When all I want is total relaxation, I know exactly what type of yoga practice to play. Yin yoga focuses on holding poses for longer periods of time (think three to five minutes), emphasizing the breath and finding comfort in each pose instead of the quick-paced vinyasa flows many people are used to. So when I needed to unwind after a long day of work and I saw a "Long Holds Yin Yoga" class pop up on my YouTube, I took it as a sign.
Led by Yoga With Shaunneka, a registered yoga teacher, this yin class features just four poses: Wide Child's Pose, Easy Pose (Sukhasana), Seated Straddle, and Spinal Twist. It ends up being a 30-minute-long class, though, because you hold each pose for four to five minutes — which feels like a surprisingly long time when your body isn't used to it. It was fascinating to feel my body start to succumb to the poses, opening up in new ways and letting go of tension I didn't even realize I was holding, especially in my hips.
What I love about this class from Shaunneka is that it's gentle and quiet; she doesn't talk very much during each pose, but gives enough instruction to help you get into the pose comfortably and make any modifications you need to. After 30 minutes of this kind of peace and calm stretching, I was shocked at how purely relaxed I felt as the stress seeped out of my hips.
If you want to slow down your body and mind and gently work through some kinks in this area, check out Shaunneka's full practice above!