Often times, athletes or anyone with a strenuous workout routine can forget the importance of body restoration and yin yoga after a workout. Although we are doing our bodies 100% good while we work out, we will not truly feel great until we have met the balance with yin yoga. I want to talk a little about the yin and the yang side of a workout, what specifically yin yoga is, and how it helps the body.
The symbol of the yin and yang is familiar to all as the representation of having balance in anything we do. One cannot exist in harmony without the other, it would be incomplete. If we look at our entire workout session from warm up to cool down as the yang side, we must balance with the yin. It is not enough to just “cool down” with a walk or a quick stretch. This is where yin yoga becomes key to achieving a better overall feeling in the body. We have begun incorporating yin yoga poses into our Active Care at Absolute Health Chiropractic to help patients maintain their adjustments and continue to improve their performance in their regular workout routines.
So, what is yin yoga? Yin is the style of yoga that disengages the muscles and gets into the tendons and ligaments to help them lengthen and strengthen. In yin yoga we hold poses, mostly seated, for long periods of time, over 3 minutes. It can often feel slightly uncomfortable at first as our muscles naturally want to engage and protect the vulnerable tendons and ligaments but this is part of the practice, learning to let the new sensations be ok. Yin trains the body and the mind. There are a few pictures at the end of this blog showing some of the yin poses that we have incorporated into Active Care sessions. Props may be used to allow the muscles to disengage fully. Yin yoga allows you to be still and quiet in your body and your mind which makes it quite meditative. You may notice sporadic moments of anxiety or irritations as you hold your body in yin poses. It is normal! It’s the years of stress and tension held tight in the tendons and ligaments. After a yin yoga class there may be a small period of time in which you feel a little stiff but it is followed by a wave of energy and looseness. Yin yoga has many benefits including overall looser body, ease of movement, better yang workouts (your usual cardio or strength routine), stress relief, pain relief, and more. Remember to give yin yoga a chance. Keep that yin and yang in balance as you are training and you will notice a world of difference!
Supported Bridge Butterfly Pigeon Pose