Yin yoga is slow, steady, stationary and focuses on surrendering to gravity with lots of floor poses. Yang yoga is mobile, it builds strength and it requires more muscular effort. There is no such thing as purely yin or purely yang, as each has elements of the other in them. In this class we are going to begin with 30 minutes of yin yoga while our muscles are cool so we can focus on our joints and bones, and then we will switch to 30 minutes of yang yoga and warm our muscles up.
From about our early thirties on, we enter into a more yin phase of our life and our tissues begin to dry up. The synovial fluid in our joints begins to lose its slipperiness. Joints cannot be enhanced in the same way as muscles. Since the most common injuries are in the hips knees, spine and shoulders - in other words the joints it is good to have an appropriate way to attend to them.
Joints do not respond to movement in the same way as muscles. The ligaments that connect the ends of bones together in order to form a joint are composed of dense fibrous tissue. This tissue contains only 6% fluid. These dense tissues or ligaments are not elastic.
Joints (ligaments) harden through injury or lack of use. This dense connective tissue, shrink wraps itself around the bone. Yin yoga helps to prevent joint rigidity and immobility. In order to nourish the joints we must be still, muscularly soft and let gravity have us. As soon as we move, the chi flows into the muscles.
Muscles are yang in nature and respond to rhythmic movement. Rhythmic movement increases the muscles fluid content and makes them more agile and strong. Did you know that muscles have 75% fluid content and that goes up to 90% fluid content with vigorous exercise.
Contracting and releasing your muscle combined with rest stimulates your body’s repair response. Your body responds by sending increased blood supply which carries nutrients to the stressed area.
Stimulating Yang chi moves the blood to an area which causes the area to become thicker, more mobile and easier to use.