The Hardest Part of Yin Yoga

Every form of Yoga comes with challenges but I find that for me the hardest part of Yin yoga is entirely mental. In other forms of yoga I have to form a sort of mind/body connection to power through the tougher poses, but yin yoga relies much more heavily on my mind. 

Sure, there is some stress on my body but with modifications, no yin pose should be more than mildly uncomfortable. But that’s the kicker! Yin yoga encourages you to sit with your discomfort and learn to live with it. In a yang yoga flow you might simply move into another pose but in yin yoga you must remain and work through your distress. To me, this is much harder on my mind than my body. My mind has a tendency to ask my body to tense up and focus on the tenseness. I have to make a concerted effort to release the tension and focus on my breath. 

For me, yin yoga is a wonderful form of meditation. It allows me to focus on my body and breath and it can be very calming and emotionally cleansing. Of course, some days are harder than others. Some days I hit the mat with the intention of clearing my mind and allowing the poses to do their work on me but I end up just going through the motions of stretching instead. Those days aren’t a total loss. There is certainly something to be said for keeping the body limber. But I don’t feel a sense of calm like I do when I experience a good yin flow! 

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