Benefits of Yin Yoga
Of the years that I have been practicing yoga, the style that has seemed to resonate with me most is Yin. I’ve developed a deep appreciation for this practice due to the physical benefits I have seen stem from it. When I was first introduced to Yin, I remember thinking “How hard can stretching be?” Once I began practicing it, I had no idea of the layers of stretch that the body can reach and how the breath guides the body in going deeper into the stretch. I guess I had never really put much thought into it prior. It was definitely more challenging than I originally thought.
Although Yin is a primarily seated, passive practice, it is not easy and takes discipline. Yin requires you to hold poses for 5 to 20 minutes, which is challenging, but also creates an intimate, meditative practice with the self. By holding stretches for longer periods, you work the connective tissues in the body, which allows an increase in blood flow. This increase in blood flow to the connective tissues creates an energizing effect on the body.
Another interesting benefit of practicing Yin Yoga is that through holding Yin poses, you stimulate hyaluronic acid in the body, which increases the lubrication around your joints. Our skin cells produce hyaluronic acid to maintain moisture. So many say that by practicing Yin, you are naturally increasing the levels of hyaluronic acid in your body. Interesting stuff!
There are many wonderful resources around to learn more about Yin Yoga, but first I recommend visiting Esther Ekhart’s website www.ekhartyoga.com She is an amazing yoga practitioner and teacher and has some wonderful resources regarding the practice.
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