- Rehabilitation of the joints through safe, moderate, therapeutic stress
How is that possible you might ask yourself?
It gets a little scientific, but I will do my best to explain simply with the help of Bernie Clark’s insightful teachings (An expert teacher in the yin yoga field)
Stress is needed to stimulate our stem cells to be active, and depending upon the amount of stress, the cell can become the kind of body tissue specifically required for a specific job. When a stem cell senses flowing movement, it will become a blood vessel. If the amount of stress is very light it becomes a never cell. If the stress is stronger, it becomes a fat cell. Stronger still and the stem cell will become a muscle cell. With an even higher degree of stress, it becomes bone.
So we can look at our Yin Yoga practice as acupressure therapy, and that pressure and stress we apply through our yin yoga asana/ posture will stimulate the cell development and transitions mentioned above. Giving us what we need, where we need it, to recover and rehabilitate all the tissue in the body, but most significantly the joints, as no other form of yoga asana offers this safe stressing and stimulation to the joints.
- Temporarily rehydrates and lubricates the connective tissue and joints
Through the long and deep stretching in Yin Yoga, through the stimulation of the tissue through tension and compression, we moisturise and detoxify the tissue. This stimulation of the bodies tissue encourages the growth of Hyaluronic Acid (HA) producing cells which are important for water storage and development of synovial fluid. We find synovial fluid in our joints and this is what keeps them hydrated and lubricated. Hyaluronic Acid attracts and binds water up to 1000x its original weight.
But it is only temporary because our body continually absorbs HA …….what a great excuse to keep practising yin yoga.
- Increases flexibility
When we think of the physical attributes of yoga, we quickly arrive at the thought of flexibility. For most of us, we long to improve our flexibility, becoming long and supple.
Well, Yin Yoga can help in that quest, by reorganising the collagen fibre’s in the connective tissue, elongating the fascia as a whole unit.
Fascia, you might ask, what is this? Briefly put, it is a fibrous tissue found throughout the body, enfolds and enmeshes every structure and organ, including our muscles.
A little know fact; more often than not it is our fascia that inhibits our flexibility, not our muscle.
Our long, static holds in our yin yoga practice help to elongate the fascia, and consequently the muscle follows suit.
- Get to grips with Meditation
Sharpen your focus via your Yin Yoga Asana Practice, cultivating concentration through this quiet, meditative, asana practice.
When we remain in stillness throughout every pose and gently transition with attention and intention from one pose to another we practice being completely present and focused on what we are doing and how we feel. Trying not to let the chatter of the mind distract us.
- Reduces Stress
Something we all need but struggle to achieve.
A quiet and calming yoga practice, yin yoga grounds you and brings you into stillness. Time to resales and let go. The yin yoga practice, through its quiet and calming nature, allows for the activation of the Parasympathetic Nervous System, our complementary system, igniting the rest and recover response. Allowing the body to heal from within and lets go of all tensions and stresses, body and mind.