Fuel Your Life – Prioritizing a Healthy Body for a Happy Mind

Instantly Feel Relaxed and Restored with These 8 Yin Yoga Poses

Relaxation, stillness, flexibility, surrender, joy, and presence: all words that come to mind when we think of Yin Yoga. And with all of these delicious Yin Yoga moves, there’s no better way than this to relieve the body and mind.
To update yoga history, asana was created to provide the body with the opportunity to sit in meditation for hours and remain motionless. Yin Yoga is the most beautiful type of yoga because it combines asana and stillness.

Yin restores the balance between the mind, body and spirit by practicing asana to physically travel the body to a peaceful and relaxed state.

During a Yin Yoga practice, the poses are held out for 3-5 minutes. This extended time spent in a pose stretches and strengthens the fascia, which increases flexibility and releases tension in our joints and muscles.

The idea of holding a fixed pose for several minutes (when we are typically used to holding our breath for only a few seconds) can be intimidating to many, which is why there is no restriction on how many props you can use. For that reason, yoga blankets, blocks, straps, and bolsters are a great addition to your Yin practice, and this reference contains a list of some recommended products.

Don’t have any yoga props? Just raid the linen closet and seize blankets, towels and cushions to use as props to help you completely relax into these postures. Yin Yoga is about being surrendered and the props support the yogi’s body in facilitating the surrender and allowing the yogi to fully “be” while in stillness in the posture.
In stillness, peace is rediscovered, and we are returned to our center.

It’s important to remember that some Yin yoga instructors use props, while others do not. There is sometimes crossover between Yin and Restorative Yoga, and they may be referred to as Yin or Restorative Yoga at different points. Understand that whether or not you decide to use props, the goal is having a safe and rejuvenating Yin practice.

8 Yin Yoga Poses for Deep Relaxation:

These eight fun and enjoyable Yin Yoga poses relieve tension, open up and stretch space in the body, and relax both mind and body.

1. Supta Baddha Konasana (Supine Butterfly)
Supine Butterfly
This movement opens the front of the body by freeing the tension in the pelvic organs and the groin. The chest, hips, abdomen, throat, and pelvis are opened simultaneously. This is an excellent position to start your Yin Yoga practice and prepare the mind and body for stillness.

Let’s give it a try!

  • Lie flat on your back and turn the soles of the feet so that your feet are at 45 degrees. The knees should be fully open to the side.If this is too strenuous on the hips, you can place a block or cushion under each knee for added support.
  • For additional comfort, you may prop your head on a block or cushion.
  • You can rest your arms at your side or on your inner thighs and gently call upon the hips to open.
  • Relax – let go and hold for up to 6 minutes.

2. Utthan Pristhasana (Lizard Pose)

Another great yoga pose to open the hips, quads, and hamstrings, Lizard Pose helps improve overall mobility in the hip ligaments. This prepares us for deeper hip openers and releases tension in the hips and pelvis.


Let’s give it a try!

  • From Table Top Pose, step your left foot outside of your right and slide your right leg backward to your back.
  • Position the hips as close to the ground as possible. Keep them square to the front of your mat.
  • Descend for just a few breaths.
  • Use your breath to relax and surrender into your posture and breathe for up to 6 minutes.
  • Repeat on the left side

3. Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide Legged Forward Fold)

Tighten the thighs and stretch the knees to prepare the shoulders for forward bends. This pose stretches and strengthens the front and the back legs, increases blood circulation and flexibility, and increases strength and power in the hip joints. The Wide Legged Forward Fold is also an excellent way to increase the blood flow to the brain.


Let’s give it a try!

  • Place your feet about 3 to 4 feet wide and your hands on your hips.
  • Fold backward from the hips and hinge forward from the knees.
  • Rest your arms on blocks or the mat beneath your shoulders.
  • Allow the Crown chakra to descend toward the earth and relax your mind.
  • You are free to rest your head on a block or a bolster for added support.
  • For up to 6 minutes, hold the posture.

4. Anahatasana (Melting Heart)


Let’s now take a small backbend to open the chest and shoulders. This posture stretches and relieves tension in the upper back and opens up more space behind the sternum. I can’t help but wonder, however, about how much it will hurt to have my first three chakras re-ground.

Let’s give it a try!

