What’s the Difference between Restorative and Yin Yoga? by Christian Kunz

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Question: What is the difference between Restorative Yoga and Yin Yoga?
Restorative and Yin Yoga are both passive yoga practices where postures are held for longer times without any muscular effort. Both practices typically use props to assist with maintaining the poses. In Restorative Yoga, the body is fully supported by the props, so that there is no strain on any part of the body. The aim is to create a completely relaxed state that encourages a parasympathetic nervous system response in the body, taking us away from our predominant fight and flight response. Yin Yoga differs in that the goal is to selectively target specific areas of the body, specifically the body’s connective tissue to moisten and elongate the tissues. Therefore, while holding a yin pose, the practitioner typically experiences a sensation of ache and gentle discomfort in the parts of the body that are being stretched. By targeting specific areas, not only the connective tissue gets elongated, but the flow of prana or chi in the body’s meridian gets stimulated and enhanced. Yin Yoga is highly therapeutic since it affects not only the physical body, but also the emotional, mental, energetic and subtle body. A yin class is often sequenced for a specific effect on our whole being, be it to address fatigue, exhaustion, stress, worry, sadness, irritability, as well as to create more spaciousness in the body. It is a journey into your inner landscape through a physical portal. Yin Yoga is the the embodiment of the practice of asana as defined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra 2.46. “Sthira Sukham Asanam”, “The Pose is stable, steady, easeful, nourishing and brings joy”!
Naked Yin for Men is offered at the Sunroom every Saturday from 6:30-8:00PM. Come try it out and see for yourself how a passive yoga practice complements your regular active practice and can create balance, harmony and spaciousness in your whole being.
 -Answered by Christian Kunz

About ken

Ken has practiced yoga for over 10 years and became certified with Yoga Alliance as a RYT-200 after graduating from Yoga Tree’s YogaTeacher Training program in 2006. Yoga Alliance has recognized him as a ERYT-200/RYT-500 as he completed his Yoga Therapy training at Ananda Seva Mission in July 2010. Ken has been leading a Naked Men’s class here at the SUN ROOM since 2007. Ken teaches Naked Men’s Yoga on Tuesdays at 7:45 p.m and is honored to be covering Sundays at 6:00pm while Darren is adjusting to fatherhood. Ken’s Vinyasa Flow class is for all levels! In his classes, Ken provides eclectic Non-denominational Hatha yoga guidance, honoring a variety of traditions, such as Iyengar alignment principles, invigorating Kudalini Kriya, and playful Acroyoga-inspired partner work. He invites you to embrace SIMPLICITY, PATIENCE and COMPASSION as you deepen your practice and your connection with your true Self. Ken offers Yoga Therapy workshops on a variety of topics such as restorative yoga, grief, relationships, stress management and coping with chronic illness. In addition to yoga, Ken also serves as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, psychotherapist and clinical supervisor. Many of his workshops can be counted towards Continuing Education contact hours for Nurses, LCSWs and MFTs. Daniel Quinn and Paulo Coelho are among his favorite authors. Please visit Ken’s website at www.kenbreniman.com or email him at kjbreniman@gmail.com

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