What is Yin Yoga?
A Yang yoga practice, like Vinyasa, physically targets the muscles, while a Yin yoga practice targets the body’s deep connective tissues – the bones, ligaments, joints, and fascia. A Yin class usually consists of a series of passive floor poses held for up to 5 minutes or more. These poses mainly work the lower body – the hips, pelvis, inner thighs, and lower spine, especially rich in connective tissues.
What is Yoga Nidra?
Yoga Nidra is the ultimate relaxation technique for releasing stress and tension held in your body. It is also referred to as yogic sleep.
What are the Health Benefits of Yin Yoga and Yoga Nidra?
- Calms and balances the mind and body
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Increases circulation
- Improves flexibility
- Releases fascia and improves joint mobility
- Gives your body the opportunity to heal
- Helps heal trauma
- Reduce chronic pain
- Improves sleep and reduces insomnia
- Balances the internal organs and improves the flow of chi or prana
Who is Yin Yoga and Yoga Nidra for?
Are you tired and craving energy? Or are you over-stimulated and have too much energy? Are you suffering from chronic pain? Are you stressed or anxious?
Then this practice is for you!
In a world where stimuli come at us constantly, our minds are constantly busy processing all the information that’s thrown at us. Whether the information is useful or not, it doesn’t matter; the mind is still bombarded by it and needs to do something with it. Eventually, we get used to that stimulus level and start to crave it if things become quiet–and we constantly try to fill the holes with whatever we can, which keeps the mind in constant motion.
Yoga Nidra holds immense benefits for all those who struggle to let go and suffer from lack of sleep, trauma, burnout, and anxiety. It is also highly beneficial and holds great healing power for anyone who wants to experience a deeper sense of peace and reconnect more profoundly with themselves.
How does Yin Yoga and Yoga Nidra work on the Body?
Yin yoga works on the yin tissues – also known as the connective tissues. Connective tissue responds best to a slow, steady weight, which is why we hold the poses for longer. If you gently stretch connective tissue by holding a yin pose for a long time, the body will respond by making it a little longer and stronger – which is precisely what you want!
Different yin yoga poses stimulate and remove blockages in the myofascial meridians in the body, which in turn balances the body’s internal organs and systems. Yin yoga requires the muscles to relax around the connective tissue to get a good stretch.
20 minutes of Yoga Nidra is equivalent to one hour of sleep. Since sleep is vital to our health and well-being, poor sleep and insomnia can lead to more than just irritability and bags under your eyes. Yoga Nidra is a good way to supplement your sleep if you’re not sleeping well at night.
The practice of Yoga Nidra shifts the balance of the autonomic nervous system toward the parasympathetic nervous system, which governs our relaxation response.
How does Yin Yoga and Yoga Nidra help the Mind?
Becoming still in a pose and staying for a while creates those holes mentioned earlier. Keeping the holes empty creates space for anything that wants to come up. This could be anxiety, happiness, sadness, boredom…any emotion or feeling you suppress with the constant motion. Yin yoga gives you the time and space to allow emotions, thoughts, and feelings you have kept in the shadows to surface.
Generally speaking, during this class, you will be encouraged to allow all those feelings to be there but not to identify with them—to observe but not get caught up in them. It costs the body a lot of energy to suppress things, so the release you feel from letting it all come out can be just as big.
Jen Leary will lead Yin Yoga during our May Community Class on Saturdays from 11a-12p.