182: Yin Yoga vs Restorative Yoga with Nyk Danu
Slower styles of yoga such as Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga are becoming more popular as people are seeking balance in their hectic, fast-paced and stressful lives. However, while Yin and Restorative yoga are often used interchangeably, and may even seem similar externally, there are many differences between the two.
Yin Yoga expert (and a member of The Connected Yoga Teacher Team) Nyk Danu shares more about these two types of yoga. Nyk Danu has been teaching yoga for 15 years and is a Yin Yoga expert and teacher trainer. She is also a Yoga Therapist who helps people with back pain, particularly those she describes as “yoga misfits” – people who don’t feel at home in mainstream Yoga circles.
As a teacher trainer, Nyk also offers Yin Yoga modules as a complement to existing teacher training programs and 1:1 Yin Yoga apprenticeships for teachers. She is also currently in the planning stages of an online Yin Yoga Teacher training.
Despite appearing similar, these two practices differ greatly. Nyk shares more about the origins of each of these styles of yoga and the intention behind them, as well as some of the key differences in the length of poses, counter poses, and use of props. Nyk also has some great insights about the internal perspective – physiologically, emotionally, and how each type of yoga impacts the nervous system.
If you are considering taking specialized training on Yin Yoga or Restorative Yoga, or are wondering who each type of yoga is suitable for, or just want to deepen your understanding about these two practices, this episode is perfect for you.
[4:16] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode – Nyk Danu
[6:19] What does Nyk do and who does she do it for?
[7:34] Nyk shares where her definitions and frameworks for Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga come from.
“One of the primary differences between Yin and Restorative is that in a Yin practice, we are trying to feel sensation. In a Restorative practice, we’re not.” ~ Nyk Danu
[9:26] Nyk explains how yin-yang theory ties into Yin Yoga.
“Part of understanding Yin Yoga is having a good understanding of yin-yang theory.” ~ Nyk Danu
[11:32] What is Yin Yoga? What is Restorative Yoga? What is the difference between them?
“When I look at the biggest difference between the two, it’s a matter of degrees, and intention.” ~ Nyk Danu
[16:48] Nyk gives an example of how a post could be done in Yin vs Restorative yoga.
[19:22] What are the intentions of each type of yoga practice?
“It is the intention behind the pose and what the person is feeling in the pose that would determine ‘is this Yin, or is this Restorative’.” ~ Nyk Danu
[21:25] Nyk explains more about the resonance or echo of a pose in your body, which is unique to Yin, and about the meditative elements of Yin Yoga.
[24:39] Who would Nyk recommend Yin Yoga to?
[29:48] Different teachers have different approaches to Yin Yoga.
[32:19] What are the differences in the emotional landscape between Yin vs Restorative Yoga?
[34:15] How long are poses held in Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga? [35:31] What is the usual duration of classes for these practices of yoga?
[38:34] How long are Nyk’s Yin Yoga classes?
[39:46] Nyk explains how she guides students through her Yin Yoga classes.
[41:17] Which practice has more talking through each pose?
[44:04] Does Nyk use music in her Yin classes?
[48:55] Get in touch with Nyk via her website, or on social media.
[50:50] Nyk has a special gift for you, Connected Yoga Teachers!
- Nyk Danu
- Nyk Danu (Portal for Teachers)
- Yin Yoga Teacher Training with Nyk Danu
- 50 Hour Yin Yoga Training with Nyk Danu (Online)
- The Connected Yoga Teacher Facebook Group
- Paul Grilley Yin Yoga (as taught by Paul Grilley)
- Restorative Yoga (as taught by Judith Hanson Lasater)
- The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast Episode 098: Many Layers of Fascia with Gil Hedley
- The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast Episode 019: Restorative Yoga with Andrea Peloso
Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity
This was a beautiful explanation of the difference between Yin and Restorative. As a restorative yoga teacher who trained under Judith Hanson Lasater, Nyk’s descriptions were great. It also gave me a better understanding of Yin Yoga.
I am so glad that you found this episode helpful Tami. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts here.
Yay! I’m so glad that you found it helpful <3
Thank you Nyk and Shannon. This podcast was very informative. I now have a much better understanding of the differences between Yin, which I teach, and restorative, which I have assisted at. Great job!
I’m glad it was helpful 🙂