Yin Yoga for Legs
In this yin yoga class for your legs we will focus on the quadriceps, inner thighs (adductors) outer thighs (abductors) and hamstrings. Yin yoga for legs is entirely appropriate because yin yoga is generally intended to target the lower body. The lower body, including your hips, pelvis, inner thighs and lower spine are rich in connective tissue as well as meridian lines.
We also apply the principles of yin yoga to the lower body because as we age this is the area the tightens up the most. Bernie Clark points out that as we get older it is from the navel down that we lose mobility and pathologies increase. Osteoarthritis in the hips and osteoporosis with a common site being hip fractures are common as we age.
As we practice yin yoga we always remember to keep the muscles relaxed so that we can get into the deeper tissues.
This is a great time to remember the three principles of yin yoga.
1. Soften. We keep our muscles relaxed and cool. When we practice yin yoga we come into the pose and find an appropriate edge. You want to feel sensation, but not have it be sensational. Remember, we still want to be engaged with appropriate sensation, that is 70% effort. This is not restorative yoga.
2. We resolve to be still. We stay with our mental, emotional and physical discomfort without fidgeting or adjusting. Unless we are in pain or panic, we notice what it is like to stay with discomfort.
3. Steadiness. We stay for 3-5 minutes, passively and let time and gravity do all the work in order to get into the deeper connective tissues.
When we target the fascia of the legs through long held stress, we can lengthen the whole myofascial group and improve the range of motion and health of the tissues of the legs.
With yin yoga we are passively lengthening the muscles of our legs by stressing the fascial bags that wrap the muscle fibers. Imagine all of the pitch around an orange, it is kind of like that. When it comes to the larger muscle groups of our legs, such as our hamstrings and adductors (inner thighs) this is a particularly effective means.
When we practice yin yoga we stimulate the growth of fibroblasts. These are the cells responsible for creating collagen, elastin and the water-loving molecules that hydrate our joints and tissues.
Hydrating our tissue allows our joints to move and our fascia to slide more easily. The end result is that we feel less stiff.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
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Our next live class will be: March 30 LIVE Restorative Yoga Detox
Releasing tension in your legs is not something you can do in just one yoga video.
I am going to share with you a good, better and best way to do that now.
Good: We release a video here every Friday at 9 am PT, when you subscribe and turn on notifications by pressing that bell, you will receive that video and it will support you in your daily practice
Better: If you are interested in 5 days to a stronger body, then go to melissawest.com/strength
Best: The best way to deal with tension in your legs is self myofascial release and I keep all of my value added soft foam rolling and myofascial release in our membership community. My favourite class for your legs is hamstring rescue and it uses the soft foam roller. I will put a link for members as well as a link to join our membership community.
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