Yin Yoga is a scientific approach to yoga combining anatomy, the principles of Taoist Yoga and meridian theory taken from traditional Chinese medicine.
Yin yoga offers deeper access to the body targeting connective tissue, fascia and ligaments with the aim of lubricating and protecting the joints. These areas of the body are not typically reached by Yang style yoga practices or other fitness regimes. It is vital to maintain healthy joints as if a joint hardens through lack of use or injury, the shortened connective tissues literally shrink wrap around it making occasional attempts to expand the range of the joint even more limited and painful. This in turn interrupts the natural flow of chi through the body disturbing both the health of the skeleton and organs plus creating psychological imbalances.
In order to work deeper, postures are held for up to 20 minutes, although 3 to 5 minutes is more common. It is very important that the target area is relaxed to allow stress to be applied to the deeper tissue rather than the muscle.
Holding the postures for extended periods of time forces you to connect with your breath and your body. This more mediative practice creates inner strength and the ability to find comfort in difficult situations. It also allows us to relax the nervous system turning off the sympathetic response, thereby allowing the parasympathetic nervous system to step in and begin to repair the negative effects of prolonged periods stuck in a 'fight or flight' state, an all too common situation for many of us in the modern world.
- Feel stiff in the morning
- Experience regular joint aches or pains
- Feel depleted in energy from your current exercise programme
- Have previously injured your knees, shoulders, lower back or hips
- Feel stressed or anxious
Then you may benefit from regular Yin Yoga practice. It's never to late to start reversing the ageing process with this simple but effective practice. Jamie continues to urge everyone to roll out a mat and see what Yin could do for you.