What is Yin Yoga?
In simple terms, yin yoga exercises the joints to their full range of motion by seeking to move bones apart, which in turn increases the fluid in the joints (synovial fluid, – our lubricating oil). Without this vital lubricant joints stiffen and the body ages more quickly. One of the long term goals of a Yin practise are mobile, strong, and flexible joints and increased longevity.
How do we achieve this? By holding the poses in a safe comfortable position for varying amounts of time (3-10minutes per pose). The focus is by putting gentle, controlled tension on the Ligaments & Fascia (broad bands of connective tissue) which form our joints, and rehabilitates these vital tissues. Yin also works with modern meridian theory and our chakras – exploring subtle energies and penetrating deeply into connective tissues, bone and joints.
Yang is a practise that focuses on exercising muscles, building strength and moving blood. Most types of yoga practised today are yang practises (such as Power or Flow yoga) as are most forms of exercise. What is often overlooked in any conventional fitness or exercise regime are practises that focus on the flexibility of Fascia & joints, (Yin practise), where the muscles are disengaged so that the joints bear the tension of the pose.
Some of the differences between Yin yoga and Yang movement.
• Yin yoga targets fascia, ligament and joints.
• Yin yoga is based on traction (stretching) – and is static.
• Yin yoga poses are held for 3 to 10 mins and muscles are relaxed and disengaged.
• We actively stress the joints in a controlled manner in yin yoga to make them stronger and more flexible with a greater range of movement.
• Yin Yoga is deeply relaxed state of mind and body – meditation in motion and stillness.
• Yang movement targets muscle and blood.
• Yang is based on movement – repetitive and rhythmic.
• Yang movements has shorter holds – up to to 1 minute, where muscles are engaged.
• We avoid stressing the joints in yang movements, holding them stable and strong with muscle.
• Yang is a more active mind and body practise.
In my 15 years as a Myotherapist I have come to realise that Yin Yoga is the missing link in physical exercise that is needed to improve longevity, and maintain a vibrant, active life with unrestricted movement. How many people do you know that have had surgery on their hip/s, knee/s, and backs, suffer from arthritis, or shuffle around using walking devices as they age? It is because their joints have lost their mobility & become stiff.
Yin yoga is suitable for everyone from all walks of life – no matter what your level of fitness, age or flexibility. This is why Change 4 Life is so powerful, combining both Yin and Yang forms of exercise in your personalised program.