Yoga with Hannah

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Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga focuses on creating space in the connective tissue of the joints (denser tissues such as fascia, ligaments, tendons and cartilage) through passive stretches, performed gently and safely. This provides greater flexibility and a sense of ease and lightness in the body.

Energy (prana or chi) is believed to flow through the channels (nadis or meridians) of the connective tissue layer of the body. Yin Yoga practice can therefore enable the harmonious flow of life-energy through the clearing of these path-ways. This enables the body organs to function better.

It is blockages in these energy channels that are believed to lead to symptoms such as feelings of numbness in the extremities after long periods of sitting still. Therefore regular practice of Yin Yoga can enhance the ease of sitting still, whether this is at work, on transport, or in meditation.

The sense of well-being cultivated in this style of yoga uniquely enhances experience of meditation and relaxation, yet also enhances yang practices.

Yin and Yang

By practicing yin postures when the muscles are not yet warm, energy can reach the deeper connective tissues of the joints and the energy pathways of the meridian system that are housed here.

As chi, prana, or 'life force' stimulates and tones the joints' deep connective tissues, the supply of fluids to them is increased. As a result the joints become 'juicier', less dense and more flexible. You can then go deeper in a proceeding yang practice with less effort, as energy is already flowing at deeper levels. The attitude cultivated in a yin practice can also keep you from over-exertion in yang practices, preventing injury.

The main difference between yin and yang styles of yoga is the inner attitude adopted. Whilst a yang practice may be focused on achievement and advancement in poses, a yin practice focuses on gaining inner harmony and peace. This is done through cultivating a patient acceptance of the reality as it is.

By patiently and gently working with the recognised limitations in poses, instead of fighting against them, a wonderful sense of balance, calm and acceptance is achieved.

The 'rush' that can be said to be achieved from an active 'yang' sequence is replaced by a sense of ease as you settle into the postures. By simply recognising the sensations of your body, you can practice an attitude of awareness with non-reaction.

Yang Yoga

Yang Yoga describes Yoga that uses movement linked to breath. Vinyasa Yoga falls into this category, as does most Hatha Yoga you will have likely come across.

These classes are designed to get the body moving, steadily and fluidly, increasing heat in the body. The cardiovascular system will be strengthened, muscular strength and tone improved, stamina and endurance will be built, and balance increased.

Prenatal Yoga

Practicing Yoga when pregnant benefits both the mother-to-be and her baby physically, emotionally and energetically. It can help alleviate common complaints such as backache, breathing difficulties, cramping or swelling in the legs and sleeplessness and anxiety.

Recent studies have shown that the greater the mother-to-be's emotional responses, the greater her babies responses. The mother's body releases chemicals into the blood stream as her mood changes and the baby reacts to them. Practicing Yoga and relaxation and techniques during pregnancy therefore can help keep you calm and thus your baby's world steady.

Pre-natal Yoga helps to:

  • Strengthen bond with baby
  • Relax and prepare body and mind for labour
  • Ease physical discomforts of the pregnancy

More specifically, practicing Yoga whilst pregnant can help to:

  • Strengthens uterus and pelvic muscles
  • Improves circulation
  • Improves flexibility
  • Aids in digestion
  • Exercises the spine and increases overall comfort
  • Alleviates may of the discomforts of pregnancy Ð such as nausea, constipation, varicose veins, swelling, back pain and sciatica
  • Brings focus and connection to mother and baby
  • Increases strength and stamina
  • Increases ability to relax and let go of tension, anxiety and fear
  • Beneficial to help break bad habits such as bad diet, smoking, insomnia and the effects of everyday stress
  • Induces more restful sleep
  • Improves balance
  • Promotes a sense of wellness

Natural News has a great article on how exercising during pregnancy boosts baby IQ

Yoga related quotes on yin yoga with hannah
Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things
George Carlin
Read the quote on yoga above