RESTORATIVE-YIN YOGA involves supported body/mind relaxation. This is gentle, gentle yoga that promotes deep relaxation for stress reduction while also stretching and rehabilitating connective tissue.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Epilogue: A Year Of Restorative-Yin Yoga Practice

Copyright Lance Kinseth, Great Peace / Dainei, 2011

A YEAR OF RESTORATIVE-YIN YOGA practice is completed [1/2011—1/2012] and documented in the blog, Islands Of Grace: Restorative-Yin Yoga Journal [].

Some Overall Outcomes:

What might restorative-yin yoga practice offer?

  • Obviously, Relaxation: First, “doing nothing” does a lot: neuro, cardio, lymphatic, endocrine, and not something grossly overall, but something reaching down to each cell.
Softness, Calmness, Islands Of Grace

Modern life is inherently stressful—fast paced in work and even in “relaxation” where TV images quick-change, where physical care is a “WORKout,” where meals are quick, where sleep may be restless, and where even holidays are rushes of preparation and travel.  Time maybe the driving force.  As a result, life is becoming faster and faster, and we glance into life rather than gaze and contemplate.  Irritation is daily and frequent, and there is never a surplus of time.  Even sleep is not as relaxing as intentional practice, because in the nightly cycles of dreams we tense muscles as well as experience frustration in our dream content.

  • Strength and Flexibility From Holding Poses: Physiologically, “spindles”—sensory receptors within the belly of the muscles that primarily detect changes in the length of the muscle—provoke a chemical release that resists the stretch to protect the muscle.  With time and gentle holding, there may be a “spindle release” or a desensitization of the protective response.  With repeated practice that holds poses long enough to create spindle release, flexibility as well as strength in flexibility can be increased.
Restorative-yin yoga emphasizes “turning off muscles” and focusing on connective tissue, but with fascia and gristly connective tissue, the need to hold poses is amplified.  And work with this connective tissue lies near the heart of long-term health where breakdown of this tissue is the primary cause of debilitation with aging.

  • Lumbar Emphasis: In Relax & Renew [p. 7], Judith Lasater writes,
Lower back pain may be the price of being human and standing upright.  A major health problem today, back pain ranks second only to the common cold as a reason for patients to visit a physician.

…. Most of us sit, stand, and move in ways that do mo maintain normal curves of the spinal column.  Spinal muscles are found to overwork to hold the body upright, creating muscular tension and ultimately lower back pain.
Restorative-yin pose sequences may alternate between moving the lumbar region outward and then inward.  This attention to the lumbar region incorporates a yin yoga emphasis upon the lumbar region and hips.  Utilizing poses that focus on the lumbar region and continuing consistent restorative-yin practice may be very beneficial in restoring this almost global human health problem.  And because much of the lumber structure is supported by fascia or connective tissue that requires sustained stretching, holding poses rather than quickly flowing through poses also optimizes the benefits to the lumbar region.

Restorative-yin also attends to the hips and to the fascia that wraps the spinal column, and secondarily, to listening to the connective tissue that is found throughout the body, even in the muscles.

  • Healing Life: not just body, but your aliveness and others’ lives and the Earth, calmness, peacefulness, contentment, gratitude, balance, restraint, and obeisance (use without destroying the base).           
Quieting and calming provoke physiological calmness, to which the body attends, restoring the neuro, lymphatic, endocrine, cardiovascular, and energy systems of the body.  There is a reduction of the “chatter” of thinking and awareness, making us less reactive and more observant and eliciting a calmness and restored energy that others can see, and perhaps an expanded seeing, especially of events that, heretofore, were ignored and missed, yet that were miraculous.

  • Deepening Body-Mind-Spirit Practice: Eloquent concepts may be generated across a year of restorative-yin yoga, from quieting and stillness that evoke expression from a deeper place than everyday chatter: 
For examples, see specific blog posts throughout the year, such as serenity, clarity in defining a pathway ahead, touching a deep ground of being, transformation, deep calmness and contentment, resonance with life experience, release, awakening, flow, spirit, sacred space, stillpoint, lightness, centering, harmony, grace

  • Camaraderie of like-mined practitioners oriented toward contemplative body-mind-spirit practice
  • Thriving/Optimizing outweigh surviving that is an evolving shift in our perception of health, moving from referencing the absence of illness, physical fitness, more holistic wellness, to thriving/optimal health:
    • Activating an unbreakable space within, an INHERENT HEALTH already present, so that optimal health can even be found in terminal illness.
    • COME FROM A PLACE OF STRENGTH rather than from loss, creating a meta-motivator which you need [80% quit fitness after 2 months]
    • FOCUS: What is NOT wrong [Thich Nhat Hanh]
    • Health is primarily PSYCHO-SPIRITUAL [Viktor Frankl: Man’s Search For Meaning] rather than physical
    • Rather than concentrating on symptom, ASPIRING TO OPEN A BLOCK in holistic body
    • Problems/ADVERSITY AS OPPORTUNITY/information/ as “initiation” vs. “wound”
    • Health involves a COMPREHENSIVE MULTI-FOLD PATHWAY: body, art, contemplation/philosophy
    • Awareness of something shared, IDENTITY EXTENDING BEYOND SELF AND “DIVINE/SACRED”
    • Relaxation into CALMNESS crucial to access internal unbreakable place: RELAXATION AS A PARADIGM SHIFT: Physiological relaxation begins a sequence of “calmness” that opens awareness, and that “senses” new information, and that fosters “transformation” to be authentic.
    • HEALING vs. curing/excising [embracing adversity and personal traits as opportunities and as teachings]
    • EMERGENCE OF BODY-MIND-SPIRIT CENTERS pioneering a new health literacy, actualizing concepts such as “thriving,” “optimal health” as more than uber-fitness and nutrition, “creativity,” “flow,” and “intuition.”
    • RICH ATTRIBUTES become a part of daily life, becoming normal rather than special or exclusive: Eloquence, grace, wonder, contentment, humor, compassion, and gratitude.

No comments:

Post a Comment