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What is Aerial Yin?

Jen Callahan - June 18, 2019 - 0 comments

Are you wondering what Aerial Yin is? Maybe you’ve heard of, or even tried, a mat Yin Yoga class and are wondering how the practice translates to the aerial space. Maybe you’re completely new to Yin Yoga and are wondering what it’s all about. Well look no further. In this month’s post, we’ll explain what Yin Yoga is and how we translate it to an aerial practice

What is Yin Yoga?

It’s well known that yin and yang are opposites. Yang yoga is a faster pace, active style of yoga that builds heat in the body, works into muscles, and burns off excess energy. Ashtanga, Aerial Yoga, and Vinyasa are all types of yoga that could be considered yang.

Yin Yoga is the opposite of this – it’s a slow form of yoga that is practiced while the body is cool.  Its purpose is to exercise or stress joints and their connective tissue in a mild way. This stress eventually helps the body to heal from injury (by reshaping and rebuilding connective tissue) and regain lost mobility (which occurs naturally as we age).

Is Yin Yoga the Same as Restorative Yoga?

While both Restorative Yoga and Yin Yoga are meditative, they both have very different goals. Restorative Yoga, while slower paced, works into the muscles. In restorative classes, the poses include gentle movement to help the body release tension and stress. Restorative Yoga’s goal is to calm the mind and body while helping students find inner peace and a sense of calmness and well-being.

If we move during Yin Yoga, the muscles will take on the stress of the pose. Yin Yoga requires stillness so that the stress of the pose can move past the muscles and into the denser connective tissue, joints, and fascia. This type of connective tissue is denser than muscles and it requires longer periods of time to access.  That is why we hold poses in Yin for longer periods of time.

Students will find that Yin Yoga can be quite uncomfortable at times (unlike Restorative Yoga). Students will also find that this discomfort makes way for sweet, soothing sensations once the pose is released. Josh Summers, an experienced Yin Yoga Instructor, describes Yin Yoga as “a bitter practice with sweet results.”

How Does Yin Yoga Translate to an Aerial Space?

In a Yin Yoga class, students will use a lot of different props – blankets, bolsters, blocks. The props support the student so that they can hold the poses passively, allowing the stress to move from the muscles into the denser connective tissue. In an Aerial Yoga class, the fabric is used as a prop. Most of the poses in a Yin Yoga class will be done on the ground. You may use the fabric to hold onto in a forward fold or you may use it to support your hips in Puppy Pose (Anahatasana).

This is a different experience than one you will find in an Aerial Restore class. In Aerial Restore, you’ll use the fabric for support as you flow and move through poses. Our Aerial Restore classes include minor inversions but our Yin Yoga classes do not. In Aerial Restore, you’ll find more gentle movement and more compression.  In Yin Yoga classes, we tend to stay away from compression since we’re holding poses for much longer periods of time. Both Aerial Restore and Aerial Yin Yoga use fabrics set low to the ground.

How Can I Try It?

Atherial is currently offering both Aerial Yin Yoga and Aerial Restorative Yoga classes.  Aerial Yin is offered Thursday and Sunday nights. Aerial Restore is offered Monday and Wednesday nights. Sign up for any class at or find us on the MindBody app!  Try both and let us know what you think of each!

Author avatar

Jen Callahan

Jen Callahan is a Denver-based Yoga Instructor who currently teaches Aerial Yoga and Aerial Yin Yoga at Atherial Fitness. She also serves as the Community Marketing Manager for the studio. Connect with Jen on Instagram @jendoesaerial or email her at