What is Yin Yoga?

Yin Yoga - What is it?

One of the biggest questions our yoga students ask is “What is Yin Yoga?” In this video and article, we explain what yin yoga is and demonstrate an example of what a yin yoga sequence might look like in one of our classes here at Santosha Yoga by Bethany Athletic Club. A special thank you to our amazing instructor, Chris, for answering this yin yoga question and demonstrating the yoga sequence in our video.

While “yang” yoga focuses on your muscles, yin yoga targets your deep connective tissues, like your fascia, ligaments, joints, and bones. It’s slower and more meditative, giving you time and space to look inward, tuning into both your mind and the physical body. Because you’re typically holding poses for a longer time than you would in other styles of yoga, yin yoga helps you stretch and lengthen those lesser-used tissues while teaching you how to breathe through discomfort and relax your thoughts.


In yin yoga, the goal isn’t to move through postures freely. Postures may be held for three to five minutes, or even more. A yin practitioner is accessing the deeper connective tissues, and many of the postures focus on areas surrounding a joint, such as the hips, shoulders, and spine. Physiologically, the practice lengthens and strengthens connective tissues increasing the range of motion and making the body more resistant to injury.

what is yin yoga

History of Yin Yoga

The history of yin yoga can initially be deceiving. Many people assume that Yin Yoga is centuries old, but this is not true. The word “yin” is centuries old and associated with ancient Chinese medicine. While yin yoga is instead a contemporary form of yoga that pulls from ancient Chinese philosophies and Taoist principles which believe there are pathways of energy, called Qi or prana, that run through our bodies. By stretching deep into poses, we’re opening up these channels or nadis to allow that energy to flow more freely.

Yin Yoga Classes

Yin yoga classes are not your typical sweaty and intense vinyasa yoga classes, but that doesn’t make it any less of a great workout. Try Yin Yoga today in your own home or your local yoga studio.

Do you live in or near Portland, Oregon? Try our popular Yin Yoga classes here at Santosha Yoga located in Bethany Village.

Class Schedule at Santosha Yoga in Portland Oregon