photo credit: yoganonymous
Hey friends. I just got out of a 90 minute yin yoga class. During the entire class I kept thinking about how incredibly powerful the practice is and why everybody in the entire world should be forced to do it. Ok, I’m kidding about the forcing thing, because we know as soon as yin yoga became “mandatory” I would find some way to escape it. ;)
I had an intuition that I needed to go to yin yoga today because I’ve been going to a lot of bootcamp classes, and not much yoga. I could feel that there was some tension building up in my body and I needed to get some good, deep stretching in. That’s where yin yoga comes in (specifically, HOT yin in this case, which is just yin yoga practiced in a hot room).
What is Yin Yoga?
“Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with poses that are held for longer periods of time—five minutes or longer per pose is typical.
Yin yoga poses apply moderate stress to the connective tissues —the tendons, fascia, and ligaments—with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility. They are also designed to improve the flow of qi, the subtle energy said in Chinese medicine to run through the meridian pathways of the body. Improved qi flow is hypothesized to improve organ health, immunity, and emotional well-being.”
Simply speaking, you stretch very deeply and hold poses for a long time. It hurts at first, but it’s such a good kind of hurt. It feels sooo good once you can feel your muscles start to release.
The best part? The poses are all sitting/floor poses – which means you’re on the mat, not standing and practicing a fast-paced, vigorous vinyasa class – which is what you may think of when you think about a yoga class. It’s very slow, deep and meditative — and the way your hips feel afterwards is enough reason in itself to go. Even if you’re not a “yogi” you’ll do fine in a yin class with little prior experience. It’s kind of like naptime yoga except it’s a nap that sort of hurts.
I think this type of yoga is an especially important complimentary exercise for people who are runners or do any type of strength workouts regularly. To get this type of deep stretch for minutes at a time is incredible. Plus, you get very intimate with how different parts of your body are feeling – which parts are sore and tight, etc. I thought the fact that Noah makes us kiss our biceps in the mirror after every bootcamp class was intimate, but this is on an entirely different level!!!
According to this Mind Body Green article, some of the benefits of yin yoga are:
- Calming and balancing to the mind and body
- Regulates energy in the body
- Increases mobility in the body, especially the joints and hips
- Lowering of stress levels
- Greater stamina
- Better lubrication and protection of joints
- More flexibility in joints & connective tissue
- Release of fascia throughout the body
- Help with TMJ and migraines
- Deeper Relaxation
- A great coping for anxiety and stress
- Better ability to sit for meditation
I need to go to yin yoga way more often.
If you can find a HOT yin class, even better. Sweating + wringing out your body…I mean, it’s just TOO good. If you’re in NYC, I go to Modo Yoga on 6th ave and west 10th.
Have you ever done Yin Yoga?? Isn’t it the best?