Yoga is one of the most effective exercises to increase flexibility; because it combines static, dynamic, and passive forms of flexibility. It emphasizes the role of breath in the release of tension. It works with the central nervous system. It is based on the principle that everything in the body is connected, provides a holistic perspective. Yoga also stretches the muscles with postures in different positions. Today, there are plenty of yoga types you can choose from. So, do you know which yoga is best for flexibility?
Yin yoga is the best yoga type for flexibility. That’s because it helps to work out connective tissues. Unlike many yoga styles that we hear the name of today and aim to work mainly on the muscular part of the body, namely the “yang” tissues, Yin yoga is a type of yoga that allows us to work on deeper fascia tissues, ligaments, bones and even the spaces in the joints by applying some stress to them. The person who made Yin Yoga known all over the world is Paul Grilley, who brought a different perspective to yoga, especially with his studies on anatomy.
When we twist, stretch and squeeze our tissues with stress-inducing practices, our body is revived, just like an old sponge dipped in warm water and then squeezed, twisted and stretched, and brought back to life. Or imagine an old garden hose clogged with mud and dirt. This hose should bend and bend a little so that water can flow through it again; that is, it needs yoga. Especially with Yin Yoga asanas, we activate the body exactly in this way, while revitalizing the little ones, we awaken the idle energy in the blocked points with our breath.
In Yin Yoga, when you get into a pose, all expectations about how you look or how you should feel are left aside. We use the pose to get inside the body; We don’t use the body to enter the pose. We enter the pose slowly, advancing to the point where we first feel resistance in the body. When the border is reached, he seeks to stay with our breath for a while; Then we send an invitation with our breath to the points where we feel that resistance in the body, and then experience the dissolution, surrender, deepening in the pose. In order for the stress we apply to the tissues to be healthy, it must be at a point in full consistency. For this reason, while practicing Yin Yoga, we learn to always listen to the body and respect its wishes and look at how we feel by turning inward.
When we invite the body to inactivity with Yin Yoga, our breathing softens and calms down. We experience to enjoy our breath. And when our breathing slows down and calms down, the mind begins to calm down with it. Yin Yoga can also be seen as an opportunity to change the paths we choose: When we turn the attention inward, we begin to become aware of the thoughts in the mind, the specific behavioral patterns that develop with those thoughts, and the reactions we have made into a habit. And among those we realize, we create an intention to let go of those who do not serve us, to open new ways in the mind, to clear “bad, useless” herbs, and to plant “beautiful, fragrant and colorful” flowers.
The Essence of Yin Yoga
Yin yoga is based on the opposite and complementary principles of the Taoist Yin and yang concepts in nature. Yin is the unmoving and hidden aspect of everything, while yang is the mobile and exposed aspect. Tight connective tissues in the body are Yin, and the more mobile and flexible muscles are yang. Yin yoga generally consists of long-term, passive base poses of the hips, pelvis, inner thighs, and lower spine. These areas are particularly rich in connective tissues. Poses last five minutes, sometimes longer. The duration of a yin yoga class varies between 30-40 minutes, and each class has a different focus: hips, spine, legs, upper body, chakras, breath, and mind. The benefits of yin yoga are as follows:
- Balances and calms the mind and body
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Speeds up circulation
- Increases flexibility
- Increases joint mobility
- Balances the internal organs
- Improves prana flow
If you are constantly feeling tired or have an overstimulated and erratic energy flow, this practice is for you. In modern society, we are all available 24/7 and overstimulated. We have minds that constantly process the information we encounter. Our mind tries to process information without understanding the value of the information. And to calm down, we need our minds to stop and relax. Yin yoga is a great way to balance all the moving aspects of life. This yoga practice works on yin tissues, also known as connective tissues. Connective tissues respond better to slow and steady movements, so poses are practiced for longer periods of time in this yoga.
