Wicklow Yoga’s yin yoga classes will allow you rest, relax and release as you connect to your centre, breath deeply, surrender and sink into stillness. They require nothing more from you than your own peace and quiet.
Yin yoga is all about being mindful, slowing down, connecting with your breath and stretching for long periods of time, allowing participant to release tension and move deeply into poses. Yin yoga is a passive form of yoga (rather than dynamic or yang), it challenges you to find peace in what may be a slightly uncomfortable position as your encouraged to work with your edge (stress), soften and hold that position for 3 to 5 minutes, or even longer for some poses. Mostly on the floor, the postures require you to relax the muscles and let go. As you begin to shift your perspective away from the muscles and focus deeper into the bones and energy flows, or meridians, you begin to discover a deeper aspect of yourself.
“The quiter you become, the more you can hear”
Why practice yin yoga?
Yin yoga gives you the opportunity to increase or maintain flexibility as it focuses on the areas around the joints. You’ll immediately notice your hips open, muscles relax and a major mind detox. Over time, yin yoga will lubricate joints, release the fascia of the body, increase flexibility and positively affect your yang practice.
Yin yoga also has a meditative aspect, requiring one to stay connected with the breath while observing the subtle energetic shifts within the body without judgement. As you rest in each pose with acceptance you begin to learn to feel how the slightest, most subtle shift in the body can change and deepen the pose completely. On a deeper level you learn how to sit and work through emotions that may be triggered, even releasing long held suppressed emotions on a cellular level.
Yin yoga teaches you how to feel, whether this is physically, mentally, emotionally or energetically. You learn how to sit with what arises. The idea with yin yoga is to make enough effort to be connected with each pose but in a non aggressive manor so not to aggravate your prana (energy) and block your flow. Yin yoga has a truly nourishing effect on your whole body cultivating a powerful inner awareness.
Our yin yoga classes
Our yin yoga classes run each week. If you are searching for peace where you can focus on your inner world and your breath, these classes may appeal to you. They bring balance to a busy, stressful life. Our yoga studio is a sanctuary away from the noise, set on 120 acres of woodland near Wicklow Town.
When we are feeling good about ourselves and have a positive energy flowing we tend to be healthier and our body systems work at their optimum. Yin yoga encourages the mind to relax and aids in meditation.
Meditation affects the body in exactly the opposite way that stress does. By practicing meditation on a regular basis we learn to slow the heart rate and breathing which in itself introduces a feeling of calm and relaxation.
When we experience stress, our bodies automatically react. This is best shown in the classic “fight or flight” response. In some cases of extreme danger, this physical response is helpful. However, a prolonged state of such agitation can cause physical damage to every part of the body. Even low levels of stress place a surprisingly high level of damage over time.
Meditation practice aids sleep, a vital function for our well being. It also improves concentration and heals on a spiritual, mental and physical level.
Regular meditation can enable us to become more confident and self aware. In practice this means that people with who regularly meditate tend to be better at recognising stressors and are able to deal with them when they occur.
We can’t avoid stress in our lives, but we can make stress less stressful for ourselves.
“The sun shines down, and its image reflects in a thousand different pots filled with water. The reflections are many, but they are each reflecting the same sun. Similarly, when we come to know who we truly are, we will see ourselves in all people”
Releasing deeply held tension for better health.
Fascia is made up of densely-packed collagen fibers that wrap around each cell in your body. These fibers interweave through the muscles, organs, bones, nerves, arteries, veins and blood vessels.
When your fascia is tight or inflamed it can cause a great deal of suffering and pain. When the fascia is damaged you may suffer from any number of symptoms, including headaches, muscle pain, lower back pain, immobility, neck and back pain, general lack of flexibility, and poor posture. In addition, any type of intense exercise and physical training, such as athletes, cyclists, runners, swimmers, ruby and football players can damage or tighten the fascia, due to repetitive movements, injury, incorrect posture and inflammation. Another cause would be prolonged sitting or standing and a lack of stretching the body out. When the fascia thickens it looses it’s elasticity, this is when damage and blockages occur, resulting in diminished range of motion and mobility, causing excessive collagen deposition that leads to fibrosis or adhesion’s between the tissues,
Of course, trauma can also be a trigger to the unhealthy fascia, whether this is a form of physical trauma, such as falls, injuries and surgery, or emotional trauma, including anxiety, fear, depression and anger. When the fascia is damaged, it is reflected in how we feel on an emotional and physical level. Everything we experience can take up residence in the fascia.
When the fascia is healthy, it has a gel-like consistency and is smooth and supple. The fascia works better and feels better when it’s properly hydrated. stretching re-hydrates the connective tissue and gets fluid moving into your fascia. The benefits of myofascial release include less pain, better posture, deeper breathing, increased energy, improved flexibility, coordination and healthy emotions. Working with the fascia helps to re-hydrate the connective tissue and muscles. In fact, every cell in your body relies on it’s proper functioning, for keeping the tissues strong, elastic, and resilient both for working with injuries and helping to prevent them.
The benefits of a gentle, slow yin yoga practice.
Every posture in yin yoga targets the fascia. This means that when you’re holding gentle yoga stretches, you’re actually working on your cells and over time can slowly begin adjust the way your genes function. Yin yoga is a slow and subtle practice. And yet, as with all styles of yoga, it also works to target the subtle energy channels within the body. Therefore, has a profound effects on the meridians, in the same way as acupuncture, acupressure, shiatsu and gentle massage. Energy meridians reside in the fascia. This means regularly working on the energy flow of the meridians and our fascia, we can stimulate change, increase and free up the energy flow in the physical, mental, emotional and energetic levels of the body (Koshas).
As we hold yin yoga poses, and gentle stretch for 3 – 5 minutes, we begin to open the energetic channels to allow the flow of ‘life force’ (prana – Chi) in. As we apply pressure, awareness and actively relax into these longer holds, we open up and stimulate the meridians. Prolong holding of yoga poses will shift and effect change on the subtle Pranic level within.
It takes time for the body to really relax, and we can’t target the fascia if the body isn’t relaxed. It can at times be very intense, as we ride the waves of the busy mind and deep emotions that can sometime be released. The longer we stay in a pose, the deeper we can go into the subtle body, beyond what is known as “superficial” fascia and into the deep fascia.
Yin yoga is wonderful in helping relieve stress, anxiety, depression and tension from the mind and body, its a therapy class that will leave you feeling light, calm, grounded, well rested and happy. A meditative practice, where you ‘tune in’ and become aware of the subtle, energetic and emotional shifts. Basically, your fascia is important to every move you make.
Try an Epsom salts bath after class, this will help to release and detox any deeply held tension.