What is Yin Yoga? Yoga for Every Athlete

The most important missing piece from most training plans: patience.

And it’s not only missing from our training, but also most aspect of our lives. We hate to wait, and that’s why this video is under two minutes.

For those wondering what “yin yoga” is and why it might be important, this brief video will give you a small beginning to your questions.

In my opinion, yin yoga is the ultimate off day training option for athletes, whether in-season or out of season. It makes perfect sense as a complement to vigorous, high intensity training because it approaches the body with complementary gentleness and patience.

Yin yoga puts the body in a pose and, instead of going as deep into that pose as possible for a short period of time, yin asks you to find the place where you just start to feel the pose and then hold it for a long time (at least 3 minutes).

This shallow and long stretch addresses the muscles to a degree and, more importantly, gives the more dense, plasticky, connective tissues in the body (in particular the fascia) time to slowly stretch and become more dynamic and adaptive.

Though often overlooked, the fascia is critically important to a high-functioning body because it encases every muscle in the body and ties the various systems of the body together in fabric-like network.

This raises the topic of “tensegrity” (a contraction of tension and integrity) which refers to the concept of individual areas of the body that connect to other areas of the body. Without going into too much detail, the principle of tensegrity in the human body supports the idea that movements, tightness, inflammation, and any other physical condition felt in one part of the body has a chain reaction and a direct connection to all other parts of the body in some way.

Put simply, when we’re tight in one area (say, the hamstrings) this tightness can lead to tightness and pain in other parts of the body (like the lower back).

Of course, some of the connection can be attributed to the muscles of the body, but the fascia also contribute greatly to the quality of tensegrity we experience (or miss out on) in the body.

This brief piece of writing only begins to scratch the surface of the body of information that can be shared about yin yoga, and that’s exactly what it’s intended to be.

For the athletes out there: yin yoga is most likely the biggest missing piece from your training. The physical benefits are the first changes you’ll notice and, while these are taking place, you’ll also find a deep well of relaxation and meditation that’s simultaneously physical and mental. Yin yoga will help you recover in so many ways and I hope you decide to make the time for it.

Start using yoga to live athletically: https://www.IcewaterYoga.com

Yoga for Athletes - The Ultimate Guide

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About the Author:

Joe is the Founder of Icewater Yoga. Fascinated by the intersection of yoga and sport, his goal is to help athletes develop a consistent yoga practice. He lives in Claremont, CA with his wife, Jill.