How to be more flexible

Choose Stretching over Stressing!

Our goal in life is not to become perfect but to become whole. In fact, the etymology of the word health stems from the whole. Yoga is our passport to natural wholeness that balances Yin and Yang, Shiva and Shakthi and brings about harmony between both our sides.  

iyengar-yoga

All humans have a trajectory of ageing beginning with birth which is the most Yang part of life. Mobility and flexibility are associated with this stage of life and stability and strength is acquired in a different stage. As one ages, it is a natural consequence to acquire stiffness, rigidity with joints shrink wrapping. The lifestyle also aids the process of ageing.

Adoption of slow, holding exercises such as Yin Yoga, restorative Yoga or meditation helps in focusing on deeper connective tissues to bring a range of motion around hips, spine, joints and bones and a whole range of fascia and ligaments.

Yin Yoga is particularly useful for bodies beyond 30 years and when coupled with regular Yang classes can assist in bringing about composure, stillness to the mind that aids to destress focusing on functional Yoga over aesthetic Yoga.

In Yin Yoga practice, it is all about how one feels and never about how one looks in the Asana. As one learns to remains still and hold poses for longer duration, especially when the muscles are cold, the experience of being in the moment and the variations sensations actually produce long lasting benefit to the invisible parts of our bodies like the connecting tissues, ligaments and fascia.

We have seen that the Yin parts of our body do not get exercised by Yang practice. As our bodies tend to get stiffer and stiffer with age, adding Yin practice rekindles mobility in our joints and beings a range of motion. The Yin exercises can safely work the joints – it may be bit of a paradox that one needs Yin in our Yang tissues when young and vice versa when we age. Think of mobility when I mention Yang in the Yin tissues.

Wisdom is knowing what is needed to achieve wholeness at any particular time. But it is safe and prudent to incorporate a Yin routine along with your Yang set of practice and depending on one’s experience, increase each other to achieve that balance.

Namaste

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