Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with postures, or asanas, that are held for longer periods of time — for beginners, it may range from 45 seconds to two minutes; more advanced practitioners may stay in one asana for five minutes or more.
Yin yoga poses apply moderate stress to the connective tissues of the body — the tendons, fascia, and ligaments—with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility. A more meditative approach to yoga, yin aims at cultivating awareness of inner silence, and bringing to light a universal, interconnecting quality.
Yin yoga’s teaching in the Western world, beginning in the late 1970s, was founded by martial arts expert and Taoist yoga teacher Paulie Zink. Yin yoga is now being taught across North America and in Europe, due in large part to the teaching activities of Yin yoga teachers and developers Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers. Yin yoga is not intended as a complete practice in itself, but rather as a complement to more active forms of yoga and exercise.