Yin Yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga as exercise, incorporating principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, with asanas (postures) that are held for longer periods of time. For beginners, asanas may be held from 3-5 minutes. The sequences of postures are meant to stimulate the channels of the subtle body known as meridians in Chinese medicine and as nadis in Hatha yoga.
Yin Yoga poses apply moderate stress to the connective tissues of the body—the tendons, fasciae, and ligaments—with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility. A more meditative approach to yoga, its goals are awareness of inner silence, and bringing to light a universal, interconnecting quality.
Yin Yoga began in the late 1970s as martial arts expert and yoga teacher Paulie Zink's Taoist Yoga. Yin Yoga is taught across North America and Europe, encouraged by the Yin Yoga teachers and developers Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers. Yin Yoga as taught by Grilley and Powers is not intended as a complete practice in itself, but as a complement to more active forms of yoga and exercise. However, Zink's approach includes the full range of Taoist yoga, both yin and conventional.