Yin yoga provides many health benefits to the body. As a slower-paced practice, yin yoga is a complementary practice to more well-known yang yoga. While yang yoga focuses on muscle activation, yin yoga utilizes long holds to target the connective tissue and joints. Taking part in this practice regularly can provide benefits such as improved joint elasticity, increased flexibility, and stress reduction.
Understanding Yin Yoga
Yin yoga is a slow-moving practice that activates the ligaments and joints through long deep stretches. During this practice, you may only work through a small number of poses. Each pose is held for several minutes and after consistent practice, some holds may be extended to last as long as twenty minutes. Joints such as the hips and spine are frequently targeted during yin yoga. While holding poses for long periods of time, it is not uncommon to start feeling uncomfortable. Learning to allow this discomfort and stay with the practice is all part of the process. The extended holds also allow time to enter into a more meditative state and bring your mind into a place of relaxation.
Joints need to be exercised just as muscles do in order to avoid becoming stiff and inflexible. Yin yoga is a great tool to accomplish this with. Activating the joints and connective tissues forces them to stretch and increase elasticity. This is an important thing to incorporate into our exercise routines, especially as we get older to maintain strength and joint function. Flexibility is also improved through this practice. Increased flexibility can make general tasks and movements easier to do.
Relieving stress is also a benefit of yin yoga. Moving slowly throughout the practice is key in activating the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is the part of the nervous system that brings us into a state of calm and relaxation. Taking time to actively engage this part of the nervous system helps our bodies release stress and tension. A consistent practice may be a way to relieve chronic stress and calm the mind.
We hope that this information on the health benefits of yin yoga is useful to you.
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Cali Naughton graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington. She joined the marketing team at Empower Brokerage in the spring of 2021 as a marketing specialist and the department photographer.