So many students are directed to Yin Yoga by their “other” yoga teachers because they believe it to be a healthful, healing practice. This is not incorrect, but it also isn’t complete! Yin Yoga is most beneficial for those with injuries because they can easily adapt around them, or take a completely different pose. Rather than skipping a few poses in a set series, or getting frustrated by fast-moving poses that are difficult to accomplish around an injury, Yin Yoga allows each student to take the shape that best suits their own body including any injuries or conditions they may be experiencing. While Vinyasa Yoga can be a challenge for someone with a rotator cuff injury, hip replacement, or knee injury, Yin Yoga can easily be done on one side only, or adapted.
Additionally, Yin Yoga leverages props, the wall, and chairs to make the entire class useful and productive for each student. Students with injuries are encouraged to first consult their licensed health care provider to confirm which actions to avoid, and then invited to share that feedback with their teacher. Those teachers who have learned to teach Yin Yoga specifically will have a robust toolbox of alternate poses and accommodations to change the shape for their student.
Maintaining a yoga practice through an injury can be one of the best ways to support the other aspects of a person while their physical body heals. Mindfulness, breathing, and stillness practices support overall wellness much more than zoning out in front of the television.