Yin Yoga differs from other yoga practices by presenting a passive and smooth characteristic that stimulates self observation and introspection.
One of the intentions of Yin Yoga is to deepen and complement more dynamic physical activities (Yang nature activities).
The aim in this practice is to work Yin quality tissues os the body, such as connective tissue. The work done with the connective tissue is different from the work done with the muscles. Because they do not respond as fast as muscles, connective tissues need to be exercised differently.
The yin postures are postures that develop the flexibility and release of blocked prana, while providing throughout the practices a feeling of relaxation and connection. During Yin Yoga classes, students remain in the postures for 3 to 5 minutes, relaxing all the muscles. It can be said that this is an exercise of 'traction' (using body weight along with gravity) and time in positions so that the connective tissue can move slowly, safely.
During practice, most of the time, the focus of the postures is on the lumbar and hip, to make them more flexible / 'open'. This 'opening' of the lumbar region and the hip brings benefits to the practice of meditation, which is done with more comfort and stability in the sitting posture.
An important goal of practice is to induce us to slow down from a routine and detach ourselves from the stress of everyday life, to devote time to restore our energies, a time for contemplation and introspection, a time devoted to body and mind. This 'time' is often left out with our habit of always 'be doing' some activity. Many times we do not know how tired we are until we give ourselves this space to stop and simply 'be there'.
Yin Yoga is a practice focused on silence, and on the physical and mental connection. During the practices, one observes the mental states and physical sensations, with the intention of bringing the quality of attention and consciousness, without attachment. The practicioner understands then the nature of impermanence, where sensations and thoughts are constant and we become observers of ourselves.