Practicing the poses for a long time helps the connective tissues to become longer and stronger. The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen the body. Different yin yoga poses help to stimulate and heal blockages in the body. In this way, the internal organs are also balanced. The moments of emptiness created by holding the poses in the class for a long time create space for things that want to appear in the mind. The anxiety, happiness, or boredom we suppress while on the move arises with yoga. Yin yoga gives you time and space to allow these emotions. In a yin yoga class, trainers will encourage you to allow all emotions to be there, but not identify with them.
Your tutor should guide you to be a watchdog for all emotions that arise. The body spends a great deal of energy to contain repressed emotions. Allowing emotions to arise will free your body. This way, you allow your mind to clear unconscious emotions, giving your system the opportunity to work to clear blockages in your body. Apply your poses slowly and gently. Do not spend maximum energy on your pose, do not be so persistent that your body will suffer. Consciously let go of the pose. Try to stay still without making too many changes. Start by maintaining your pose for 1-3 minutes, then aim for 5 minutes and beyond.
Yin Yoga: The Most Flexible Yoga Type
Yin Yoga, based on Taoism, one of the most ancient teachings of Chinese philosophy, was first practiced and taught by the American Paul Grilley. Grilley stated that he developed the yin yoga system based on Taoist yoga teachings that he learned from Paulie Zink. He still works on yin and yang yoga practices, and trains yin yoga instructors around the world, especially by providing detailed training on anatomy.
Yin yoga, which includes the basic practices of classical Hatha yoga, which includes practices that give flexibility to the body while actively transitioning from one pose to another by consciously moving from one pose to another, involves stretching by staying in one pose for a long time, rather than actively switching from one pose to another, unlike Hatha yoga. Hatha yoga focuses more on muscles and strengthening, while yin yoga focuses on joints, connective tissues, and general stretching of the body.
At the same time, chi energy, which is frequently emphasized in Far Eastern philosophy in yin yoga, and meridians, which are energy channels in the body, are also emphasized. Although it is a practice that is mostly done on the ground, slowly moving from one pose to another, and staying in one pose for a long time, Yang yoga flows have also been included in Yin yoga practices. While Yin represents feminine and soft energies, Yang refers to masculine and powerful energies. The reason Yang flows are included in Yin yoga practices is the need for two-way balancing of energy. Yin yoga benefits include:
- It relaxes the mind while relaxing the body.
- It helps to balance the energy in the body.
- It improves mobility by increasing the flexibility and strength of the joints.
- It provides deep relaxation, reduces stress levels, and revitalizes. When applied long term, it makes it easier to cope with the stress and anxiety encountered in daily life due to the decrease in stress hormone levels.
- It increases stamina and improves the body’s balance.
- Staying for a long time in the poses where the connective tissues are stretched helps the connective tissue layer to be renewed in a healthy way.
- It encourages meditation practice and makes it easier to sit in meditation for a long time.
- The body’s becoming flexible and durable over time also facilitates Yang practices such as Hatha yoga and helps deepen yoga practices.
- It balances the flow of life energy (chi) and nurtures mind-body harmony.
- Yin yoga is an opportunity for intense relaxation. A long savasana (resting-corpse pose by lying on the ground) after a yin yoga class gives you the feeling of having a good sleep!
Things to Consider When Practicing Yin Yoga
As with all yoga practices, it is very important to start with an expert and learn the basics correctly while doing yin yoga. Even if you don’t seem to be doing any active and potentially dangerous movements, it is possible to unwittingly harm your body during yin yoga. To start practicing yin yoga, your first step should be to attend yin yoga classes regularly or to take private lessons from an experienced yin yoga instructor. Once you know how the poses are applied and what you need to pay attention to, you can also create your own practice at home.
The longer you stay in a pose, the more you realize you can stretch that pose a bit. For example, as you stay in a deep forward bending pose, your body will begin to lean forward even more after a few minutes. Here it is important to carefully observe the limits of your body. It is normal to feel a slight stretch in the stretched areas, but as soon as you feel punctual pain, you should soften the pose. You have to make sure you listen carefully to the body’s signals. Just doing Yin yoga for a long time can soften you more than you expect, making you feel passive and introverted. If you feel that this is not good for you, you can balance your practice with Yang practices (Vinyasa, Ashtanga, etc.).
