what is yin yogaBy Faye Martins

Many people ask, “What is Yin Yoga?” If you’re like me, you want simple answers to your questions. I don’t want to ask the same question twice because somebody did a political dance to avoid hurting my feelings. At first, I felt everyone I asked just didn’t know what Yin Yoga was. After listening to many complicated explanations I decided to explain it in the simplest possible way.

 

Yoga is a great way to discover the balance between body, mind, and spirit. Yoga has been practiced for many years for exercise, to tone muscles, and as a means of spiritual strength. Mastering the art of Yoga will bring about a healthier you. Although yoga has been around for many years, there is a difference between Yin and Yang Yoga. Until recently, most people who practice Hatha yoga on a daily basis, practice a form of Yang, which focuses on muscular tissues. Yin focuses on the connective tissues.

 

The Big Secret

What is Yin Yoga? Here we go again! Yin Yoga is becoming a very popular attraction because it focuses on the connective tissues. Practicing Yin will strengthen the ligaments and the bones. It also improves the joints and helps to maintain the tissues, which connect all of these together. The attraction of Yin Yoga is the fact that most of these are not exercised during regular yoga. The practice of Yin is a complete workout of everything surrounding the muscles, which will help to improve connective tissue and the muscles.

 

Who Can Practice Yin Yoga?

Yin yoga is becoming a popular attraction because it is suitable for all people, no matter what level you are on with your yoga workout. While Hatha yoga works with lengthening and strengthening your muscles, yin will work with the connective tissue surrounding the muscles.

The Challenge

The challenge with Yin yoga is that it takes a long time to hold the poses of the practice. The duration of most of the poses held can last anywhere from one minute to twenty. The longer the pose is held, the better tissues will be strengthened. The challenge can be overcome the more the poses are practiced.

 

What Parts of the Body Does Yin Yoga Target?

Yin yoga is somewhat similar to Hatha yoga because it brings the balance to the whole body. The difference is in the parts of the body that are targeted. Yin targets the deeper parts of the body. If we were thinking in terms of lower body, the pelvic tissues and the hip tissues are strengthened. The lower spine is also directly targeted when practicing Yin. Generally speaking, physical forms like Hatha, Ashtanga, and Power yoga tend to slightly reach into deep areas, but because the postures aren’t usually held for long periods of time, the connective tissues aren’t worked like they are in a yin yoga training session.

 

Many people from elite athletes to the amateur weight loss exerciser use yoga as part of a workout. The ability to balance your body, mind, and spirit is very important to your overall well being. While Yang yoga targets the muscles, Yin yoga targets the tissues, bringing balance to the whole being.

Conclusion

The Yin Yoga style is evolving quickly.  Just ten years ago, you didn’t see many props in the classroom.  These days, more people use props for alignment, because you are holding postures longer than a restorative class does.  Additionally, gentle warm ups to prevent injuries are catching on. Ten years ago, some practitioners were against warm-ups, because “it was too Yang.” What a crock! I thought it then and its confirmed now. After a few injuries from stretching cold without a warm up, those practitioners had an awakening. Research shows that stretching first thing in the morning on a cold day with an older body is begging for an injury. That’s an example of three factors for a perfect storm, but a gentle warm up prevents a lot of pain. Lastly, the mix of mindfulness meditation and Yin Yoga is complete harmony.

© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

 

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