Firstly, we’re going to point out that you’re probably not “lazy.” Tons of factors could be causing you to feel tired, overworked, and unable to give your energy to traditional exercise (which you know is important, or you wouldn’t be reading this).
Also, our bodies are designed to conserve energy because, in the past, we never knew when the next famine would come about. We had to work much harder for our food back then (and everything else, too), so energy conservation was important.
Now that we’ve squashed any sort of “self resentment” that may have been present and pointed out that we’re going to be kind to ourselves allow me to introduce you to Yin Yoga.
Yoga has become widely seen as an exercise, and a rather aggressive and difficult one, most people who have tried it will tell you. That’s the more active “Yang” yoga, which has become the more prominent style in our active-over-passive-focused society.
Its gentle counterpart, also known as Restorative yoga, is a calming experience done mostly sitting and/or lying down. Great for all walks of life and nothing at all to be afraid of.
The Mechanisms of Yin Yoga
Yin yoga invites balance into our active lives. Whereas most picture exercise as running, lifting weights, push-ups, and the like, yin yoga invites us to explore the slower-paced side of exercise in the form of gentle stretching, balances, and calisthenics.
Most of the focus is placed on stretching, releasing the tension, and listening to your body. Each pose is held for 2-5 minutes, allowing your body to relax into the stretch completely. When we first go into these stretches, our body tenses in an effort to protect us. It takes 2-5 minutes for our body to realize we’re not, in fact, in danger and that it’s okay to relax.
You’ll find a focus on alignment, technique, and meditation in these classes. It’s slower-paced so that your body and mind can analyze each pose and find a union of benefits to each. Yin yoga is a personal practice where you’ll be encouraged again and again to be sure you’re listening to your body and what it needs. Sometimes it’ll tell you that you need to move out of a relaxing, lying down pose and into plank to bring some energy and strength to your arms. Follow it.
The Benefits of Yin Yoga
Restorative yoga isn’t only a great way to get started exercising if you have no desire to do so. Its benefits are vast and range from aiding in chronic physical ailments to learning how to cope with anxiety, stress, and even trauma.
Other benefits of this gentle exercise include:
- Improved sleep
- Pain reduction
- Enhanced healing
- Mood improvement
- Increased mobility
- Relaxes the mind and body
- Soothes the nervous system
- Improves flexibility
Also, since it’s a gentle, mostly seated practice, it’s safe for all people, ages, and types. The elderly can enjoy it alongside pregnant people and those with disabilities, illnesses, and more. Your instructor will have an arsenal of modifications they can provide if you need help adjusting to the pose.
It’s often practiced with pillows, blankets, and bolsters to help support the ligaments and joints so that true relaxation and release can occur. All in all, yin yoga is an exercise practice for everyone. Even producing little complaints from those who find “exercising” to be a drag.