For a balanced practice, you can create a practice for yourself by first doing Yang streams and then staying in several Yin poses. Or, after you start with Yin poses and stretch well, you can move on to Yang flows and end your practice with a long rest. Almost all poses have an alternative. If you do not feel comfortable in any pose in a yin yoga class, or if you do not feel any stretching or stretching, you can ask your yoga teacher to direct you to an alternative pose.
As with all yoga practices, it is recommended to practice yin yoga regularly for permanent effects. Especially if you practice yin yoga to cope with stress and sleep better, doing a short yin yoga practice of 20-30 minutes before going to bed will help you improve your practice, make yoga a habit, and sleep much better. Likewise, the yin yoga practice you will do before starting the day will help you feel calmer, more serene, and flexible during the day.
All About Yin Yoga: The Ultimate Flexibility
Yin yoga is softer than other yogas. If you are looking for yoga to relax and relax your body, this yoga is for you. Yin yoga is based on universal principles and Tao. Many of the poses performed during this yoga practice are performed in sitting, static poses, or lying down. While performing these positions, you should pay attention to your breathing and posture. Thanks to this yoga, you can relax both your mind and body.
Yin yoga is done to relax the body and soul. Yin yoga is easier to do than other yogas and includes more relaxing and calm movements. Therefore, it is a preferred type of yoga. To practice Yin yoga, you must be in an area where you feel comfortable. You cannot practice yin yoga in areas that are too noisy and contain smells that bother you. The purpose of yin yoga is to soften your stiff joints. You can soften your stiff joints, hips, pelvis, lower spine, and connective tissues, thanks to Yin yoga. Yin yoga offers you the calmness your body needs. Yin yoga is easier to do than other types of yoga.
Yin yoga is done for many different reasons. You can soften your muscles by doing Yin yoga. Likewise, thanks to Yin yoga, you can clear your mind. Yin yoga movements reduce your mental and physical fatigue. It lowers your stress level. The reasons for doing Yin yoga, which includes more calm and relaxing movements compared to other yoga types, are as follows;
- Yin yoga is calming.
- It increases the endurance of the body.
- It increases the balance of the body.
- It has a spiritually restorative effect.
- It helps you open your chakras.
- It balances your energy and helps you express your energy correctly.
- It awakens your sleeping energy channels.
- It improves your focus.
- It is a great help for meditation.
- It is anti-aging.
- It tightens your body.
- It improves muscles that are overstressed.
Yin yoga is a type of yoga used for the above reasons. Yin yoga has many beneficial effects on the human psyche, mind, and body. Yin yoga, which has a calming feature and does not contain forceful movements, is therefore often preferred.
Information on Flexible Yin Yoga Positions
During Yin yoga, you focus on different positions. Performing these positions will help you develop your soul, body, and mind. Yin yoga positions are also very important in terms of balancing the body. The positions in yin yoga are as follows;
Thanks to the yoga positions above, you can perform Yin yoga. In order to perform Yin yoga, you must first prepare yourself for this yoga. Yin yoga helps you in awakening your energy channels, opening chakras, and balancing the body. Yin yoga positions have various effects on the soul, body, and mind. To benefit from these effects, you need to focus on yoga. Apart from that, it is extremely important to have the correct posture while doing yoga movements.
Yin yoga positions are different, and each position helps you exercise a different part of the body. By doing these yoga positions correctly, you can get efficiency from the positions. Yin yoga helps you to awaken your energy channels and release the energy flow. Apart from that, you can open your chakras thanks to this yoga. Yin yoga positions and practices are as follows;
Dragon: This position helps your hips to work. The dragon position is a position that has different varieties. This position also includes lizard and classic warrior dragon positions. While performing this position, you can work on one stance or try all the dragon positions. You have the right to spend 1 minute or 5 minutes in each position.
Swan: One of the Hamsasana positions, the swan pose is compared to the traditional one-legged pigeon pose in yoga poses. One leg must be bent to be able to perform an upright swan position. For the position, you should lean against the back of your leg that is firmly on the ground with your bent leg. Your torso should stand completely upright, and your head should stand upright like your torso. After doing this, the swan pose is realized.
