Yin Yoga

 

Introduction: What is Yin yoga?

Yin yoga is a very slow and moderately challenging style of yoga, it consists of long holds of passive stretches to help release years of built up tension in the deeper connective tissues. While most styles of yoga focus on building muscle strength and increasing flexibility through dynamic movement, yin yoga centres on stretching fascia, reducing inflammation in the body (ideal for injury recuperation) and by learning to be still in the poses.

Most Yin poses are performed sitting or lying down on the mat, using gravity to help go deeper into the poses while enabling you to hold postures for a longer period of time. Don’t let the simple poses put you off as they look easy but can be quite challenging. In the stillness of these poses you find the magic.

These poses allow you to release tight and painful muscles, stiff connective tissues, increase flexibility faster than any other style and improve your joints health.

 

“We don’t use our body to get into a pose. We use the pose to get into our body”

 

Benefits of Yin yoga

Release years of built up tension, relieves deep muscular aches, increase your flexibility, improve your joint health and mobility, reduce the stress hormone cortisol, encourages mindfulness, increases circulation, learn to honour your bodies limits and find a practice that works just for you.

 

 What is fascia and why should I stretch it?

Fascia or connective tissue is a fairly new concept that in only the last 5-10 years has been introduced to western medicine. This connective tissue is found beneath our skin, primarily made of collagen, this densely woven web wraps around every muscle, tendon, ligament, nerve, blood vessel and internal organ in our body. Fascia is classified by layers to indicate its function and anatomical location. It plays a very important role in the support and function of our bodies. It is our soft skeleton.

Every night another micro layer of this connective tissue is made while we sleep, and when we awake we can initially feel stiff and achey. Usually after a quick stretch this feeling abates but if we don’t stretch then the layers get thicker and thicker which can start to make movement more painful and restricted. As we age this tissue becomes denser and harder to stretch, it is the anatomical reason we get stiffer as we get older.

Yin yoga helps stretch this stiff and tight connective tissue to help free up tense muscles, increase flexibility and generally help you feel looser and freer. Stretching fascia is more and more important the older we get, as the longer we don’t stretch the harder and longer it takes to get the flexibility back. The key is moderate stretches, held for prolonged periods of time and practiced regularly.

 

We are all different and unique

Yin yoga is not aesthetic practice but a functional one. It doesn’t matter what the pose looks like as long as the target areas are being stretched and no pain is felt.

We are all born with different muscular and bone structures so it is an antiquated notion to think one pose works for everyone. There are always 2 reasons a pose doesn’t work for you, either there is tension in the body where a muscle has become tight or stiff overtime OR there is a compression of the bones or joints­­.

With tension it means overtime with kindness and patience you can release the built up muscular tightness but with compression you have to learn to work around it safely to ensure you don’t injure yourself.  We all have different bones and muscle shapes so not all stretches work for everyone.

With my advanced anatomy background allow me to guide you safely through the poses and help make modifications to make the poses more accessible for your unique body.

 

Personalised sessions

Private classes are designed and tailored just for you. Whether your goal is injury recuperation, relaxation or help maintaining your level in sport, I can design a class for you. The session will start with a thorough consultation and a brief examination of your range of movement. After that I will design a sequence of complementary poses to achieve your goal and offer modifications to adapt the practice to suit your individual needs. With my support, you will become more confident in listening to internal cues from your body, respecting your bodies limits and learning poses that are designed especially for you. Together we will move through the poses slowly and mindfully, and you will learn a routine that is easy to replicate at home and how to adapt the stretches to fluctuations in your flexibility caused by stress or injury.

Prices

Hour 1-1 Yin yoga online session £35.

Group online classes

More information here

 

Enquiry: To join book your private 1-1 online yin yoga session please email me at ficullum@hotmail.co.uk  or call 07517228482. Payments can be made by bank transfer or car payments taken over the phone.

 

The history and principles of Yin

Where Yin Yoga comes from

  Yin Yoga was developed from Taoist Yoga which dates back thousands of years. In Chinese Taoist monasteries the priests would practice a series of exercises called Tao Yin to create balance within the internal and external energies (qi) and revitalise the body, mind, and spiritas well as creating flexibility in the muscles and joints. Through pranayama (specialised breathing techniques) and Tao Yin they cleansed the body of old, stuck energy and filled it with new, healthier energy.

The introduction of Taoist Yoga in the western world all started with Paulie Zink whose classes offered both Yin and Yang (dynamic) postures. Yin Yoga was formed when one of Paulie’s students, Paul Grilley, fell in love with the prolonged holds of the Yin postures and started creating classes based on only Yin poses. Thus the name Yin Yoga was born.

Grilley then dove into the Chinese medicine teachings of energetic pathways within the body to further harmonize and create Yin Yoga as we know it today.

 

The 3 Principles of Yin yoga are:

(1) Find your edge or the sweet spot- knowing where to stop in a pose is a fundamental part of yin yoga. It helps create the essential balance between no sensation and too much. Yin yoga is a moderate practice and through proper instruction you can learn to find your edge or sweet spot. Finding the sweet spot is a metaphor for life- you must find what works for you.

(2) Once you find your edge, learn to be still. By achieving this meditative state you’re able to clearly listen to your body and honour your limits.

(3) Hold the posture- once you have found a moderate stretch, achieved a meditative state, now you hold the posture. For beginners we hold from 2-4 minutes. But for more advanced students, poses can be held anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes.

 

 

 

Prices

Hour 1-1 Yin yoga online session £35.

Group online classes

More information here

 

Enquiry: To join book your private 1-1 online yin yoga session please email me at ficullum@hotmail.co.uk  or call 07517228482. Payments can be made by bank transfer or car payments taken over the phone.