Vinyasa yoga or Yin yoga – which has more benefits?
Many people who practice yoga regularly find themselves drawn to either a vigorous active practice, or alternatively to a more gentle restorative practice.
If you’re intrinsically a very energetic person, you’ll tend to seek out Vinyasa flow or Power yoga classes, maybe even a Bikram class to let go of that extra steam. Instead if you’re naturally a more sedentary person, you’ll find that your body is instinctively drawn to a slower practice, such as a Restorative yoga class or a Yin yoga class.
So which yoga practice is better for you?
It’s all about balance.
Most yoga teachers would recommend that we should push ourselves to practice the opposite of what our body is naturally drawn to – or at least incorporate both types of yoga into our regular practice.
Yogis who are naturally energetic, restless, or have a lot of stress in their lives can sometimes find it difficult to stay in one pose for several minutes, as is done in a typical Yin class. Fidgeting and mind-wandering during a Yin class are very common for high-energy people. But that’s exactly why a more restorative class will help calm the mind and help relax someone who finds it hard to be completely still – with practice, and over time.
On the other hand, people who tire easily and feel a bit more sluggish find it difficult to get motivated for a dynamic flowing class, and oftentimes find it challenging to get through a Vinyasa flow class without a bit more effort. But it’s precisely an active classes that will give these people more energy, get the blood flowing, and eventually help them feel less tired and more active.
What yoga means to us.
Here at Yoga Escapes we think that incorporating both an active Vinyasa flow class and a restorative Yin yoga class on our yoga retreats allows us to reap the benefits of both, balancing body and mind. We teach a Vinyasa flow class in the morning, and a restorative Yin yoga class at sunset on all our yoga holidays.
Yoga is at the heart of our retreats, our teachers have studied with the best in the world and they will challenge you physically. But most importantly, they understand the mental health benefits of yoga as well. You’ll definitely get a good workout, but the real goal of yoga is to challenge you enough physically so you can begin to let go and quiet the mind.
That’s what yoga is all about – calming the mind.
And that’s what we teach on our yoga retreats. After a week of our yoga classes by the sea, you’ll surely see an improvement in your physical practice, but you’ll also feel restored mentally. And breathing in all that fresh air helps as well!
Here’s a little more about both yoga styles:
What is Vinyasa yoga?
Vinyasa yoga is an active yoga practice that links one pose to the next in a flow-like manner, using the breath to move you from pose to pose. Each movement in the flow is done in time with an inhalation or an exhalation, allowing the poses to run together and become almost like a smooth dance.
Our Vinyasa classes begin with a gentle warm-up, and then move into an invigorating sun salutation series, followed by standing poses, balances, seated poses and inversions. And ending lying down with a full body relaxation to reap all the benefits of the physical practice – that’s the magical part! Our Vinyasa classes last an hour and a half, and are suitable for all levels so you can go at your pace. Our yoga teachers will modify poses for everyone, so come along if you’re just starting out or have been practicing for a while.
What is Yin yoga?
Yin yoga is a very restorative style of yoga where the poses are practiced lying down or sitting on the floor. Each pose is held for a longer period of time – up to four or five minutes per pose. It has a much slower pace, there is no flow, no rapid movement from one pose to the next, and no standing poses. Expect deep forward bends, twists, hip openers, and shoulder openers.
The idea is to allow your body to fully relax into each pose, with the help of props to support you, so there’s no tension in the body. This will allow the connective tissue around your muscles, tendons and ligaments to slowly release, thereby improving flexibility and circulation. Yin yoga is the perfect counter-balance to a strong Vinyasa flow practice. It’s an inward-focused practice, and a more meditative and mindful approach to yoga. The perfect sunset evening class to wind down the day.
Come enjoy both on our luxury yoga retreats:
If you’d like to find out more about our Vinyasa and Yin yoga classes, as well as other types of yoga we offer, feel free to get in touch. And if you’d like to join us on a yoga retreat, you can find all the details on the Yoga Escapes website
Our 2017 yoga retreat locations:
Yoga Escapes organizes luxury yoga retreats in beautiful places around the world, offering a mix of Vinyasa yoga and restorative Yin yoga classes. Contact the Yoga Escapes team for info on upcoming yoga holidays.