It is a deeply meditative practice that entails holding the postures for an extended period of time. The postures are performed to stretch the connective tissues of the body. Primary connective tissues include the hips, thighs and lower spinal area. These types of tissues do not stretch the muscles (as in the yang form of yoga) but they stretch and exercise the bone and joints areas of the body. This type of asana practice is beneficial to a wide variety of people.
Yin yoga also increases one’s ability to perform yang yoga. By having lubricated, flexible joints, yang practices will seem easier. Perhaps the main difference in yin and yang yoga is each practices affect on the mind. Yin yoga creates a balance and peace in the mind. In its earlier years of existence, yin yoga was used in order to improve meditation practices.