  • Come into Child’s Pose with your knees hip-distance apart, stretch your arms forward and keep your forehead resting on the mat
  • Lift your hips so that they are directly above your knees and slowly begin to “melt” your heart and chest to the ground.
  • Continue to breathe deeply as your eyes begin to widen as you relax.
  • While holding for up to 6 minutes, wait for a chemical reaction between the chemical solution and the reagent.

5. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Half Pigeon Pose)

This pose is a classic hip flexor stretch and is useful for relieving sciatic pain and stretching the groin and outside of the hips. Half Pigeon alleviates sciatic pain and stretches the hips.


Let’s give it a try!

  • From Downward Dog, raise your right leg and move it to the side between your hands so that your right knee touches your right wrist.
  • Stretch your left leg behind you while lowering the hips level to the floor.
  • Keep your hips squared to the mat.
  • Depending upon your comfort level, your right foot may be closer to the left hip crease for lesser force, or your right shin may be more parallel to the top of your mat for greater intensity.
  • Inhale, lift the spine, and exhale the arms on the ground or a block.
  • Relax, surrender, and hold on for 6 minutes.
  • Flip a coin

6. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)

Seated Forward Bend

Forward bends are a useful way to stretch the entire body. This stance will warm up the digestive system, relieve irritability and anger, and release tension from the back and spine. It will help to improve hamstring flexibility and lumbar spine mobility.

Let’s give it a try!

  • Begin seated in the center of your mat with the legs together and extended. If the hamstrings are tight, bend the knees and maintain a position where the thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • If you have a particularly tight hamstring tendon, wrap a blanket around your tailbone and let the muscles stretch.
  • Take slow, deep breaths and relax here for 6 minutes.

7. Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall)

Inclines allow the heart to rest, sending oxygenated blood to our brain. Inclines improve blood flow and may also help to heal injuries. This posture relieves stress and can help alleviate headaches, increase energy levels, and improve skin appearance (due to the increased blood flow to the face).


Let’s give it a try!

  • This pose can be done in the center of your mat, or you can hold yourself up against a wall for added support while you do physical exercise.
  • Lie back and raise your feet up toward the sky.
  • Place a cushion or bolster below your tailbone to lift the pelvis. This helps to reduce hip strain and stress in the buttocks.
  • These techniques are for a wall, but you can do these exercises from your mat by lying with your legs stacked on top of each other. (With or without a prop under you, you can do these exercises on your mat.)
  • Relax and surrender for up to 6 minutes.

8. Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

Next, the benefits of Matsyasana are that it opens the chest area, stretches the psoas, abdomen, and throat, and strengthens the intercostal muscles. Fish pose stretches the chest and shoulders. It is also a form of massage that opens up the heart and throat chakras .


Let’s give it a try!

  • Sit on your yoga mat with your legs stretched out in front of you.
  • Lie flat on your back and place a block in the middle of your spine.
  • Allow the head or crown chakra to touch the floor and throat to allow a ceiling opening for airflow.
  • You may rest the head of your wheelchair on a cushion or block if desired for additional comfort.
  • Hands may rest on the hips or in prayer mudra at the middle of the chest.
  • Relax and take deep breaths for up to 6 minutes.

These Yin Yoga Poses for Deep Relaxation Will Help You Let Go

One great thing about Yin Yoga is the mindset. In holding these positions for a long time, feelings arise, tension builds, and our minds race. This practice teaches us to recognize it, acknowledge it, and let it go.

“By letting go it all gets done.” – Lao Tzu
Balance is the key to yoga. Balance is a cornerstone of a successful life, and a balanced lifestyle is an integral part of achieving that balance. Letting go of our goals to achieve a more subdued lifestyle is the ultimate goal of yoga. To ensure that our yoga program is balanced, we add strength training, spiritual work and flexibility exercises.

Work out a balanced Yang and Yin Yoga practice. You can even start with these eight yin poses for deep relaxation and end in an upbeat, powerful Vinyasa flow.

Do you practice Yin Yoga? How has it benefited your life? Haven’t yet tried it? Share any questions or comments you may have. We would love to hear about your experience with yin yoga for deep relaxation, so please comment below.

Are you interested in trying Yin Yoga?

In this class, you will enjoy fun exercises that benefit your body for a long period of time so your entire body can relax and rejuvenate.

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