How can Yin yoga benefit your other training practices?
Yin yoga may seem like the quiet, mysterious cousin of popular Pilates, but dear friends – don’t underestimate this beautiful practice. If you’re yet to explore the luxury of Yin, we promise you’re in for a real treat. Not only will Yin invite you into deeper states of flexibility and relaxation – but it can also support other types of training – from Pilates to running and everything in between.
So, what is Yin yoga?
Yin yoga is a slow-paced practice that focuses on holding (mostly floor-based) poses for an extended period – usually three to five minutes. This allows the body’s deeper connective tissues to begin to stretch and release.
When we practice more Yang-style activities (which is, let’s be honest, what we dedicate most of our training time to) we influence the muscles, but in Yin – we go deep. Unlike other types of exercise that can feel competitive or intimidating, Yin yoga is a welcoming and inclusive practice that encourages you to honour your body’s limitations and respect your boundaries.
Both physically and philosophically, Yin yoga is designed to bring about stillness and surrender. Based on the philosophies of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the practice works with the physical and emotional body to help you release and let go.
How Yin yoga can complement other training and exercise
Yin yoga can benefit many other types of more dynamic training – like Pilates, running, and even golf and tennis.
Pilates is a beautiful practice for building core strength, improving posture and enhancing flexibility. However, it can sometimes be high-intensity, and that’s going to leave your muscles feeling tight and sore at times. Yin yoga can support your Pilates practice by helping to release muscle tension and tightness and improve your range of motion – especially in your hips, lower back, and hamstrings – which we tend to work in Pilates.
We don’t have to tell you that running is high-intensity. While it’s great for building up physical strength and fitness and can help to slow a busy mind, it can cause muscle stiffness and joint pain – especially in your hips, lower back, and calves. Many Yin yoga poses focus on stretching and lengthening these areas – allowing you to run with more ease and less discomfort.
Golf & Tennis:
Golf and tennis require a lot of rotation and lateral movement, which can put strain on your joints – especially your hips, knees, and ankles. When we work with the body’s deeper connective tissues, we help to lubricate the joints – which helps to protect them, especially as we age. Yin yoga’s focus on flexibility can also support your swing or serve.
The physical benefits of Yin yoga are just the tip of the iceberg (in a good way!). Through cultivating mindfulness and relaxation, you will find it easier to recover and avoid injuries. The patience and mental focus developed in the practice are essential skills for many other exercises and sports. And Yin yoga’s invitation to turn inwards and develop strategies to respond to stress in a healthy way can support your overall wellbeing – which can’t hurt, right?
Have we convinced you yet? Check out the timetable to save your space in our next Yin class.
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