10 Sep 4 Reasons to Practice Yin Yoga
What’s so unique about Yin Yoga? Let us count the ways. Like it or not, we live in a fast-paced world. There’s always that next person to meet or bills to pay, or job to finish. It doesn’t help that we’re also always glued to our smartphones with 24/7 access to the internet. It is mindlessly scrolling through other people’s “perfect lives”. All these stimuli can be distracting, even overwhelming, and the only thing one can do sometimes is to keep still. It’s no surprise then that in this busy world, there’s a need for more exercises that calm the body and mind. Yin Yoga does exactly this and a lot more.
First developed in the 1970s by martial artist Paulie Zink, Yin Yoga was never designed to be a separate practice or branch Yoga, but merely a supplement to more active exercises and forms. In Yin Yoga, students are taught and trained to stay in specific asanas for extended periods. Forty-five seconds to a couple of minutes for beginners, and 5 minutes or more for advanced students.
Here’s what makes this practice of long juicy stretches the next best thing.
It heals the body.
Yin Yoga can help alleviate a slew of health issues such as migraines, osteoporosis and even inflammatory bowel disease thanks to its ability to put the nervous system at a calm state. We all know how yoga positively affects our muscles, tissues and overall body systems. Studies have also shown that practising Yoga can help reduce the feeling of lower back pain by as much as 56%. We’re not claiming Yin is a miracle cure, but we’re positive it does the body good.
It teaches patience.
Try sitting still for a few minutes. You can’t check your phone. Nor check your emails. You’re just still, unmoving. Sounds a bit of a challenge, right? It is because we’ve sadly become impatient. Our minds are in constant flux, always seeking, always worrying, always debating the next step. Yin Yoga by nature, helps you control that. It keeps you stay grounded in the moment as you perform your asana. That is the gift Yin Yoga gives you – the power to let go, to focus on the present, and stay there.
It gives you strength.
You’d think holding a position for a couple of minutes would be a piece of cake. But like any child who has experienced “time out,” you’ll soon realise that it’s not easy to keep still. Not only does it require physical strength, it demands a presence of mind that requires practice. Yin Yoga can be uncomfortable at times – we’re not statues after all. But holding a pose for an extended period strengthens the muscles and the connective tissue around it. Not all asanas are made for Yin Yoga, and those that create a tension that once released has been described not only as satisfying but invigorating.
It relieves stress.
If you ask anyone to list the reasons why they exercise, one is sure to be stress relief. Thirty minutes of exercise every day can be as beneficial to people suffering from depression as taking certain drugs. Yin Yoga isn’t any different. A good session will help release endorphins which will help you power through a particularly tough day or week. It also helps regulate your breathing, which keeps anxiety and issues that may be circling your mind at bay.
Are you ready to dive deeper into your Yin journey?
Written by the Power Living Team