Yin yoga is finally gaining some recognition in the yoga world. Why? Because of the many extraordinary benefits to your health and yoga practice! What exactly is yin yoga? It is a practice in which we hold the poses for 3-5 minutes. The intention is to safely and appropriately stress the connective tissue (ligaments, fascia and sometimes tendons) in the body rather than the muscles and cardiovascular system (Yang Yoga). In effect, we are placing demands on the tissue, effectively easing bone away from bone so that the tissue that binds them is gently tugged on. The miraculous healing power of the body will make the tissue adapt to lengthening and become more flexible. As we get older, we become more yin like: rigid, tight ,unmoving and less fluid This practice not only enhances our regular yang practice by creating a flexible strength as we move into poses, it keeps the body supple and well protected.
Yin also creates an opportunity for us to manage uncomfortable situations. By sitting in these poses for 3-5 minutes , we take the poses to a position where we feel sensation (not pain), settle in and breathe. You need to let go allowing the body and mind to relax, thereby allowing us to move into a more comfortable state. It reminds us that if we just give ourselves time to breath in any situation, we will ease into managing ourselves and the situation in a healthy way. In my classes I like to incorporate yin in the beginning, stretching and opening the body as we move to our yang practice. This allows for a well rounded class.
As some of you know, I recently had a full knee replacement. The physical therapists were astounded at how quickly I regained my flexibility, breaking up scar tissue and rejuvenating the tissue, tendons and fascia around the knee, as well as the muscles of the leg. This is Yin benefits at its best!
Interested in experiencing Yin? Come to my Yin Yoga workshop on Friday, January 16th. Check out the calendar for registration details!