Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga where asana ( poses ) are held for longer periods of time—five minutes or longer per pose is typical. It was founded by and first taught in the United States in the late 1970s by martial arts expert and Taoist yoga teacher Paulie Zink. Yin yoga poses apply moderate stress to the connective tissues—the tendons, fascia, and ligaments—with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility. They are also designed to improve the flow of qi, the subtle energy said in Chinese medicine to run through the meridian pathways of the body. Improved qi flow is hypothesized to improve organ health, immunity, and emotional well-being. A more meditative approach to yoga, yin aims at cultivating awareness of one's inner silence, and bringing to light a universal, interconnecting quality. Yin yoga is not necessarily intended as a complete practice in itself, but rather a complement to more active forms of Yoga and exercise. It is also extremely beneficial for stress and anxiety relief as it is practiced in a relaxed setting with plenty of quiet reflective moments.