What is Yin Yoga & how can it help me?

Yin Yoga is a slower, deep healing style of Yoga than the dynamic active practice that we see in modernised Yoga today. It is very therapeutic for the body and mind and available for anyone to practice. You do NOT need to be flexible! At Yoga Alma we teach from an functional Anatomical perspective and there are variations to each pose.

In Yin Yoga we are targeting specific areas of or body in each posture which is practiced grounded on the mat and held for prolonged periods of time (3-7mins). 

Why do we hold for so long? We go beyond just stretching out of muscles and we get into our deep connective tissue/fascial networks in our body, our joints & joint capsules, ligaments and even the bones. By stressing these areas in our body we are allowing deep healing to take place, we lengthen, strengthen and create space in our body where we may be holding on to tension, injury, emotional stress and where we are restricted in our full range of movement. After holding a posture for 3 minutes our body experiences a phase change and we are create more freedom in our body to allow fluidity and energy to flow, increase our flexibility and allow more range of movement. We may free and heal injury and emotional stress. 

There are many ways to practice Yoga and with the growing market and practice there is a vast number of students, teachers, styles and ways to practice, however with Yin Yoga there is no exception. 

Yin poses may be familiar with our Yang friends however the way in which we perform them is entirely different. In Yin Yoga there are specific target areas, complex contradictions, benefits, meridian pathways, anatomical variations to suit different bodies and injuries and so much more. It is a deeply therapeutic practice.

With the practice of Yin Yoga if we are willing to accept the discomfort of therapeutic change -energetically, physically or emotionally our Yin practice allows us to access a quiet powerful experience to enhance our own personal growth.

As students, variations within the sequencing of Yin Yoga give us the opportunity to experience the poses not only from a different perspective but can reveal hidden pathways into the integrated network and matrix of body mind consciousness.

At times in our physical body we can hold onto things like fear, anxiety, exhaustion, stress and emotional blockages. With our sequence we can base the flow on stimulating the appropriate meridians related to some of these conditions. We can design our practice to move and counteract each pose with the intention of stimulation to these energy channels and nurturing the nervous system. 

Essential steps of practicing Yin Yoga. 

1. A guide into the posture and your variation of the posture to suit your body which connects to the targeted area. 

2. Deactivation of muscles. Finding your edge. Relax into the posture. Surrender. 

3. Time. Stillness. Sensations and awareness. 

4. Rebound. Come out of the posture with as little movement as possible. Relax and feel. 

5. Invite movement, flow of energy into the spaces you have created. Happiness! 

Every-BODY can practice Yin Yoga and some of the benefits are:

  • RELIEF OF TENSION & STRESS HELD IN THE BODY 
  • CALMS THE MIND & RELIEVES STRESS & ANXIETY 
  • IMPROVES FLEXIBILITY & MOTION FOR STIFF JOINTS
  • INCREASES CIRCULATION 
  • BALANCES INTERNAL ORGANS & IMPROVES FLOW OF ENERGY
  • AIDS IN INJURY MANAGEMENT 
  • IMPROVES OVERALL WELLBEING 

Yin Yoga is becoming more and more recognised today with professional sports players using the deep healing benefits, people who have never practiced Yoga before, experienced Yoga practitioners wanting to balance there Yang (more active) practice with Yin and every-BODY who is looking for a healing practice without judgement or competition to suit their individual body. 

It is recommended to practice at least 3 times per week and to balance the practice of Yin Yoga with other forms of exercise. 

WHO CAN PRACTICE YIN YOGA / DEEP STRETCH? 

-The young, the elderly, the fit, the unfit & everyone in-between

-People with stress, illness, disease, tension, deep pain, trauma

-Dancers, Gymnasts, Sports Players, Athletes

-People with injuries, stiff joints & tension

-People looking for more emotional & physical FREEDOM. 

-Men & Women with stressful work environments

Life can be very stressful on the body and create blockages emotionally and physically limiting our chances of living life to our full potential. Yin Yoga is a vital way to keep our bodies and mind open allowing more range of movement and less stress in the mind and body. Yin Yoga gently stretches the fascia/connective tissue in our body to improve our flexibility, joint mobility and overall wellbeing. There are no alignment rules and there are variations for each posture to suit every-BODY! This is a functional way to practice yoga and will target areas in your body where you need it most. All postures are practiced grounded on the mat and there are no standing postures no judgement and no competition.  

If you have injury or illness it is recommended you seek advise from your health practitioner before starting this practice.

Learn more about the different postures, there's a list on Bernie Clarks wonderful website dedicated to Yin Yoga here.  

YIN YOGA POSES

 

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