Butterfly: You need to join the heels of your feet in order to perform the butterfly position. Then you should stretch your body on your feet. In this position, your spine should be stretched and your head lowered. When leaving this position, you should not suddenly withdraw yourself. In order not to hurt your muscles, you can come out of the butterfly position by pulling back slowly.
Yin yoga classes relax the human body. By practicing yoga, you can rest your soul and mind as well as your body. Unlike other yoga, Yin yoga includes different positions that you can perform sitting or lying on the mat. Yin yoga positions help you relax and feel better. You should seek help from your instructor while performing the Yin yoga position. Yin yoga positions help balance your energy and open your chakra. That’s why you need to perform Yin yoga movements correctly. If you choose the wrong posture while performing these movements, you will not get the efficiency you expect from yoga.
While preparing for the Yin yoga class, you can listen to music that will make you feel comfortable or smell the scents that you like and that make you relax. This way, you will feel more concentrated and ready for the lesson. You need to work on Yin yoga postures in order to actively work your muscles and get efficiency from yoga movements. By doing these postures correctly, you can prepare for a yoga class. It is very important to perform the postures correctly during the yoga class. While performing your postures, your mind should be completely focused on the movements.
Focus and concentration are among the most important rules of yoga. You can use the fragrance of incense to prepare by focusing on Yin yoga class. Incense helps you focus fully. Yin yoga has many different effects on the human psyche, body, and mind. In order to benefit from these effects of yin yoga, you must first perform the positions correctly. Yin yoga is among the most preferred yoga types due to its relaxing and calming effects. Yin yoga has different effects on the human soul and body. In order to see all the effects of yoga, you must first perform it correctly. Yin yoga effects are as follows;
- It calms.
- It stimulates your energy channels.
- It helps you focus and concentrate.
- It reduces the stress level.
- It prevents the body from aging.
- It tightens the body.
- It restores the balance of the body.
- It has a restorative and soothing effect.
- Increases body endurance.
- It helps the purification of the soul.
- It rests the soul.
- It helps you find peace of mind.
Yin yoga is a very useful yoga practice. The benefits of yin yoga to the human body and mind are as follows;
- It prevents your anxiety.
- It helps your nerve center to work properly.
- It relaxes your pelvic area.
- It strengthens your spine and reduces its pain.
- It helps to increase your body endurance.
- It provides protection of joints.
- It lowers your stress.
- It balances the energy flowing in the body.
- It helps to increase your practice by doing yoga.
The above items are the benefits of Yin yoga for body and soul. You can start practicing this yoga to enjoy the benefits of yin yoga. By practicing Yin yoga, you can improve your body, mind, and spirit in a positive way.
The Most Flexible Gift You Can Give to Your Body: Yin Yoga
Yin Yoga is the best gift you can give yourself, your body, mind, and soul by standing in the running of life. Yin Yoga is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. We are not just physical bodies. Everybody has female and masculine energies and channels. We exist from the combination of female and masculine energy, from the whole. The feminine energy is Yin and the masculine energy is Yang. Yang is the muscles in our body, while Yin is the deeper connective tissue. So what are the benefits of Yin Yoga?
- Basically, the application targeting the connective tissues around the upper legs, hips, and spine; It is especially beneficial for joints, waist, and spine health.
- Yin Yoga balances all the “yang” yoga styles in a physical and energetic sense, and any active physical activity we do by using our muscles.
- The connective tissue work done by staying in poses for a long time in Yin Yoga is actually a work on our energy body and provides a healing, therapy-oriented effect on the body.
- Long stays in the different poses we use in Yin Yoga practice stimulate the meridians. Meridians; They are the lines that we often hear the name of, “acupuncture” points follow one after another, invisible to the eye and present under the skin, carrying energy to different directions, it is the map of our body.
- It is good for joint problems and the general health of the body by stretching our joints. It balances our energy by stimulating the energy channels in our body and brings back the missing energy.
