The deep stretches within Yin Yoga can feel intense!  This provides us with an opportunity to learn techniques that enable us to become more comfortable with both mental and physical discomforts as we go about our daily life.  A marvellous way to prepare for a deeper meditation practice, OR as Jess found, a marvellous way to enhance athletic performance when racing at an elite level -> Yin Yoga added to her "continue to push hard even when suffering" tool belt, enabling her to achieve next level performances she felt would have otherwise been out of reach!  

Yin Yoga is based off Chinese Medicine Theory.  It is a mindful practice where one holds passive floor poses for 3+ minutes with relaxed muscles so that our bodies deep dense connective tissues (our ligaments, bones & fascia) receive gentle traction & compression stimulating many physiological & mental health benefits.

Yin Yoga is great for athletes as it aids faster muscle recovery.  The deep poses squeeze lactic acid out of our muscles reducing DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).  Stretching helps create space within the body supporting better muscle growth & reduced irritating friction within the joints.  Lengthened muscles improves ones ability to avoid injury with a greater range of motion.  The deep relaxation on offer within the poses helps counteract some of the harmful impacts of regularly operating within a "fight & flight" SNS state when engaging in regular intense physical activity.  All of these benefits will allow for more consistent higher quality training supporting higher performance in the long term.  

BUT Yin Yoga is not just great for people on the move, it is also great for elderly & everyone in between as it helps slow down the body's natural aging process within our joints & bones by:

  • Keeping the joints hydrated.
    • The poses stimulate increased flow of hydrating hyaluronic acid within the joint capsule.  "Juicier joints" help reduce friction & restriction, which helps us glide through life with less inflammation & more ease!
       
  • Maintaining mobility.
    • If we don't put our body through its full range of motion our ligaments shorten or "contract", and our bones are at risk of fusing together or "fixating" (especially our flat bones like the sacrum & our scapulars).  We either 'move it or lose it'!
       
  • Maintaining the strength and density of our bones that otherwise deteriorates with age & in worse case scenarios, develops into osteoporosis.
    • The traction & compression on the bones offered within the poses stimulate bone tissue growth & repair, offering a low impact alternative for obtaining the bone strengthening benefits of weight bearing physical exercise without having to pound the pavement! .