Yin yoga, the complementary practice to yang yoga, offers several different health benefits for our bodies. More people are aware of the more active yang forms of yoga, that focus on muscle activation, and not as many may be familiar with yin yoga. In yin yoga, slower movements are used to target the joints and other connective tissues. Maintaining a consistent practice can lead to more flexibility, maintaining joint elasticity, and decreasing stress.
Yin Yoga Explained
As a slower yoga practice, yin yoga is able to use deep stretching to reach and engage joints and ligaments. Poses are held for an extended period of time and eventually, some poses may be held for up to twenty minutes. Joints such as the spine and hips are regularly targeting in this practice. The long holds can start to become uncomfortable but part of the practice is learning how to sit with that feeling and overcome the urge to release the pose. Engaging with the breath is a valuable tool as breathwork allows us to release tension and go deeper into a stretch. During these holds it’s easy for the mind to wonder. However, this is also an opportunity to enter a meditative state and give your mind an opportunity to slow down and relax.
Consistency Brings Benefits
Over time joints can become stiff and inflexible if not activated. Yin yoga is a great solution to help with this. The practice works to create deep stretches that force joints to stretch and become more elastic. Keeping your joint engaged helps them stay strong and mobile as we get older. Muscle flexibility is also improved through stretching and helps us navigate with ease.
Stress management is another benefit of yin yoga. The slow pace of the practice helps us to activate the parasympathetic nervous system which allows us to feel calm and relaxed. This essentially helps our body reset and release stress and tension. Making this a regular practice is a good way to relax both the mind and body
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