Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with poses, or asanas, that are held for longer periods of time—five minutes or longer per pose is typical.It was founded by and first taught in the United States in the late 1970s by martial arts expert and Taoist yoga teacher Paulie Zink. Yin-style yoga is now being taught across North America and in Europe, due in large part to the teaching activities of yin yoga teachers and developers Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers.
Yin yoga poses apply moderate stress to the connective tissues—the tendons, fascia, and ligaments—with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility. They are also designed to improve the flow of qi, the subtle energy said in Chinese medicine to run through the meridian pathways of the body. Improved qi flow is hypothesized to improve organ health, immunity, and emotional well-being. A more meditative approach to yoga, yin aims at cultivating awareness of one's inner silence, and bringing to light a universal, interconnecting quality.
Yin yoga as taught by Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers is not intended as a complete practice in itself, but rather as a complement to more active forms of yoga and exercise. However, Paulie Zink's approach includes the full range of taoist yoga and is intended to be a complete practice in itself.Sarah Powers has developed a system called Insight Yoga which features both Yin poses and more active yang-style poses.