Yin yoga has the same goals as any other kind of yoga; however, it goes deeper than the superficial or muscular tissues (yang tissues). Yin yoga targets the connective stuff (ligaments, bones and joints) which don’t normally get a workout in the active styles of yoga practice.
Yin yoga is suitable for almost anyone because it complements the more dynamic and muscular (yang) styles of yoga that emphasise internal heat, and the lengthening and contracting of our muscles. I find that Yin Yoga generally targets the connective tissues of the hips, pelvis, and lower spine – my pain points from repeated damage through extreme exercise.
Initially, yin yoga can seem a little boring and passive, but if you’re doing it right, can be quite challenging due to the length of time one has to hold each pose. I’ve heard that some postures can last up to twenty minutes – I’ve never made it that long. But it’s definitely meditative. And self-accepting. You can only work with yourself and your own limitations. You have to listen to your body. You’re not competing with anyone else. Pretty magical!
It’s also therapeutic because you are working with your own blockages, and resistance. How I respond to each pose, or work through it, is quite evocative of how I deal with things in daily life, too. And it has enabled me to slowly assess and improve my reactions for the better.