Inner Reflections
June 12, 2023

Aging Gracefully with Yin Yoga

Starting from the age of 20, your flexibility and range of motion decreases by 10% each decade unless you have a stretching routine like yin yoga.

Here are some of the important benefits of flexibility:
– Improved balance and stability
– Better posture
– Smoother gait
– Elevated physical performance
– Reduced pain
– Reduced inflammation in the connective tissue
– May even reduce risk of cancer and tumor growth

There are various classifications of stretching we can use to improve our flexibility which include Dynamic, Ballistic, PNF and Static. Let’s take a quick a look at each of these.

 1) Dynamic
Dynamic stretching is when we move the body dynamically and the momentum of the body is controlled. Power yoga or other forms of flow are an example of dynamic stretching.

 2) Ballistic
In Ballistic stretching there is less control of body momentum. Think of an Olympic swimmer or boxer swinging and shaking their limbs before a competition.

 3) Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)
This is a type of stretching often done with equipment and sometimes with a trainer where you oscillate between active and passive release. Stretch studios are opening around the world and offering this kind of facilitated stretching.

 4) Static
In static stretching there is little momentum and movement. The stretch is held for a longer duration. Passive stretching involves relaxing into the stretch. 

Research from the International Journal of Sports Medicine stated all the above forms of stretching are effective but static reigns supreme when it comes to improving long term flexibility. Guess what yin yoga is? That’s right, it’s a form of static stretching.

With a consistent stretching routine it’s possible to improve your flexibility by 20% or more!

What is Yin Yoga?

Yin yoga is a practice where one holds a passive stretch for approximately 3-5 minutes as a way to promote healthy connective tissues and balance the nervous system.

Now more than ever, people need yin yoga to balance the fast pace of modern life. Moving at such a hurried and frenetic pace can lead to high levels of stress, illness and burnout. At some point you have to ease your foot off the gas pedal and let the engine idle, or better yet — switch the engine completely off.

Yin yoga provides us the much-needed space to slow down, to go within, and to go deep physically and mentally. Some cultures call this the sacred pause. It is within the sacred pause, or moment of stillness, that we come back to our inner most essence. By dropping into this stillness, we find our center. When we are centered, things don’t throw us out of balance so easily. We find we are able to move through the world, even in all of its challenges, with more grace, steadiness, and nobility.

I often call yin yoga ‘the fountain of youth.’

As people grow older, their bodies lose flexibility, tension increases, circulation is inhibited, and tissues begin to atrophy and deteriorate. Yin yoga can stop or even reverse this process, thereby slowing the aging process. In yin yoga, we activate the deeper connective tissues through long, slow stretching by exerting positive pressure on them. This sets into motion a chain of events in which the body produces the collagen and elastin fibers of the connective tissues, making them stronger and more durable.

By practicing yin yoga, we are supporting health throughout the connective tissues which are like the scaffolding of the body, and we balance the nervous system to ensure we minimize harmful stress and age with grace.

Make sure you check out our newest Yin & Restorative Training coming this Thursday exclusively to Inner Dimension Academy!

By Travis