Monday, April 15, 2013

The Ultimate Yogi - Yin Yoga

When I slipped this DVD into my TV I thought to myself, "I wonder what Yin Yoga is." I seen the word before and I know I've heard of it, but I never really took the time to investigate what it's all about. I was quite pleased when the very first thing that Travis said during the intro was, "What is Yin Yoga?" and then he went ahead and explained it. It's like he was reading my mind.

So what is it? Yin Yoga is literally the fountain of youth. It targets the connective tissues, ligaments, and joints of the body. Most importantly it accesses the hyaluronan which is distributed amongst the connective tissue of the body. It is a scientific fact that the more hyularonan a person has the more supple they are and the less inflammation they are subjected to. This is supposed to be the perfect complement to all the other physically dynamic styles of yoga. It's really nothing more than holding stretches for long periods of time challenges. The longer you hold, the deeper you heal, and the better you are supposed to feel.

The entire session was performed while either sitting or laying on our yoga mats and although it looked simply if you were just watching it, it was incredibly challenging to hold each stretch for either 3 or 5 minutes. That is like an eternity if you're not very flexible and each stretch feels like a pulling burn. I can't even believe that I made it all the way through. There was only one stretch that I had to give up and take a break. It was a seated stretch with legs straight out in front. We had to just fold over and grab our feet (preferably forehead to knees, but I'm not quite there yet). This was supposed to be a 5 minute hold and I got about 2 minutes into it before I decided that I MUST get a sweat shirt right then and there. It was really just a cheap excuse to get up and take a break. I slowly walked to my bedroom, got my sweatshirt on and came back to my mat to finish the stretch . . . and still it was too long. Come to find out, Travis got a bit carried away and held the stretch for a total of 7 minutes. Boy am I glad that I'm on to that now and I will not even attempt to complete that stretch the next time around.

This was a very different experience for me as I never ever held any stretches for this long. The best part about it was listening to all the fascinating things that Travis talked about. He explained the importance of these deep tissue stretches and it all made so much sense. It gave me hope that just maybe this sort of practice would help me with my chronic tight neck and pinching nerve issues. He also stated that it would "take us to a different dimension" and I think he was right. I found it truly amazing how clear my usually always busy mind became. During these poses I felt so relaxed and tired. If I could have gotten more comfortable in these stretches I could have fallen asleep. That last Savasana was like no other in my life and last night I sleep like a rock and woke up this morning with the brightest eyes and tightest skin I've had in a long time. I'm looking forward to this experience again.

1 comment:

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