Yin is In

yin yoga, living, exercise, health
It’s Friday evening in the heart of Cambridge, Massachusetts, just outside of Harvard Square. Inside of Karma, a small yoga studio, thirty people hold themselves in a yoga pose called Shoelace, feeling the muscle tendons and fascia deep within their hip joints.

The only person standing is Joshua Summers, an acupuncturist and mindfulness expert. Summers moves through the packed room, among the mixture of ages and genders that have become regulars to his weekly ninety-minute session. At other studios across the world, yogis are up-dogging and down-dogging to the rhythm of their breath, mopping the sweat from their bodies. In Josh’s class, there is no such vigorous movement, grunting or groaning. Okay, there might be a little groaning. Yin is, after all, perhaps one of the most challenging styles of yoga.

From the outside, Yin actually looks kind of boring. The shapes that people come into are simple. But the intensity from the poses comes from the four-plus minute holds that Summers asks of his students, many of whom are men. He explains, “I think a lot of men are drawn to Yin because it doesn’t matter what the poses look like, it’s virtually impossible to get competitive in a Yin pose. Within the radical simplicity of the practice there is a fierce intensity, which men tend to appreciate.”

The magic within the poses doesn’t come from clenching muscles and hoping for the best. Instead, gravity does most of the work. As students stay in one place for several minutes, the connective tissues between the hip, shoulder, ankle, and knee joints start to release.

According to Summers, Yin is particularly great for athletes:

“Often athletes experience most of their setbacks in their joints. Their training tends to emphasize muscular strength and mobility, but many tend to neglect the connective tissues in and around their joints. Yin Yoga stimulates, strengthens, and rehabilitates connective tissue, and any integral training system would want to include exercises for that layer. I recently heard that one of the top-ranked squash players in the world credits Yin Yoga for keeping him competitive into his late thirties.”

In addition to the physical benefits of the practice, it also brings people into a more meditative mindset. At the end of Summers’ class, students walk into Boston’s Friday night air, something more still and focused in their step. Entering the excitement and noise that will inevitably come with their weekend and the following week, they dive into it with an aliveness that wasn’t there two hours before.

Interested in trying Yin Yoga? Find a teacher in your area.


Beyond Clothing Can Be Worn in Sub-Zero Temperatures and On Hot Dates

Do your clothes pass the re-warming test? Beyond's do.

Rage Yoga Is Your Anti-Zen Meditation Fueled by Beer and Profanity

While ordinary yoga classes consist of lilting pan flute music and Deepak Chopra-flavored chanting, Rage Yoga encourages alcohol and cursing.
Outdoor and Fitness

The Return of Dave Mackey: From Ultrarunner to Leg Amputee and Back

In 2016, ultrarunner Dave Mackey made the decision to amputate is left leg below the knee — but that hasn't stopped him.

A Simple Swedish Cabin Gets a New Addition and a Japanese Twist

The two styles have more in common than you think and Archipelago Sommarhus is proof.

This Crazy Weighted Blanket Will Have You Sleeping Like the Dead

When we first heard about the idea of a weighted blanket, and more specifically the Bearably blanket we were, to say the least, pretty skeptical...

All 21 Six Flags Parks in the U.S., Ranked

It wasn't easy, but we ranked every Six Flags location in the United States. You're welcome.

This Brutalist Revival Home in Greece Stands Out By Blending In

Forget those white stucco homes of Santorini. Patio House is the future of Greek design.

Bruce Willis’ $13 Million Country Estate Is For Sale

Butch Coolidge and Korben Dallas would never live in a bucolic country estate in New York, which is why it’s so shocking that action movie superstar Bruce Willis did.

The Palms Casino’s Newest High-Roller Suites Have a Bowling Alley and Whiskey Room

The Hardwood Suite is a basketball-centric masterpiece, while the Kingpin suite is a bowling bro's paradise.

Old Meets New in a Unique Way in Chicago’s Cortez House

Cortez House is refreshingly modern but with nods to the building’s past … including the original meat cooler.

The Best Mattresses for Side-Sleepers Who Need Support

Do you sleep on your side? You may need a mattress designed with you in mind.

The Jamaican Villa Where Ian Fleming Created James Bond is for Rent and It Is Amazing

You can vacation at the birthplace of secret agent 007, complete with butlers to make your martinis.

The Best President’s Day Sales on Luxury Pillows This Weekend

Tired of sleeping on that old pillow? Upgrade to something more luxurious.

The Best Presidents’ Day Sales on Sheets and Bedding

Presidents' Day is the best times to treat yourself to luxury bedding deals.