Yin yoga

Recently I attended a yin yoga class. Although I have taken many yoga classes in the past, I had never heard of this type of yoga and was curious about it. The instructor, Denise Kaufman, gave us a great deal of information while teaching us effective stretching techniques. She divided the structures of the body into muscles and the tendons that attach them and bones and the ligaments that form joints. Most forms of yoga are directed toward stretching and strengthening muscle, which is done rapidly, with muscle contraction, and movement. Yin yoga, on the other hand, addresses deeper tissues, the ligaments, the fascia covering them, and the bones. In order to effect changes at this deeper level, you have to get into a pose which pushes you a little bit beyond your current level and then hold it for a long time with the muscles relaxed. As you hold the pose, the ligaments stretch little by little. She told us that as you get older, the ligaments become less pliable if you do not stretch them. You have to think of the fascia like shrinkwrap which shrinks as time passes. The only way to prevent that is to use long, deep, slow stretches.
Maintaining a flexible, adaptable, stable body and mind is a lifelong pursuit. After just one class, I could see that there was some effect. This is motivating enough to convince me that I should try to continue with this practice because I want the outcome that she is describing, and which she demonstrated in her own ease of movement. And that can only be achieved by ongoing engagement.

About norasblog

I am a psychotherapist with a private practice in downtown Chicago.
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2 Responses to Yin yoga

  1. Peg Syverson says:

    Hi Nora-
    This is very interesting to know about. The terms you use remind me of Dan Siegel’s acronym FACES: flexible, adaptive, coherent, energized and stable. This seems to be the outcomes of a yoga practice also.

  2. norasblog says:

    Thank you for your comment. Yes, it looks like a number of fields of study are converging to help us better understand and pursue the optimal personal development.

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