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Yin Yoga VS Restorative Yoga: The Subtle Differences That Make All The Difference

Yin Yoga VS Restorative Yoga: The Subtle Differences That Make All The Difference

Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga are both styles of yoga that can provide a sense of relaxation and calm, but they have distinct differences in terms of the poses, pace, and focus.

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YIN YOGA

Yin Yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga that involves holding poses for longer periods of time, usually between 3-5 minutes. The poses in Yin Yoga are typically more passive nearly all done seated or lying down (with the exception of the "dangle pose"). The focus of Yin Yoga is on the connective tissues, such as the fascia and ligaments, and the aim is to increase flexibility and improve overall mobility in the body.

 

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RESTORATIVE YOGA

Restorative Yoga is also a gentle and relaxed form of yoga, but it uses props, such as blankets and bolsters, to support the body in the poses. The poses are held for longer periods, usually up to 20 minutes, with the goal of promoting relaxation and reducing stress. In Restorative Yoga, the focus is on the breath and the intention is to bring the body and mind into a state of calm.

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There are a few other key differences between Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga:

  1. Physical intensity: Yin Yoga, while still slow and incorporating long holds, is physically more intense than restorative yoga. You could in fact say that Yin Yoga is more Yang in its nature. Stretches and poses may not always be comfortable, and comfort is not the goal. Restorative Yoga on the other hand is all about supporting the body in every way to achieve total relaxation and surrender.

  2. Emphasis on flexibility: Yin Yoga places a greater emphasis on flexibility, as the poses are designed to stretch and strengthen the connective tissues. Restorative Yoga, while still providing some stretching, places more emphasis on relaxation and release.

  3. Use of props: Both practices use props to support the body but Restorative Yoga really takes it to the next level, with ample blankets, bolsters, and blocks used not just for support but as a way to help soothe the nervous system. 

  4. Mental focus: Yin Yoga places a greater focus on the mind and encourages practitioners to stay present and focused during the poses. Restorative Yoga tends to focus more on relaxation and letting go of mental and emotional tension.

  5. Muscles work: Restorative Yoga is generally more passive as it mostly works on deep release of muscles and joints, in contrast yin yoga works on deeper layers of muscles, tendons, and fascia.

  6. Pacing: As mentioned before, yin yoga often tends to be slower and less flowing than many other yoga styles, such as vinyasa or flow, while restorative yoga is even slower and much less dynamic, even being sometimes classified as "relaxation" rather than "yoga" practice.

 

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When choosing between Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga....
 it's important to consider your goals and intentions for the practice. If you're looking to increase flexibility and improve mobility, then Yin Yoga may be a good choice. If you're looking to reduce stress and promote relaxation, then Restorative Yoga may be a better fit. Both practices are gentle and can be beneficial for people who are recovering from injury or illness, or for those who are looking for a more relaxing and meditative practice.

It is good to try out different classes or teacher to find what's most aligns with your goals and preferences. Also one can practice both of them in their own routine. Both styles offer a different kind of release and benefits, and one might find it beneficial to incorporate both styles of yoga into their regular practice.

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It is important to note that there can be variations on these differences depending on teacher, or the specific class or sequence one is attending. And again, both can provide benefits and one can adapt their practice to their own needs and preferences.

In conclusion, Both Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga are powerful practices that can provide many benefits for the body and mind. By choosing the style that aligns with your goals and intentions, you can experience the full benefits of each practice and improve your overall well-being!

 

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