Yin yoga is a great counter practice to Gym Workouts

Yin yoga is a slow deep meditative practice, whereby seated & reclining postures are held for 3-5mins usually or even more sometimes. We tune into the breath by turning our focus inwards, working with the sensations & discomfort that can arise both mentally & physically. By keeping our focus and attention on the breath when meeting the deep sensation of the passive stretch, by lengthening the exhalation we relax, stretch & lengthen into muscular & ligament tightness the ‘discomfort’ in the tissues, thereby releasing further into our joints & the pose increasing our flexibility. Yin also has the effect of strengthening the tissue as some postures are active/passive stretches. The concentration on deeper breathing brings more oxygenated blood into the tissues. This is a great practice if you’ve tight rigid muscles, fascia & connective tissue from working with weights in the gym.

Eastern philosophical practices state there are energetic pathways or Qi that run throughout the body, when blocked cause the stagnation of vital life force ‘energy’, then dis-ease & physical conditions emerge. Acupuncture, Qi-Gong & yin yoga work in similar ways. A yin yoga sequence can restore a healthy flow of Qi by stretching & opening any blockages, often in the deeper tissues surrounding a joint like the hips, sacrum & spine. Sometimes this work can also cause strong emotional releases, as scar tissue from previous injuries, body memory and trauma are freed. This is a good thing as the bodymind is then able to reconnect in a healthier more integrated way. Studies also prove that Yin lowers stress, anxiety and depression by activating the PSN parasympathetic nervous system, thereby slowing the heart rate and calming the body by reducing the fight, flight or freeze response.

Yin yoga is the perfect compliment to our fast paced active lives and also to more sweaty, intense, yang practices like gym, cardio, exercise & stronger vinyasa yoga classes. Yin yoga is less a ‘work-out’ & more a ‘work-in’, bringing a deeply harmonious and peaceful sense to the body & mind.