- It is the needleless version of acupuncture. It calms the mind. It prevents deformation and shortening of connective tissue. It is good against cellulite. It increases our ability to move. Regular Yin Yoga protects the body against illness. It improves psychological situations such as fear, anxiety, anger, sadness, discouragement, lack of self-confidence, aggression, communication, and relationship problems.
Yin Yoga is a style of Hatha Yoga. Generally, the poses are left for 3-5 minutes. It is a suitable study for all ages. There are 26-30 Yin poses that are used frequently. Some of them:
This pose stretches the hamstring (the name of the muscle group on the back of our upper legs) to which your muscles are attached and that extend along the spine. It simultaneously stimulates the bladder – liver and kidney meridians.
This pose is a very good hip opener. In the version we made by leaning forward, it has the effect of reducing the pressure in the lower spine. It stimulates the liver – kidney and gall bladder meridians.
This pose deeply opens the sacral and lumbar regions. It supports the opening of the ankles, while stretching the hip flexors, it also opens the shoulders at the same time. The hunched back is a great posture for injured shoulders. The bladder – kidney – stomach – spleen – heart, and lung meridian are stimulated in this pose. If your head falls back, the thyroid is also stimulated.
This pose is one of the poses that rest the spine deeply. It relaxes the heart, provides more blood flow to the head, empties the lungs, and exerts a massage effect by pressing on the internal organs. Bladder lines are stimulated.
This pose takes stress off the spine and balances the nervous system. Pulling the knees more towards the heart is good for sciatica. It massages the organs in the abdominal area and cures gastritis. It stimulates the bladder meridian, if the arm extends beyond the top of the head, the heart – lungs – small and large intestine meridians are also stimulated. When the full-twisting is done, the stomach and gall bladder meridians are also stimulated.
The Relationship Between Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga
Restorative Yoga is a practice for students who are injured, stressed or sick, who need a very gentle exercise, and who want to regain the quality of life they previously had but now lost. It involves the use of auxiliary materials (sometimes using a lot of materials) to make the body feel fully supported, to relax and release the body; These soft poses are left for a long time, the poses are mostly chosen for certain problems and for deep mental and visceral relaxation.
This may sound very “Yin-like” compared to the “Yang-like” hatha yoga practices filled with dynamic movements, muscle coordination, active breathing exercises, and uplifting music. And Restorative Yoga is “Yin” from this perspective, but is this Yin Yoga? Yin Yoga, a yoga-style popularized by Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers, was not planned as Restorative Yoga: It consists of long-lasting, static stress poses to reshape deep connective tissues. This may include aids, prolonged movement, and mindfulness reduction, but it is not intended to heal impaired bodies in the same way as Restorative Yoga.
Nowadays, all Hatha yogas can help heal damaged bodies. We can think of the main purpose of Yin Yoga as maintaining and improving our current state of health at optimal levels. In short, which is always dangerous to make short dogmatic descriptions, but here comes one, Restorative Yoga takes an unhealthy body (hopefully) back to normal, while Yin Yoga takes a normal healthy body and brings it to the optimum. As you can see – it’s a matter of level. When the intention of practicing yoga is to gain optimal health, there is a question to ask about the extent of the stress we are subjecting the body to. The answer lies in Goldilocks’ curve: if too little stress is applied, the tissues will blunt.
If too much stress is applied, tissues will degenerate. Some students’ intention is optimal performance rather than optimal health: They will want to push the poses to their emotional and physical limits. This may be true for dancers, gymnasts, and athletes whose professions require maximum performance, but they must be aware that their choice comes at a price: maximum performance is achieved at the expense of optimal health. Talk to any retired dancer, gymnast, or athlete and you’ll see how damaged their bodies are.
All tissues need stress! This fact is what confuses the discussion of using yoga as therapy. A student with lumbar spine osteoporosis may have been told not to put any stress on the lower back to avoid breaking his spine. This advice is given with the best intentions of course, but it may not be the best advice, because if no stress is placed on the spine, the tissues will continue to be atrophied. But it is clear that too much stress will also degenerate bones and lead to worse problems. So what to do? In such cases, the best thing to do is to recall the Goldilocks curve that tapers to the left.
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