Yin Restorative Yoga: What is the Difference?

Yin Restorative Yoga, what is the difference? Are you overwhelmed by all the different types of yoga? You need to understand what each type is before deciding which is right for you.

Yin Restorative Yoga: What is the difference?

Yin and restorative are very commonly confused with each other. The difference between the two is huge! It can actually be harmful to your body if you confuse these two practices.

In this post, I will walk you through an overview of both practices, the benefits of each, my favorite poses for each practice, and helpful resources if you are interested in learning more.

What is the difference between yin and restorative? FInd out here!

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What is Yin Yoga?

Yin Yoga according to YogaJournal.com is…

“…designed to help you sit longer, and more comfortably, in meditation by stretching connective tissue around the joints (mainly the knees, pelvis, sacrum, and spine). A passive practice, Yin Yoga involves variations of seated and supine poses typically held for 3 to 5 minutes, accessing deeper layers of fascia.”

Think passive, but stretching at the same time. I like to call them deep stretch classes.

What is Restorative Yoga?

Restorative Yoga is used with a completely different goal in mind. It is used to rest and restore the body. YogaJournal.com describes Restorative Yoga as a…

“…sequence typically involves only five or six poses, supported by props that allow you to completely relax and rest. Held for 5 minutes or more, restorative poses include light twists, seated forward folds, and gentle backbends.”

What are the Benefits of Yin Yoga?

According to Ekhart Yoga, Yin reduces stress and anxiety while increase circulation, flexibility, joint mobility. It also stills, calms, and balances the mind and body.

What are the Benefits of Restorative Yoga?

Mind Body Green lists 15 Reasons Why You Should Try Restorative Yoga. Some of the reasons include relaxing and regenerating the body and mind, improves flexibility, helps insomnia, and helps you develop patience, humbleness and the ability to focus.

My Favorite Yin Poses


Yin poses for flexibility

My Favorite Restorative Poses


Restorative yoga poses for relaxation

Helpful Yin Resource

The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga

I have the book The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga and love it. I did a lot of research to make sure that I was purchasing the most comprehensive for Yin Yoga. This book gives a very detailed explanation of what Yin Yoga is and the history of the practice, as well as a very detailed explanation of what Yin Yoga is and the history of the practice.

It also breaks down how to practice Yin as a whole. This section is not about specific poses, but the things to focus on before, during and after your practice. There are several meditations and guided visualizations laid for your yin session. The following questions are also answered: How long should you hold poses? When should you practice? How deep should you go? How often should you practice Yin?

Then comes the section of the Yin asanas, or Yin poses. For each pose there is; a picture, the benefits, contraindications, how to get into and out of the pose, alternatives and options, counterposes, joints affected, and more. I could not find another book that went into such depth for each pose. One of its best features is that it lists the alternatives and options for each pose. I found that most books did not offer this or at least not to the level that The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga did. Let’s be real, most people are not going to be able to do every pose fully. This book makes all poses accessible to almost everyone.

Also Included in the Book…

Also included are several flows for many different outcomes. Each flow comes with two different time lengths. Some flows that are included are easy beginners, for the spine, for the hips, and for the shoulders, arms, and wrists.

There are a ton of other things in this book. So much, that I can’t cover it all. But, the last things that I want to mention is that this book has a “special situations” section. This part of the book takes a closer look at hip & knee issues, lower back disorders, and having babies. There are a lot of ideas for pre and postnatal.

Can you tell that I love this book? I could probably go on about it for hours! If you are interested in Yin Yoga, I would highly recommend it. I know of several other yoga lovers and yoga teachers who love this book as much as I do.

Helpful Restorative Resource

Restorative Yoga for Life

The book Restorative Yoga for Life is a must for anyone interested in Restorative Yoga. If you are a Prime member of Amazon you can get the digital version for free. Even though I am a Prime member, I still bought a paper copy because I felt it would be easier for me to use.

I looked through a lot of books and reviews to make sure that I was getting the best Restorative Yoga book. I am so happy that I went through all the work, but this book is amazing!

It starts with information about Restorative Yoga, such as the history, the benefits, and how to prepare to practice Restorative Yoga.

Part two of the book is my favorite part. There are several breathing and visualizations exercises as well as an in-depth look at all the poses. A ton of detail is used to describe each pose. A picture is included with the props needed, the benefits of the pose, and a step by step guide.

As a yoga teacher, I love the way this section is set up and all of the details it includes.

The final part of Restorative Yoga for Life is comprised of several sequences. Some of the sequences included are for; the lower body, respiratory issues, digestive disorders, headaches, and weight loss.

Each sequence is set up similar to the poses in part two. Pictures for each pose, props needed, the benefits of the sequence, and a step by step guide are included for each sequence. What I really like is that there is a short and long version of each sequence.

Yin vs Restorative

While both Yin and Restorative Yoga are slow paced and stress-relieving practices, they are very different. Yin is all about stretching while Restorative Yoga is all about supporting your body allowing it to relax.

Both practices can be beneficial. I would highly recommend The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga for Life if they interest you. If you want a video class to guide you through these practices, I would highly recommend Grokker. They have hundreds of really high-quality yoga, fitness, and cooking videos. I love their Yin and Restorative Yoga classes and they offer a free trial. Read 8 Reasons Why Grokker is Amazing to learn more about why I fell in love with this site.

If you are interested in trying Restorative Yoga, you will want to check out my Extremely Relaxing Restorative Yoga Music Playlist. The playlist is broken up into three 30-minute segments. Which makes it great to use with a 30, 60, or 90-minute practice.

Feel free to share the infographic below. Just make sure you link back to journeysofyoga.com.

Yin Yoga vs Restorative Yoga: Click to see more poses for both practices.

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