WHAT is yin?
A slow, meditative, thoughtful series of poses aimed at lengthening connective tissue (tendons, ligaments and fascia).
WHY practice yin yoga?
Connective tissue is found in bones, muscles and organs and is concentrated in the joints. Inactivity or not using full range of joint flexibility will shorten the tissue over time. This creates a “shrink-wrapped” effect- with tissue just long enough to accommodate your daily activities.
Yin Yoga targets natural motion of the joints. It would not be expected to create movement that is not natural for a particular joint. For example, with the knee the focus would be on bending and straightening rather than movement side to side.
HOW does yin yoga work?
Strengthening the body by safely stressing tissue is a basic principle of exercise. Slow, steady and mindful stressing of joints does not inure them any more than a sensible weight lifting regimen would injure muscles. There are differences , however, in the way muscle and connective tissue respond: muscle tissue responds to rhythmic contraction and release and connective tissue responds to slow, even energy.
Thoughtful positioning of a yin pose coupled with holding the pose at length allows the connective tissue to respond by lengthening.The result is greater flexibility and a sense of ease in the body.
Yin yoga Saturdays 8AM at Uptown Body, 305 Dillingham Ave., Falmouth.
There's always more to learn about yoga and in turn, learn about yourself.