Welcome to the Yin-side of Yoga. Your questions are quite common for beginners, and you may find lots of answers to these basic questions in this part of the Forum
. This post
was also from a beginner who had many of the same questions as you.
I would recommend a few pre-reading assignments, however, before you start. From the book YinSights, read the section on Beginning The Practice
and then try the Beginner's Flows
. Take it easy at first and don't force long holds in the pose. Listen to your body and note any discomfort that lasts after the practice or which arise the day after. These may be signals that you are going too deep in the pose or staying too long. You didn't get stiff overnight and you won't heal and open quickly either. Give it time.
Once you have done the beginner's flows, you may want to try the shorter sequences on the YouTube Yin Yoga Channel.
There are a few 30 minute sequences you can try out.
Your question of "how often" is a good one: it has been discussed before in the forum. There is a more complete answer at this post:
. You may want to read it and check out some of the research cited there.
In short: it is generally safe to do Yin Yoga daily, but, as always, it depends on the student. Nothing is okay for everybody. You have to listen your body between classes and make sure you feel it is okay to keep going at the current pace.
The idea that more frequent but shorter sessions might be as good or even better than longer, fewer ones rings true to me. I do Yin Yoga every day but not always in a formal "yoga practice". Sitting on the floor as you read, or watch tv or talk on the phone is yin. You can read quite well while in Swan. You can eat meals while sitting in Half Butterfly at your coffee table. You can watch t.v. while in Sphinx. All this is yin, without the formality of a yoga class. I haven't found too much problem from daily living on the floor.
Of course sitting in a chair for 8 hours a day is also yin: you can do too much yin! Studies have shown that how we sit is not the real problem, it is how long we sit in any one position. If we sit slouched for 20 minutes or more at a time, several times a day, the lower back is going to suffer. If we sit ramrod straight for hours at a time too, the back will suffer. The key is variety: to move. Sit one way for 5 minutes or so, then change to another way for 5 minutes or so, then switch again.
Let me know if this doesn't address your question.