What is the Difference Between Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga

A huge brigade of followers swears by the practices of yoga which is why yoga has been beautifully existing within multiple cultures, society, and way of life. The widely documented benefits and advantages of yoga have made it a favorite amongst people from far and wide. There are multiple yoga disciplines available, something suitable for everybody. 

Different people want to achieve different fitness and wellness goals and choose their style and comfort of yoga accordingly. From helping the yogis to gain physical, core, and mental strength, to maintaining clarity of mind, purifying the soul, and connecting it to the universe, the benefits of yoga are in many threefold. 

For a beginner as well as for a professional, it is incredibly important to choose a style of yoga that is in synchronization with their minds and in alignments with their bodies. The power of yoga and meditation should be enough to mitigate stress, anxiety, reduce tension, relieve mental and physical pain and agony and transform the person into a better, more controlled, and content version of themselves. 

In this article, we mainly talk about what is Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga and the various differentiating factors between them. Before proceeding to talk any further about it, let us have a look at certain other forms of types of comprehensive yoga styles: 

  • Iyengar Yoga
  • Ashtanga Yoga
  • Kundalini Yoga
  • Bikram Yoga
  • Hot Yoga
  • Anusara Yoga 
  • Prenatal Yoga
  • Hatha Yoga

The aforementioned list proves that when it comes to the styles and types of yoga available for a person to choose from, the choices are endless. With the correct style of breathing and holding poses and asanas for each type of fo yoga, one can easily achieve the results they are willing and hoping to accomplish from yoga. It is important to pay attention and detail to techniques revolving around each type of yoga so as to get the best and the most effective results. 

What is Yin Yoga?

Contrary to most of the fast-paced, heavy styled yoga styles, yin yoga is a more subtle and deep, calm, spiritual form of active yoga that works by directly influencing the connective tissues of the body. It is a deep, calm, meditative practice that affects ligaments, bones, joints, and the tissues that surround these different joints. Each form or pose in yoga is held for as short as a minute or two. It is meditation-centric in ways where it does not involve a lot of rigorous movement or frequent change in poses. 

Most of the postures that are attained through yin yoga are attained in a seated position. Yin yoga is chosen by yogis who want to focus more on the lower part of their body. Most of the lower body parts like the hip, the things, lower spine, and more have an abundance of connective tissues. 

Yin yoga is the perfect form of yoga for anyone who is looking for something other than the mainstream form of yogas. It is the right kind of yoga for anyone who is feeling sluggish, lethargic, and have low levels of energy when it comes to performing physical activities. 

Yin yoga allows the calmness of the mind. It is great for increasing the blood circulation in a person. A person becomes more flexible by losing any stiff or sore muscles by consistently performing yin yoga asanas. The elasticity is in the muscles is achieved and the joints become more mobile. 

Psychologically speaking, yin yoga plays a crucial role. Along with providing immense relief from factors along the lines of stress, tension, and anxiety, it balances the mind, helps in boosting the memory and aids in achieving clarity of mind. 

One very important aspect of yin yoga is that it facilitates the flow of qi energy in the body. This energy serves the basis for increasing blood circulation, encourage stretching of the muscles and maintains the balance of the body, the soul, and the mind. 

What is Restorative Yoga? 

restorative yoga

Restorative Yoga is the one way to achieve the maximum level of relaxation and composure. It is an invigorating and rejuvenating form of yoga that brings the body to rest and clears the mind in depth. 

For people being victims of insomnia, anxiety, constant stress, overthinking, and other mental discrepancies, restorative yoga is the most well-suggested form of yoga. Consisting of not more than 6 to 7 asanas or poses, they can be easily learned and practiced by any person wanting to achieve peace of mind through yoga. 

With the help of certain tools, restorative yoga is done mainly through stretching poses that build up heat in the body, which helps in making the body more flexible and energetic. It is the best form of yoga to fight off constant low-spirits. 

The results achieved out of performing restorative yoga gravitates more towards the mind than the body. Through still poses and with the least of movement of the body parts, the poses maintained during restorative yoga transports the body and the mind into a complete state of oblivion where the body is at its utmost comfort and solace. 

Restorative yoga can be performed by expecting mothers. They help in maintaining the quality of sleep. They help in bringing overwhelmed thoughts at rest. People suffering from high blood pressure problems, constant restlessness, and stress can use restorative yoga as a great antidote to all their problems. 

Unlike any other form of yoga, props play a very major role in restorative yoga. This is because props help in maintaining the postures for a longer period of time. Longer the poses are held, better, quicker and more effective shall be the results. 

A great sense of warmth and comfort is established while settling into a restorative yoga pose. The body produces heat and the different parts of the body calibrate themselves. 

Difference Between Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga

Even though on the face of it, both yin yoga and restorative yoga sound pretty similar in terms of the results they yield and the efforts they require, there are some very minuscule but extremely important differentiating factors that lie between them. Here is a look at some of them: 

  • Yin yoga poses are held for a very short period of time in comparison to restorative yoga poses. Some of the most commonly held poses in yin yoga are a snail, squat, reclining twist, sphinx, saddle, toe squat, and more. All these poses have to be held at a maximum time period of 5 minutes. On the other hand, restorative yoga poses include Child’s Pose or Balasana, Reclining Bound Angle Pose or Supta Baddha Konasana, Sleeping Pigeon Pose or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana and many more which are supposed to be held for a maximum time period of 10 minutes.
  •  In yin yoga, the connective tissues play a major role where most of the focus is to revive these tissues and ligaments and therefore focus more on the lower region of the human body that is rich in connective tissues. Restorative yoga is based more around providing ultimate relief and relaxation to the mind and the body. It helps in achieving the optimal level of wellbeing of the mind and provides comfort and pacifies the parasympathetic nervous system. 
  • Yin yoga has its origin from the Chinese form of medication and Taoism, whereas restorative yoga is a part of Hatha Yoga which include traditional and classic forms of yoga. Along with having different origins and motives, yin yoga includes the active stretching of the body which doesn’t necessarily require external props. Whereas restorative yoga involves complete passive forms of stretching exercises which are enhanced using different props such as blankets, straps, sandbags, blocks and more. 

Conclusion

When choosing a form of yoga, it is imperative to know the intentions and the results of that particular form of yoga. Restorative yoga, as the name suggests is designed in a way where the body can be restored back to its optimal state of well-being and health levels which are well-sustained, by removing certain blockages that exist in the body and the mind. 

Yin yoga, on the other hand, brings about a certain level of energy to the body. It can most certainly be used as a curator of chronic illness, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be practiced to bring the body back to an optimal health level. 

Restorative yoga is a much-preferred form of yoga for people who have had a hectic and fast-paced lifestyle and would want to fight off low-energy levels and nurture their nervous system. 

In the end, each form of yoga comes with its own principles, benefits, theories, and applications. So, well-through research on what the body requires and what the mind is willing to undergo is important before choosing the right style of yoga for oneself.

One should be capable to hold their poses, handle the intensity levels of the yoga asanas they choose for themselves, and must not shy away from giving their absolute best.