Restorative Yoga vs. Yin Yoga: Which is Right for You?

There are many different kinds of yoga, and it can be confusing which to choose. While there are similarities between the different yoga styles, there are also many differences. Yin yoga and restorative yoga are both slow practices that can help you to heal from injury.

Both these practices encourage your body to stretch and gain greater flexibility by staying in positions for longer lengths than in other types of yoga. Before deciding which yoga practice is right for you, you’ll need to understand what’s involved. Let’s look at Restorative yoga Vs. Yin yoga.

Restorative yoga vs. yin yoga

Restorative yoga vs. yin yoga

Yin yoga and restorative yoga are often confused with each other. While there are some similarities between the two practices, there are also lots of differences. It’s worth working out which practice would suit your body as confusing these two practices could damage your body, particularly if you have been injured in the past.

What is yin yoga?

Yin Yoga

Yin yoga is a slow yoga practice that aims to help people develop their meditation practice. Many people struggle to meditate as they find it challenging to sit still, even for short periods of time. This may be due to aches and pains in the joints or tight ligaments.

Yin Yoga can help you to prepare your body for meditation and, if practiced over the long term, will help you sit for longer and be more comfortable during meditation. Its stretches connective tissue around your joints, including the knees, pelvis, sacrum, and spine.

Yin yoga may seem like a very slow, relaxing, and passive practice, but it does help stretch your body. Most Yin Yoga positions are seated and supine. They are usually held for between three to five minutes each. Holding poses for longer can help you get deeper into your practice. You can meditate or take deep breaths while doing yin yoga, which helps to access deeper layers of fascia.

Yin yoga was initially developed in Asia to help the flow of energy through the body. It’s thought to bring many benefits to your organ health. Yin yoga is based on Taoist yoga traditions and can help you find balance in your life. We all have very active lifestyles that use yang energy. Yin yoga gives people time to relax and brings yin energy to the body.

If you attend a yin yoga class, you will likely hear the teacher talk about terms from Chinese medicine, such as energy flows, chakras, and meridians. These are channels in the body where chi or life force energy flows.

What is Restorative Yoga?

Restorative Yoga is very similar to yin yoga in that it’s a slow practice. However, restorative yoga has an entirely different end goal. It’s used to help the body rest and restore itself and is sometimes recommended to people who have been injured as it helps their bodies heal and strengthen.

Restorative Yoga

In restorative yoga practice, a sequence of just five or six poses will be performed. These poses have been designed to help strengthen the body, and props are often used as support, helping to aid with relaxation and allowing the body to relax. Poses are generally held for at least five minutes and can include twists, seated forward folds, and backbends. Restorative yoga is very slow and gentle.

Many of the poses used in restorative yoga were originated developed by B.K.S Iyengar, who helped bring yoga to the western world. He recognized that people needed more time to relax and heal rather than adding more action or busyness to their lives.

Restorative yoga Vs. Yin yoga: The Benefits

Both restorative yoga and yin yoga brings the practitioner many benefits. The main advantage of both these practices is that they can help you to relax and unwind.

Yin Yoga

Yin Benefits

Yin yoga can bring many benefits; the main one is that it can help people improve their meditation practice, seated posture, and flexibility.

Yin yoga can also help to reduce common mental health issues such as stress and anxiety. It helps to increase circulation and improve joint mobility. Overall, yin yoga is an excellent practice as it can help to still and calm the mind and also balances the mind and body.

As Yin yoga aims to help people with meditation, you can also listen to meditation music or a guided meditation while practicing yin yoga. Many people enjoy using visualizations when practicing yin yoga.

Restorative Yoga

Restorative Benefits

Restorative yoga can help you relax and regenerate after injury. It helps both the body and mind to relax and also improves flexibility and strength. There are many other benefits of doing restorative yoga; it can help people who have insomnia get a good night’s sleep if practiced before bed. Restorative yoga can also help you develop patience and improve focus.

Yin VS Restorative Yoga:  Similarities and Differences


  • Yin yoga and Restorative Yoga are both very slow-paced, which makes them great for relieving stress.
  • Both these types of yoga are generally practiced in blocks of 30-minutes. You can choose to do either a 30, 60 or 90-minute practice.
  • They can both help to improve strength and flexibility.


  • The main aim of the two practices is slightly different. Yin yoga is more about stretching and improving flexibility while at the same time preparing for meditation.
  • Yin Yoga can help you get into a meditative state.
  • Restorative Yoga has been developed to help support your body in healing and allowing you to relax.
  • Restorative yoga uses props to support the body and allow you to comfortably get into yoga positions that may otherwise be challenging. Props may include bolsters, blankets, and even eye pillows.


If you are looking to get into yoga, you’ll need a good yoga mat.  Today, yoga is so popular that you can find somewhere to take classes almost anywhere.  But you can also get a lot out of a good yoga DVD.  There are also plenty of great ways to watch Yoga on Prime or Netflix, which is obviously much easier to do right now.

As you can see when comparing restorative yoga vs. yin yoga, they are quite similar, but the goals of the practices are slightly different. It’s essential to find a yoga practice that’s right for you. The good thing about yoga is that there are so many different styles and classes that you can try out until you find a practice you enjoy.

Abi Latham is a freelance writer who loves writing about pretty much anything.  She’s also written a few books.  If you have extra time, check one out, they’re really good.