Yin yoga is perfect for releasing tension in the musculature of the body, and deep into our connective tissue or fascia. Not only is this good for our muscles and joints, but it helps to release toxins and blocked energy in the body.
Three Principles of Yin Yoga
- Come into the pose to an appropriate depth
- Resolve to remain still
- Hold the pose for time (3-7 minutes)
Yin yoga targets the deep connective tissues of the body (vs. the superficial tissues) and the fascia that surrounds the muscles and gives the body its shape. Our Western (“yang”) exercise culture focuses on what is sometimes referred to as “the beach muscles” and often overlooks the fascia and connective tissues – the body’s unsung heroes needed to obtain optimum wellness.
In a Yin class, postures are more passive and are typically held for approximately five minutes. The entire class takes place on the floor using a normal pattern of breathing. Yin Yoga is unique in that you are asked to relax in the posture, soften the muscle and bring your attention to moving bones, not muscles. Typically, one does not sweat in a Yin Yoga class. It is extremely meditative and helps relax the mind and body.
The benefits of a Yin Yoga practice are overwhelming. More athletes are incorporating Yin Yoga into their fitness regimes to reduce the risk of injury, increase recovery time and improve overall performance.
The yin-yang symbol, a unified symbol of balance, encapsulates the importance of this practice. You need a “yang” exercise regime (cardio, resistance training, etc.,) and the restorative qualities of a “yin” practice to balance the body and achieve optimum health.
Here is a partial list of the many benefits of a consistent Yin Yoga practice:
• Focuses on the health of fascia and the body’s connective tissues
• Calming and balancing the mind and body
• Regulates energy in the body
• Promotes anti-aging and better sleep
• Increases mobility in the body, especially the joints, hips and low back
• Lowers stress levels
• Improve vitality
• Lubricates and protects joints
• Improves flexibility
• Reduce the risk of injury
• Help with TMJ and migraines
• Deeper relaxation
• Relieves anxiety
• Helps release toxins trapped in the muscles and joints
• Reduce “pain” associated with disease and chronic conditions
• Complements exercise regimes (such as weight training and running)
According to yogic philosophy, the chakras are considered the main energetic points. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Daoist model considers our internal organs as being the main focus points of energy storage and distribution.
Most major meridians are named after the internal organs they influence. Qi moves through that organ’s meridian.
The 12 major meridians are composed of 5 Yin meridians: The Heart, Spleen, Lungs, Kidneys, and Liver; 5 Yang meridians: Small intestines, Stomach, Large intestine, Urinary bladder, Gallbladder; the Pericardium meridian, and the San Jiao meridian.