September is a month of new beginnings and as such we would like to insert our monthly quote right here….!!! Sooooo true!!!
“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going tostay where you are.” Unknown Yin Yoga...a quiet practice.
Of late, we have had many of our students asking for more Yin Yoga. On our schedule, we have two classes which are well attended. Other students are wary as they really do not understand the concept...so thought we would take up a little space this month for Yin...the other side of yoga!
What is Yin Yoga?
Yin Yoga, based in concepts of Taoist Yoga, emphasizes the connective tissues of the hips, thighs, pelvis and lower spine. It is characterized by the relaxed practice of floor asanas for three to five minutes at a time. Yin yoga postures gently stretch and rehabilitate the connective tissues that form our joints, allowing us to maintain and restore joint flexibility.
The way that most yoga now practiced in the West is far too aggressive (yang) ...I believe that it matches our very yang lifestyle! These styles of yoga focus on movement and muscular contraction. ..and many postures may be practiced within the time frame of a class. Thought a yang-style yoga provides enormous benefits for physical and emotional health, especially for those living a sedentary modern lifestyle, it does not stretch the joints. Just as muscles weaken if they are not
exercise, the connective tissue that forms joints will do the same. As well, they will shorten and stiffen due to injuries, neglect, and aging.
Joints cannot be safely exercised in the same fashion as muscle. We must stress the connective tissue around the joint for a longer period of time, in a gentle and relaxed approach. This approach is called Yin.
Yin Yoga is the ideal complement to more muscular or yang forms of Yoga, helping yoga students get the greatest possible benefit from the practice of yoga. Modern researchers tell us that strengthening and stretching connective tissues is critical for the long-term.
There are no ‘new’ poses in Yin Yoga. They are the seated and lying postures that we know so well from the many styles of Hatha yoga. The difference is that the effort involved in maintaining the pose is relaxed.
Benefits of Yin Yoga
* Stretches and restores flexibility to the connective tissues of the body.
* Improves base-line flexibility.
* Creates therapeutic stress on the joints, and bones – helps to stave off osteoporosis.
* Develops and balances hyaluronic acid levels in the body. This substance cushions and lubricates joints.
* Improves and balances flow of life force energy (chi, qi, prana) through the connective tissues/meridian tissues of the body.
* Improves organ health by increasing the flow of prana.
* Pumps and circulates fluid in and out of the spine, the only way to fully re-inflate the discs in the spine.
* Re-energizes an aging body.
* Trains and develops parasympathetic nervous system (digestion and energy conservation).
* Quiets and calms the mind in the moment, and in the face of internal and external stressors.
* Enhances and deepens meditation practice.
* Brings emotional balance to body, mind, and spirit.
More information is available on www.yinyoga.com