Many health benefits are provided through yin yoga, the complementing yoga to yang yoga. Yang yoga tends to be more commonly known and provides a more upbeat practice with a focus on muscle strength and lengthening. Yin yoga provides a slower practice with deep stretching and a focus on the joints and connective tissues. There are many benefits to be gained by incorporating a regular yin practice into your routine. These include improving flexibility, supporting joint elasticity and strength, and aiding in stress relief.
What Is Yin Yoga?
Yin yoga is a slow form of yoga that may only utilize a handful of poses during each practice. The slower movements provide deep stretching that activates the ligaments and joints. Poses are usually held for several minutes and after continued practice may be held as long as twenty minutes. The spine and hips are common areas of focus in yin yoga. The long hold during this practice can become challenging to hold as it gets more uncomfortable. Learning to accept and stay with that feeling of discomfort instead of resisting is all part of this practice. Becoming more aware of your breath is also an important aspect as breathwork is necessary to help release tension and relax into the poses. Extra time spent in the poses means there is also extra time for meditative work. Learning to come into a meditative state during yin yoga will help to relax both your mind and body.
Upping Your Health
Regular activation of the joints is necessary to avoid joint stiffness and inflexibility. Yin yoga is the perfect practice to do exactly that. Practicing consistently helps to stretch and strengthen the ligaments. Joints will become more limber and elastic which is important as we get older. All the stretching also improves overall body flexibility which can make everyday movements and tasks easier.
Yin yoga can help us manage stress by utilizing slow movements that engage the parasympathetic nervous system. This system controls our body’s rest and relaxation state and allows us to feel calm. Prioritizing time to fully engage this part of our nervous system is a wonderful way to reset your body and relieve stress and tension from the day.
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