What can Yin Yoga do for an athlete?
I guess that is question number one. What can Yin Yoga do for an athlete? What can it do for you?
It´s a big question that touches on what Yin Yoga is, what proof there is that it works, and what kind of problem it is most helpful for. I want to address all these questions, which I will do continuously through articles here on the website. However, I would like to present a general overview of what yin yoga can do for you as an athlete.
Fascia is one of the most important and at the same time least understood tissues in the body. It is also one of the most overlooked aspects of athletic training and recovery. Most athletes tend to focus only on muscles, and first when injury occurs and solutions are sought after, fascia becomes an important part.
Yin Yoga both prolongs and reinforces the deep layers of fascia in the body, and is often known as “yoga for the joints”. It is an exceptionally beneficial athlete’s practice, as yin yoga can improve both performance and recovery from a variety of perspectives.
Integrating yin yoga into the everyday life as an athlete is invaluable. Increased performance and longevity in athletic practice, minimized overtraining and potential injury, recovery, as well as prevention and management of different types of stress. Yin yoga also works as a tool for mental training and focus.
So, Yin yoga can offer the following:
Resolve pain and speed healing
Reduce inflammation and pain
Reduce scar tissue and adhesions in the fascia system
Reduce time out from training, regaining full use of injured parts of the body
Reduce stress and anxiety
Calm the nervous system
Calm and deal with emotions
Stimulate a healing response in the cells and nearby cells (fascia)
Teach the athlete to anticipate their unique possible weaknesses in order to stave off injury or overtraining (body awareness)
A slow and focused strategy
– surprisingly intense and restorative on all levels
Yin Yoga can provide access to all parts of the body, but focuses primarily on the lower half of the body, “from navel to knee”, with great focus on lumbar, hip and thigh muscle groups. An athlete’s thigh: hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus and IT Band are high-traffic areas used in running, surfing etc. With an average of 3-10 minutes’ rest in every yin yoga position, where we gently “melt” the fascia surrounding the muscles of these areas as well creating stronger tissues (ligaments, tendons) that can withstand more strain, yin yoga is a great tool for all athletes.
If you search for simple ways to strengthen your health, rehabilitate, optimize your sport results or just improve your stress resilience in a hectic everyday life…then you might want to take a closer look at the concept of yin yoga for athletes.