Practicing Yin and/or Yang Yoga May be the Keys to Longevity
Did your know that sitting at a desk is 4 times more compressive on your back than standing? 80% of the western world suffers from chronic back pain at some point in their life. As we age, we lose hyaluronic acid and we literally become drier. The most hyaluronic acid (HA) is in the eye ball and then in the synovial fluid of the joints and then the connective tissues. Yin or Yang yoga is a wonderful exercise to stimulate the H.A. or chi (energy) in our bodies.
Our bodies are a combination of miracles, light and energy. However, our chi can change in an instant starting with our thoughts. In the universe, everything is complemented by an opposite. For instance, male and female must combine to reproduce and the synergy of dark and light creates night and day. But a more alchemical symbol for the synergistic combination of opposites is the yin-yang sign. In it, Light and Shadow fit together in a graceful curve-each containing a circle of the other within itself. Intertwined they form a perfect circle, which is the universal symbol of wholeness and infinity.
Therefore practicing yin and/or yang yoga is a step toward wholeness and learning about the infinite wisdom of our bodies. There are probably 100 different poses in yoga to stimulate the connective tissues or meridians in our body. And that is the whole point of doing yoga, to stimulate the H.A. or chi in our joints and keep our meridians and immune system healthy.
The benefits of either Yin or Yang yoga are tremendous and if you stretch your body in a safe environment, your tissues will regenerate. I was first introduced to yoga when just 16 years old and have loved it ever since. While in my 20’s, I noticed that if I didn’t practice yoga regularly, at least once a week, my lower back acted up due to stressful situations. This regularity has kept me virtually pain free.
The difference between Yin and Yang yoga is that Yin poses are gentle and long with sustaining holds, while Yang poses are aggressive, quick and repetitive. Both are mutually beneficial and should be practiced.
Yin Yoga stimulates and stretches the connective tissues in the body. Intended to complement the yang form of yoga, Yin yoga is done with the muscles relaxed and a pose is held for a long time. (5 minutes or more).Yin yoga actually stresses connective tissues and joints. Why stress the joints you might ask? Connective tissues are subjective to the same laws of exercise- they will atrophy if not used. When a gentle stress is applied, they will adapt and improve. Within limits, biology demands to be stressed or we will degenerate.
Yang Yoga on the other hand, stretches and strengthens the muscle tissue of the body and has rhythm. Yang yoga is movement and repetition, also brief and quicker, ex: sweating, huffing and puffing, running, swimming, etc.
Over the years, I’ve mostly studied Hatha and Inyengar yoga which is a combination of yin and yang poses. Yoga is especially helpful is easing sore and tired muscles, especially after moving a household, which I have done a lot. I am almost 60 years old now and yoga asanas are still part of my weekly routine. Therefore, I am a testament that yoga adds years of quality to your life as well as staying youthful looking.
Further studies on Yin and Yang Yoga with Paul Grilley- The Foundations of a Quiet Practice
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