Yin, the opposing element to Yang.
There are several ways to describe the yin practice and you may find that one definition resonates more with you than another, so feel free to take what you need from this practice.
It is a practice where poses are held for a duration of a few minutes. Mostly, these are all low to the ground, so don’t worry thinking you’d be in a Warrior 2 for 5 minutes!
It is a passive hold, rather than a dynamic stretch, allowing gravity to pull you in to a deep stretch rather than forcing yourself there. However, do not confuse it for restorative yoga, you are still working towards an edge in the pose and it will feel intense.
It targets connective tissue fascia rather than the muscle tissue. Meaning that we are working on the tissue which holds the muscle together, think the skin holding the sausage meat in. Your muscle might not actually be as tight as you think it is, it may be the tight connective tissue keeping it from fully extending.
It is a practice which focuses on the breath, allowing the breath to move you deeper into the posture. By focusing on the breath, you give yourself space to not be thinking about those other thoughts whirring around your mind. Use the stillness of the body to help still the mind.
It accesses your meridians. Your meridians (of Chinese traditional medicine) can be related to the pathways of connective tissue running through the body. By unblocking these pathways, it allows any blockages of energy in these meridians to flow more easily.
Whichever description serves you best, ultimately, the yin practice allows for body to sit comfortably in meditation. The body becomes comfortable, the breath becomes steady, the mind becomes clear and the energy can pass through you.