The asana (or asanas) is just one part of the yoga tradition, but it is still one of the most important aspects of yogic practice -- be it for meditation or as a form of fitness workout. That is why the poses are among the first things people want to learn when exploring new and different styles of yoga. If you have your sights set on Yin Yoga, you must know that this style is one of the more mellow ones. The poses are usually not extremely difficult and the pace of transition is slow.
Yin Yoga improves circulation and energy flow in the body, and increases your range of movement by doing poses that stretch and strengthen the ligaments and tendons. If you want a heart-pumping, fast-paced yoga workout, Yin Yoga may not be your first choice. But if you want to take things slow while effectively increasing your flexibility and achieving peace of mind, you might want to take a mental note of the Yin Yoga poses below so you know what to expect.
Flexibility is a goal, and not a requirement in Yin Yoga. What is required, however, is patience because some Yin Yoga classes require students to hold passive poses for extended periods of time.
The Saddle is an excellent pose for stretching the hip flexors and working the sacral lumbar arch. Basically, you get into a position with your legs folded underneath you and your upper back and shoulders touching the mat (see image above). In Yin Yoga, however, you perform this pose with the use of a bolster placed vertically along your back so that your shoulders and mid-back are supported and you don't strain your back muscles.
Happy Baby Pose
This pose involves lying on your back, your gaze towards the ceiling, as you hug your knees to your chest, clasp your hand around each foot, and lowly lift and spread your legs out in front of you. Keeping your hands clasped around your feet, make sure you don't go into an inversion pose. Just hold your legs and feet up as instructed, and the Happy Baby will yield effective results in opening up the hips.
The Snail, or otherwise known as Plow pose, is an inversion that you can transition to from the Happy Baby pose. All you have to do is lift your legs, angle your feet towards the ceiling, and then let your legs come up and over your head. The goal is to get the toes to touch the floor so you can get a deeper spinal release.
This pose is named as such because of how it's performed, and the way the legs are folded and criss-crossing on top of another. Once you get the legs in that position, you will lower your chest towards your knee and stretch your arms out in front of you. This Shoelace with Forward Fold pose is not recommended for those with sciatica and pregnant women once they're past the first trimester mark.
The Caterpillar, as it is done in Yin Yoga, appears like a beginner's version of the seated forward bend. Place a pillow or any type of cushion under your With your sit bones resting on a pillow or any type of cushion, stretch your legs out in front of you and slowly lower your torso and then round the spine.