There are many different types of yoga, and each school or style teaches a slightly different way to exercise and stretch the body.
For example, Vinyasa yoga and Yin yoga are two different styles of yoga that are often confused with each other. However, they are very different and have several significant differences.
This article will discuss the differences between yin and vinyasa yoga and why you should pay attention to them.
About vinyasa yoga
Vinyasa yoga is an aerobic style of yoga that incorporates flowing movements through the poses. Vinyasa means “to place especially,” referring to the flow of movement in this type of yoga.
This style of yoga is widespread and popular with people who are new to yoga and those who have practised for years.
This style of yoga often involves holding poses for more extended periods than some other styles, encouraging students to enjoy the physical and mental challenges that will arise with long-held postures.
About Yin yoga
Yin yoga, on the other hand, is a practice of surrender, acceptance, and silence. Long, passive holds of postures that are primarily done seated or lying down characterize it.
Furthermore, the positions are mainly performed in silence, allowing for a calm, reflective exercise.
Unlike vinyasa yoga, which focuses on the muscles, yin yoga uses extended, passive holds to compress the joints, connective tissues, and fascia.
As a result, Yin yoga is known as the "yoga of the joints" because it helps improve mobility, which is especially good for the elderly, whose mobility gradually declines, making the body more prone to injury.
In addition, some yoga practitioners regard yin yoga as a meditative practice that will help them achieve a state of stillness and inner peace.
Benefits of yin yoga
Yin yoga, unlike vinyasa yoga, brings benefits to the joints by increasing the amount of synovial fluid in them. The synovial fluid is found naturally within joints and is needed for proper joint function.
When yin yoga increases this fluid, it improves health by reducing or preventing stiffness, especially after long periods of sitting.
Connective tissues are made stronger through the passive stretches that are part of yin yoga practice.
Connective tissue is essential for keeping your joints together and keeping your bones protected inside your body.
Maintaining flexibility and strength of the joints is another benefit that yin yoga offers.
As yin yoga is a more passive form of exercise, it does not require the same level of exertion. Therefore, this style is suitable for older people or has trouble performing an activity that requires high effort.
Read on to find out more about the differences between yin and vinyasa yoga.
Differences between Yin and Vinyasa Yoga
What exactly is the difference between vinyasa and yin poses that appear to be identical? The distinction lies in the purpose of the position.
In yin yoga, we strive not to hold the posture with muscular effort, whereas, in vinyasa yoga, that is precisely what we aim for.
The identical posture that we are familiar with from our vinyasa practice is given a different name in yin to remind us that we hold the pose should be different.
In yin, what we call pigeon posture in vinyasa is known as the swan pose. In yin, a crescent lunge from vinyasa is known as a dragon, and so on.
Yin yoga aims to stretch connective tissue that supports the muscles, joints, and organs. Connective tissue takes up more space than muscle tissue, so it gains space when it is relaxed by passive stretching.
When the muscles are stretched two to three times their average length, they are traumatized slightly. It leads to increased muscle elasticity, lengthening of the muscle fibres, and stimulation of blood circulation.
The movements in vinyasa are quicker and more dynamic, while yin poses are slower, more profound, quieter, and more restrained.
The purpose of yin is to hold the pose for about 3 - 5 minutes while your body melts into the motion.
The longer you have it, the better it’s supposed to be for you. Vinyasa yoga is not about holding the poses for a long time. We also work with our breathing to create an internal movement in our bodies.
Which is best for you?
Yin is perfect for beginners. It promotes relaxation and relieves tension. It can help you release muscle tightness caused by stress or injury, and it can help you become more flexible.
Practitioners report that they feel better after a session, so it's a perfect choice if you want to unwind after a long day at work.
Vinyasa yoga is all about flowing movement, so this style is an excellent choice if you are active physically or mentally or itching for new challenges.
Vinyasa yoga relies on muscular effort, while yin yoga is purely passive. Vinyasa will strengthen the muscles more quickly than yin, but both are excellent for your body.
Try out both styles and decide for yourself which one feels more natural to you. If you already do a yoga class, you can try yin yoga to relieve muscle tension in your body and enjoy how good it feels!