Yoga For Healing: YIN YOGA : For Stress Release.
Yin yoga not only works superficially on lengthening the muscles which in effect improves our range of motion over time. When we consider the deeper principles and origins of what we are fundamentally working with, CHI. We understand that the practice runs a lot deeper on an energetic and emotional way.
Our Yin yoga practice can be utilised in many ways and one aspect we can look at which many or all of us suffer from in one way or another is stress.
The harsh reality in today’s culture of pushing ourselves into doing too much, or living in busy cities, running a smooth household, having a young child or job that demands a lot from us can take its toll. Especially if we don’t look at ways in how we can release or reduce the amount or levels of stress we experience in our lives.
Stress is one of or if not the biggest contributors to the world’s leading causes of death. If we don’t take time to reduce the amount of stress we experience then stress will manifest in the body.
Stress can affect and show up in a wide range of ways from insomnia, headaches, stiff neck and shoulders to other conditions which are a lot more serious.
So how does Yin Yoga help us with stress relief? Firstly, the fact that the practice is slow in nature invites us to breathe slower and deeper. This helps us to activate the parasympathetic part of our nervous system AND our vagus nerve, creating balance and eliminating stress related hormones within the body.
Holding poses longer gives us the space to yield and soften. Time and space allows us to process, to connect, we can work with affirmations or focus on an extended exhale with the intention of letting go and being present with the breath, instead of getting lost in our endless thoughts.
It’s impossible to focus on the breath with awareness towards the somatic experience of breathing as well as being lost in our thoughts which are not always helpful and keep us away from being within the present moment.
Another way we can release stress through a Yin Yoga practice is incorporating fascia release.
You might be thinking, what is fascia? Fascia over the years has not really been understood however, recently through studies and research it is known that this sheath which encapsulates every organ, bone and muscle from head to toe plays a highly important role.
It’s this fibrous layer high in water and collagen which plays a role in how our body communicates through the transmission of electrical signals throughout the body and just like muscle it is known to store memories and built-up tension that gets accumulated through everyday living.
An example of an area where we can experience built up stress or tension can be around the jaw area. Perhaps through increased stress levels we begin to clench our jaw at night, we can grind our teeth and that can also lead to headaches. Massaging around this area can aid in relieving some of this built up energy and while we do that it might unexpectedly release emotions and even memories.
What we can do to release this manifested stress within the area is breathe deeply into it while massaging, softening parts of the body we can notice that might begin to tense up and lean into it.
No matter how long or short our practice might be, always welcome a savasana at the end to allow the body to receive the full benefit of your practice, allowing chi to flow freely as well as allowing every inch of our being to rest even if it might be for a short period.
Welcome to Yoga for Healing by Francesca Secolonovo which is a 5 part series. This series has been curated with the intention to facilitate a slowing down to allow us to experience a deeper sense of connection and awareness towards your mind, body and breath.
This series includes practices that invite you to slow down and go inwards because I truly believe even though our modern world is a lot more externally
focused and tempts us into seeking so much outside of ourselves. The true medicine we seek is always within.
This deeply nourishing series includes practices from different lineages such as Yin yoga, Traditional Tantric Hatha and Yoga Nidra. We will also incorporate pranayama (breathwork), meditation, acupressure points and fascia release to complement each part of this bundle.
Francesca Secolonovo who will lead these sessions creates spaces that invite individuals to slow down. Francesca is a 660hour yoga teacher and student who offers Yin Yoga, Traditional Tantric Hatha, Yoga Nidra, Cacao Ceremonies and Sound Healing. She focuses on creating spaces that invite reflection and slowness as she deeply believes there is power to be found, deep realisations to be had and deep healing to be experienced within those spaces where we are invited to go in on ourselves.
Here at the Center for Sacred Window Studies, we share voices from many perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the sacred weeks post birth, and the experience of humanity is experienced in countless ways. We learn by listening to one another and honoring our stories. The views and opinions of our writers do not necessarily reflect the mission, viewpoints or opinions of the Center for Sacred Window Studies.