Yin yoga is one of my absolute favorite yoga styles, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: you don’t have to go to a full Yin class to practice Yin. I usually find a way to incorporate Yin yoga into my personal yoga practice, which helps to add that little extra something that takes your practice from 1 to 100.

Yin yoga is a very slow, more meditative style of yoga. The majority of poses are on the floor and are held from about 2.5 to 5 minutes at a time, and practitioners are asked to soften into the pose, using just the muscles they need to help keep them in place. Yin brings you deeper into your body than standard Vinyasa poses do, and its focus is mainly to help open up portions of the body that normally don’t get a lot of love and care (such as your joints and the discs in your spine). That doesn’t make it any less challenging than your normal Vinyasa class, though!

If you’ve never tried Yin before, there’s no time like the present. Here’s how you can incorporate Yin yoga into your personal practice.

1. Attend a Yin Class

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it really does help. Attending a Yin class at your local studio will help you to get an idea of how Yin is practiced. Having a teacher to help guide you along the way is always a good thing to take advantage of.

Let someone else’s knowledge help guide you down the path until you feel confident enough to practice Yin at home.

2. Use Your Props

Props like blocks, bolsters, and blankets are ideal for Yin. I have always had a hard time using props in my regular practice, because my pride wouldn’t let me. I felt that I was “giving up.” When I started practicing Yin, I needed props to help me properly sink into the pose. This helped me to realize that using props in your Yang practice (Vinyasa, Hatha, Power, etc.) helps you to experience the poses more fully and to enter into them when your body is actually ready, not when your mind thinks you’re ready.

Bring a bit of that Yin softness to your practice and don’t be afraid of using props.

3. Add Some Poses to the End of Your Practice

I practice Yin every time I practice yoga, but that doesn’t mean that my practice is solely a Yin practice. I practice Yin by adding a few poses in at the end of my regular practice.

This means that after I get my Yang practice in, I take the last 15-20 minutes before Savasana to do a few Yin poses. This can really help you to prepare for Savasana and get in the right head space for meditation. The way I see it, Yin is one of the best ways to finish up a practice, as it helps give your practice that little extra sparkle.

4. “Yinsday”

When I was doing my yoga teacher training, every Wednesday night we would practice Yin yoga, and Wednesdays quickly became known as “Yinsday”. Since finishing my training, I’ve kept this practice up and reserved one day a week solely to practice Yin.

My Yinsday is usually on Sundays, as it gives me the opportunity to reflect on the previous week, as well as prepare for the week ahead. Why not make it a little ceremonial, too? When I get the chance, I put on some of my favorite mantras and light some candles to help me really get in the right mindset. Yinsday has quickly become one of my favorite days of the week.

Try it out for yourself and see how it helps you.

If you’ve been looking for a way to spice up your yoga practice, Yin very well may be the way. Try it out and let us know what you think!