Yin Yoga is a slow-paced style of modern yoga with postures, or asanas, that are held for longer periods of time—for beginners, it may range from 45 seconds to two minutes; more advanced practitioners may stay in one asana for five minutes or more.
Yin Yoga poses apply moderate stress to the connective tissues of the body—the tendons, fascia, and ligaments—with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility. A more meditative approach to yoga, its goals are awareness of inner silence, and bringing to light a universal, interconnecting quality.
Yin Yoga began in the late 1970s as martial arts expert and yoga teacher Paulie Zink’s Taoist Yoga. Yin yoga is taught across North America and Europe, encouraged by the Yin Yoga teachers and developers Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers. Yin Yoga as taught by Grilley and Powers is not intended as a complete practice in itself, but as a complement to more active forms of yoga and exercise. However, Zink’s approach includes the full range of Taoist yoga, both yin and yang.