Reset your nervous system, part 2: From fight & flight to rest & digest

The power of relaxation with yin yoga.


WHEN YOU DEEPLY ACCEPT THIS MOMENT

AS IT IS

NO MATTER WHAT FORM IT TAKES

YOU ARE STILL

YOU ARE AT PEACE

Eckhart Tolle


Relaxation creates a foundation for:

- good digestion

- concentration & focus

- strong immunity

- mental health

- sustained meditation

- a good nights sleep

- healthy relationships

- Stress, tension, and anxiety reduction

- Increased stress resistance 

- Improved memory 

- Pain relief


Coming back to that simple space of relaxation can feel challenging. Especially if our norm is feeling wired and tired, with an overstimulated nervous system, worn out Adrenal Glands and a confused circadian rhythm (the inner clock of the body that triggers sleep at night-time). We may have to learn how to relax. There is an exquisite art to quality relaxation, where the body can truly let go & the mind is still.


HERE WE ARE GOING TO EXPLORE HOW YIN YOGA ENABLES US TO DEEPLY RELAX & LET GO...



THE BENEFITS OF YIN YOGA 1. Restore your range of motion. For healthy range of motion, layers of connective tissue must allow muscles to glide over each other. But injury, habitual posture in daily life, and aging, among other factors can bind these connective tissues together, creating so-called adhesions and restricting that movement between the sliding surfaces of the muscles. Like a traffic jam, adhesions block the flow of nutrients and energy through the body, causing pain and limiting mobility. Holding poses that gently lengthen the muscles and fascia helps break up adhesions, and applying mild stress to joints and connective tissues can increase their range of motion.

2. Yin yoga revitalises the tissues of the body. Our body’s tissues can be revived by a good long soak the same way that an old, stiff sponge can. As you hold a yin pose, the subtle release that takes you deeper into the pose is the tissues lengthening, hydrating, and becoming more pliable. If you pay close attention, you can sense the tissues being stretched, squeezed, twisted, and compressed. A yin practice can leave you feeling as though you’ve had a massage.

3. Yin offers a unique opportunity to cultivate gratitude for the body. The simplicity of a yin practice allows us to return to our bodies and to see clearly just how remarkable we really are. Journeying into the deeper layers of ourselves, we tune into our inner workings, connecting to respiratory and circulatory functions, internal organs, and sensations within the muscles and joints. This heightened awareness of the physiological processes of the body ultimately moves us closer to

santosha, or contentment.



IN STILLNESS THERE IS PEACE

AND MORE IS REVEALED

Rumi



4. The yin practice empowers us to slow down. Holding poses for longer offers us the chance to marinate in stillness. When you allow yourself to stay present and experience the near-imperceptible shifts that occur while holding a yin posture, time opens up. Deadlines, commitments, pressing matters, and to-do lists fade to the background, leaving tremendous space for rest and renewal.

5. Yin yoga teaches self-compassion. The ability to tend to all facets of ourselves (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) is fundamental to our wellbeing. The yin practice provides an opportunity to observe, nurture, soothe, and calm ourselves. The act of carefully taking a posture and tending to your body’s unique set of needs for the duration of the hold is a form of self-care and loving kindness.


6. Being with our emotions. Our bodies store emotions, and it’s not uncommon for sensitive thoughts, feelings, and memories to surface while practicing any form of yoga. Yin teaches us how to be gentle, patient, and nonreactive. When emotions bubble to the surface, the conditions are safe.



YOUR INNERMOST SENSE OF SELF

OF WHO YOU ARE

IS INSEPARABLE FROM STILLNESS.

IT IS THE 'I AM' THAT IS DEEPER

THAN NAME OR FORM

Eckhart Tolle



7. Resilient to stress. Holding a pose for several minutes can provoke anxiety. But when we approach it with tenderness, the body softens. Surrender is a common theme in yin yoga, and giving up the need to control a situation is a lesson that we can carry with us into our day-to-day lives. The ability to adapt to the ups and downs of life and to manage change with grace can lessen our predisposition to stress.


8. Tuning into the parasympathetic nervous system.

Diaphragmatic breathing, or belly breathing, is a powerful way to trigger the parasympathetic nervous system. You may have heard some of the reasons activating the parasympathetic nervous system is beneficial (stress, tension, blood pressure, sleep, digestion, immune function, hormones, etc)—and that most of us don’t do it often enough. Instead, we spend our days locked in sympathetic nervous system overdrive, constantly being pulled from one overly important deadline to another. Belly breathing can be a quick and easy way to change this. Pay close attention while breathing from the abdomen and in no time you will notice a significant shift. It may feel like a wave of relaxation washes over the body. The deepest layers of the belly soften, the forehead tingles, and the brain relaxes. It’s as if the whole body takes a prolonged sigh. As you move deeper into the yin practice, the breath slows down significantly drawing you deeper and deeper into this parasympathetic, or relaxation, mode. This is where the internal organs get a chance to catch up on their to-do list (digest, eliminate toxins, heal, repair).

9. Meditation & yin. Meditation is not necessarily something you have to find; sometimes it finds you. The yin practice sets us up to tap into the meditation bandwidth. We rarely see who we really are because the cloud of thoughts and distractions block the view. When we create opportunities for physical stillness in a yin practice, we also create the perfect conditions for the brain to become clear. In these precious moments, we are able to see our true selves.



TO REALISE THE SELF

IS TO BE STILL

Ramana Maharshi



10. Yin yoga cultivates balance. Your own health and wellbeing is a balancing act. If you look at the yin/yang symbol you will see that the white and black forms are in perfect balance. Many of us live very active (yang) lifestyles and leave little or no time to foster the quiet, introspective side. Over time this can be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. Through the yin practice we can restore equilibrium and feel whole.


Join us on sundays for a deeply relaxing yin yoga retreat

JOIN US AT SoulSimple Retreat - In the heart of The Cotswolds. Every Sunday evening we hold deeply relaxing retreats from 6-8pm in our beautiful yoga studio.


All love & peace

The SoulSimple Family xxx

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Email: hellosoulsimple@gmail.com

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