Most people are familiar with the concept of Yin and Yang, they are the two interdependent yet opposing forces that make up the universe; dark and light, cold and hot, passive and active, etc, etc.
You might think that all yoga is inherently yin, however when compared to other forms of yoga such as sweaty vinyasa or physically demanding ashtanga, Yin Yoga is much slower and passive.
Yin Yoga targets connective tissue, stretching around the joints as opposed to stretching the muscle. Anyone familiar with exercise or sports will know that generally adding pressure or strain to the joints is a no-no, mostly because when done incorrectly the chances of injury are quite high. In Yin Yoga the idea is to gently stretch the connective tissue by holding a pose for a generous amount of time (at least 2-3 minutes), resulting in lovely luscious connective tissue which is stronger and longer.
The long holds and slow movements foster a deep sense of relaxation, which is absolutely divine after a long day at work. Most of the poses are either seated or reclining and holding the pose for a long time is great for flexibility and calming the mind. However, for this exact reason it can also be one of the more mentally challenging yoga practices. If you find it hard to shut off or let go of thoughts, Yin Yoga will definitely be hard at first, but if you stick with it the benefits will be amazing; quieter mind, healthy and happy joints, stillness, mental stability and lower stress levels.