This is a question we are asked often. Aren't yin & restorative yoga the same? The simple answer: no.
Yin and restorative yoga are two very powerful and yet different physical practices. Sometimes they are confused because both practices are slow and methodical, with long-held poses (2 to 10 minutes).
Physically they are very different. Here are the differences:
Yin yoga targets the connective tissues, such as ligaments, bones and joints. Because of the stillness and time spent in the poses, the practice can be challenging and empowering on a physical, mental and emotional level. Yin also focuses on opening the meridians or internal energetic pathways of the body.
Restorative yoga focuses on muscle relaxation. It is a calming and gentle style of yoga that uses props (bolsters, blocks and blankets) to fully support the body. This healing yoga practice restores energy in the body, releases long-held tension, and facilitates stillness and calm. Some yogis refer to restorative yoga as the dessert of a buffet. Hang and I like to call it ‘hidden meditation’. as it allows the body and mind to rest
Both yin yoga and restorative yoga are beautiful practices and much needed in our busy lives. We encourage you to find yin and restorative yoga classes at your local studio. If you’re interested in deepening your practice or would like to learn how to teach yin or restorative, join us at one of our upcoming trainings.