yin yoga: the key to flexibility

 

Start your Valentine’s weekend feeling light, free and body-happy with the magical remedy of Yin yoga with Natasha

A few years ago, I was at a place where my challenging Vinyasa yoga practice no longer seemed to be working wonders for my tight shoulders and tight hamstrings. Instead, and to my disappointment, it seemed to be causing even more tension within my body. I’d savour the feeling of lengthening my muscles in class, especially my tight hamstrings in downward-facing dog, but that sense of freedom didn’t last outside of the studio. The next day I would feel tighter than before – it felt as if my body was calling out for a different routine and experience.

Then I discovered Yin yoga and it allowed me to feel freedom within my body again; the complete surrender and relaxation of the practice actually strengthened my Vinyasa practice when I did return to it, as it’s amazing for flexibility and increasing your range of motion in a safe way.

Tight fascia = tight body
Studies have shown that it is not just tight muscles but rather the fascia of the body that affects our flexibility and range of motion. 41% of flexibility is down to the muscles and 47% of our mobility actually comes from the connective tissues, which comprises of our joint capsules, cartilage and ligaments. And 30% of the muscles themselves are fascia! So fascia is the key to flexibility.

Adhesions and injury also limit our range of movement and Yin yoga is amazing for rehabilitating the joints and tissues after a lack of movement due to injury.

Now let me tell you more about ‘the fuzz’. . .
Every day our body produces collagen where little cells called Fibroblasts produce a protein that creates the extracellular matrix of the body. The ligaments and the fascia of the body are made from this collagen. The body produces this ‘fuzz’ everyday and this is the same material that also creates scar tissue that can limit our range of motion if it is left to build and is not broken down within tight areas of the body.

We need to mobilise our body in order to break down the collagen that is being produced as if we don’t move for a long while, more and more collagen gets produced and added on top in layers. Your body gets tight and you assume that it’s only your shortened muscles that limit your range of motion, but it’s really the fascial matrix of your body.

The Yin yoga remedy
Yin Yoga can help as through long-held deep stretches, it accesses deep fascial tension whilst keeping the joints juicy and the body well hydrated so that the surface of the muscles can easily slide across one another, preventing the build up of ‘fuzz’. Consequently a long-term Yin yoga practice will allow you to feel light in your body with long-lasting positive effects on your nervous system.

Due to the conscious relaxation in Yin Yoga, we learn to get happy and comfortable within our discomfort and tightness. Once you consciously allow yourself to relax, your body starts to open – it’s just the commitment to relaxation that is hard to make sometimes! Yin yoga has taught me just how much strength and courage is needed to fully let go. To surrender.

Join Natasha this Friday in Chelsea for her workshop…
magical yin yoga for the meridian lines: a relaxing yin yoga practice + yoga sleep relaxation
Friday 13 February, 7.30 – 9.30pm, £25

Click here for details and to book.

 

Having worked in the corporate world since leaving University Natasha felt the need to reevaluate her career path, to follow her heart and her love of Yoga, so she undertook her first teacher training in India at the Yoga Vidya Gurukul ashram, where she was first introduced to the Yogic way of life and Yoga Nidra. Following India, Natasha has dived deep into Vinyasa Yoga, Hot Yoga, Yin Yoga and Yoga Nidra. Natasha’s classes aim to create a playful and open space for you, the student, to go deeper into your practice and your own experience. Natasha conducts one-to-one sessions with a wide range of successful clientele and has a successful Yoga Nidra online download for relaxation. Natasha loves the power of Yoga it’s ability to transform her students into their true, happy and peaceful selves. http://www.natashakerryyoga.com/

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