This Sunday morning I’m going to start teaching a Yin Yoga class at Bermondsey Fayre near London Bridge station. The following is a conversation I had with YOU!
“What is Yin Yoga?”
Well I’m very pleased you asked that question as I was about to tell you. It’s a form of yoga that works on stretching the body’s connective tissue (ligaments) by holding postures for longer. We might hold a posture for anything up to 7 minutes.
“That sounds intense. Who’s it for?”
Anyone can do Yin but it’s ideal for people who already do some form of sport. Perhaps you enjoy going to the gym or you run or swim. You might already practice an energetic type of yoga such as Ashtanga, Power Yoga or Bikram.
“Why should I practice Yin?”
Because it works on a really deep level to open your body. It also can stop you getting injuries. Muscularly powerful people can become incapacitated because of joint problems. Bad backs, bad knees – these are the injuries that force sporty people to stop doing what they love and make elderly people shuffle about. Yin Yoga postures gently stretch the connective tissues that form our joints.
“I didn’t think you could stretch connective tissue.”
Oh little did you know! Moderately stretching the joints is good for you but it must be done in a Yin fashion – ie gently and over a period of time. Hence why we hold the postures for quite a few minutes.
Think about our teeth. You can’t exercise your teeth by wiggling them about as they won’t move. But if you wear a brace, gradually, over time, they move. This is like Yin and your flexibility will improve enormously. By surrendering to gravity, you can go deeper into poses. You relax your muscles and the release naturally happens.
I’ve taken this information from Paul Grilley. To find out more about him, visit www.paulgrilley.com.
Learn more about Yin Yoga by watching this video by Bernie Clark: