One of the increasingly popular yoga practices we offer is Yin Yoga. Yin is a slow-paced practice that involves holding targeted positions for longer periods of time than one would in a Power or Flow class. The practice targets deep connective tissue, bones, joints, fascia and ligaments in the body. The more we work our fascial system and deep tissues, the less tense and tight our bodies become, especially as we age. Lengthening and stretching these tight tissues can be an uncomfortable and therefore difficult activity.
However, by practicing Yin and focusing on breathing, we can slow our heart rates, allowing us to teach our bodies how to counter this discomfort without a fight-or-flight response. Over time, our minds will remain relaxed throughout the process, allowing our stretching ability to improve and tension to be released.
I’ve completed 300 hours of Yin training and my primary focus is to develop peoples’ awareness of their bodies while also understanding their limits. I like to form a class that works on targeted muscles, i.e. hips and hamstrings or chest and shoulders. All of us hold tension in these areas and Yin directly targets and remedies the discomfort in these parts of the body.
The Yin practice is also beneficial to professional athletes in Tribe’s Elite Athlete program. Since athletes are working these stress areas even more than non-athletes would, Yin helps provide a targeted release by both supplementing and improving their intensive primary training. Nonetheless, Yin’s benefits are not exclusive to seasoned athletes. The Yin practice can alleviate physical and mental tension by retraining both the body and mind in anyone.
Key benefits of a regular Yin Yoga practice for all students are the following:
• Targets connective tissues including fascia, bones and joints
• Relieves tension
• Improves flexibility
• Increases circulation
• Prevents injury
• Reduces stress
• Balances internal organs and improves flow of Qi (breath)
• Balances our yang or physical yoga practice
• Encourages mindfulness and meditation
If you’ve never been to a Yin Yoga class, especially if you could improve your own flexibility and reduce tension, I strongly encourage you to check it out! Contact one of our studios if you have any additional questions. I hope to see you in class!