muscles using body weight and gravity. Each pose is usually held for about 5 minutes to maximise the effects of the stretch. As such, the mind tends to wander off or focus too much about the pain of the stretch. Neither is a good thing. The main aim of Yin Yoga is thus to transcend your fleeting thoughts and focus on the breath.
Wind-releasing pose with both legs
Wind-releasing pose with single leg
What are the benefits of Yin Yoga?
Yin Yoga has various compressions and stretches that improves our internal organs. The gentle massaging effect that our body parts have on each other produces a far greater result that what can be felt at that moment. For example, doing a wind-releasing pose with the right leg massages the ascending colon and doing it with the left leg massages the descending colon. Such internal organs are rarely massaged and thus helps with digestion.
Reclining head-to-knee pose
Additionally, as mentioned above, Yin Yoga helps with the stilling of the mind. Letting go of all the thoughts that come with being too at ease or having too much pain is good for mental health. In our busy and stressful lives, it is good to learn the art of stillness – not letting the many thoughts overcome us, but we overcoming those thoughts.
Reclining hero pose
Why is the class so slow?
The very first time I went for Yin Yoga, I got a shock of my life. I didn’t know what Yin stood for, and I was prepared to sweat it out in class. All I got was blasts of cool air on my uncovered arms and legs, and a painfully painfully painfully long and (then I thought) boring session. I did not know how to relax, I did not know how to ease into the pain, and I did not know how to control my mind.
The class is slow to allow ample time to scan your body – every single joint and muscle, and then relax them along the way even though you may be in pain from the intense stretch. As you slowly ease into the pain, you will realise that you can go a bit deeper, and it is not done through heating of the body nor tugging and jerking yourself forward, but a slow release of muscle tension that allowed you to do so.
Reclined spinal twist with eagle legs

I like doing fast sports, can I do Yin Yoga?
Personally, I think that the more you do fast sports, the more you should do Yin Yoga! For example, if you keep riding your bicycle, your quads are going to be super tight from that repetitive action of contracting the muscles. Also, your chest will probably be pretty tight from all that forward hunching to hold the handlebars. Thus, doing Yin Yoga (or actually just stretching for extended periods of time) will help to loosen up the tight quad and shoulder muscles and also open up the chest area. Working frequently used muscles in a different way that is new to the body will help to recover the muscles quicker and send fresh oxygen to the area.

Pigeon pose
Butterfly pose

Is there a best time in the day for Yin Yoga?
If you’ve been to a few different yoga studios, you will find that Yin Yoga will probably be scheduled in the evenings, sometimes as the last class of the day. Although doing it at night will definitely help with a good night’s sleep with all the tensions released, I won’t say that there is an ultimate best time in the day to do so.

If you’re going to do a very intense gym or HIIT session in the day, a good time for Yin Yoga would probably be right after that intense session just to calm the body down and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is good for digestion.

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I hope my post answers some of your questions regarding Yin Yoga, and hope to see you guys soon on the mat!

What I wore in the above photos:

Get-up and Go Sports Bra in Lavender (also available in Brink Pink, pictures below)

Hoopla Active Crops in Everything Yoga

If you’re interested to purchase any items from Vivre Active Wear, quote “pamelayeo” or “uyuteaparty” upon checkout to receive a 10% discount! I love discounts!!!
(Last 2 photos by Angie‘s boyfriend Stefanus)

All photos and texts are extracted from Pamela Yeo (Uyuteaparty)’s blog.