6 Best Yin Yoga Poses for Deep Relaxation

Soniya
Yin yoga poses are great to stretch the muscles and helps in reducing stress. (Image via Unsplash / Hopefilmphoto)
Yin Yoga poses are great to stretch the muscles and helps in reducing stress. (Image via Unsplash / Hopefilmphoto)

Yin yoga is a grounding, gentle practice that uses deep stretches to improve flexibility and strengthen your joints and connective tissue. Yin yoga slows things down, focusing on fewer poses that are held for longer.

This form of yoga, which focuses on stretching the lower body, has been shown to help improve joint mobility and increase energy. Some of the poses performed in Yin yoga require muscles to remain relaxed, which can be difficult for people who are used to intense stretches.

Yin yoga is more effective when combined with a healthy diet and exercise routine. Here are a few poses that will help you make the most of your short yoga sessions.


Six Essential Yin Yoga Poses for Deeper Relaxation

1. Butterfly Pose

Butterfly Pose is a simple Yin yoga pose that is reminiscent of warmups at gym class. In this restorative pose, your hips and lower back are open, easing tension and encouraging relaxation. This pose helps soothe both mind and body.

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Here's how you can do it:

  • Stretch out on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
  • Bend your knees open to the sides and bring your feet together in front of you.
  • Fold forward and rest your torso on your thighs.
  • You can put a pillow or two under your torso for extra support if you like. Hold this position for 3–5 minutes.

2. Twisted Dragon Pose

Side-Bending Dragon Pose stretches your hamstrings, hip flexors, outer hips, and adductors. This Yin yoga will stretch your back and may help relieve sciatica.

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Here's how you can do it:

  • From a tabletop position, with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips, step your left foot between your hands.
  • Slide your right leg back and let yourself relax.
  • Use your left hand to push your left knee to the side.
  • Drop your right hand to the floor.
  • Rotate your chest toward the sky and hold for 3–5 minutes.
  • Repeat on the right side.

3. Shoelace Pose

While restorative yoga is its own practice, you can incorporate poses from Yin yoga into your routine to help rejuvenate your body. Shoelace Pose is a restorative posture that stretches the arms, shoulders, hips, and upper back. It also relieves tension in your digestive system.

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Here's how you can do it:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
  • Bend the right knee, and place the sole of your foot against your left hip.
  • Bring the left foot to rest against your right thigh, keeping your knees stacked.
  • Gently fold forward from your hips to stretch out your spine.
  • Hold for 3–5 minutes, then roll back up slowly and relax.
  • Switch legs and repeat.
  • You can also place a cushion or yoga block under one foot for extra support, balance, and comfort.

4. Legs Up The Wall

Legs-up-the-Wall Pose is a restorative Asana that allows you to balance your body's flow of energy at the end of the day. It’s a great way to wind down after being on your feet or at your desk all day!

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Here's how you can do it:

  • Lie on your back in an empty space against a wall.
  • Bring your knees toward your chest and place them on the wall so that they're supported.
  • Relax your arms by your sides and rest for 3–5 minutes.
  • Then, release and use a pillow, cushion or rolled towel or blanket under your head and upper back for extra support and comfort while you lie there quietly with your eyes closed.

5. Wide-Legged Child's Pose

Wide-leg child’s pose is a gentle forward bend that allows you to bring your attention inward while releasing tension. It stretches your spine, hips, and inner thighs. This Yin yoga is particularly beneficial not only for its ability to re-energize you but also for grounding you and helping you feel connected to the earth.

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Here's how you can do it:

  • Lie on your back with a cushion or bolster under your head, chest, and hips.
  • You may begin this pose on your hands and knees or all fours.
  • Touch your big toes together, bringing your knees out to either side of your body.
  • Lower your hips toward the floor and lengthen your torso along the floor.
  • Reach your arms forward, keeping them straight so that they're beside your torso rather than in front of it.
  • Breathe deeply as you allow yourself to sink deeper into the pose with each exhale.
  • Remain in this pose for up to five minutes.

6. Supported Fish Pose

Fish Pose is a wonderful form of Yin yoga that stretches the back, core, and hip flexors. It also stimulates the throat chakra, which relates to communication and creativity. Moreover, it’s a heart-opening Asana that helps you connect with others on an emotional level.

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Here's how you can do it:

  • To ease neck pain, sit on a blanket or cushion in a reclined position with your legs extended in front of you.
  • Prop up your back by using extra pillows and cushions to create an incline from the base of your spine to your head.
  • Stay in this position for five minutes or as long as it feels comfortable.

Takeaway

Yin yoga is a slow-paced, meditative form of yoga that’s perfect for beginners and advanced practitioners alike. It allows you to relax, reduce stress, restore energy levels, improve flexibility and circulation, and release tension. Reach out to a healthcare professional if you’re new to yoga or take medications, or have any health conditions.

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Edited by Susrita Das