Interesting Yoga Articles
“Yin can be very beneficial for you if you are a runner. First let’s talk about the benefits, and then talk about when is best to do it.
From a physiological point of view, running places a lot of stress on the knees, hips and lower back. While the muscles that move these joints do get stronger the more we run, they can also get tighter. Many professional athletes require tight muscles to give them a springing effect (think of pro basketball players: they do have quite tight hamstrings, and that is what helps launch them up to the basket…the tight hamstrings act like springs.) However, us “normal” people who are more concerned with running for health reasons rather than performance reasons, do want to have a reasonable degree of flexibility and range of motion.
Chronically engaged muscles tend to shorten, which creates tightness and reduces our range of motion. The reduction in the range of motions comes both from the muscles shortening but also from the joints tightening. Yin Yoga will help open the joints back to their normal range of motion (which everyone, including pro athletes need) and will help to stretch out the fascial bags that encase the muscles. In short, Yin Yoga will help regain the natural range of motion for all areas of the body tightened by running: the knees, the hips and the lower back.
From a mental point of view: we all know that running can be a meditation. Sometimes however, our minds are just freely floating while we run. It is not a meditation at all; it is an escape. In our Yin Yoga practice we can train the mind to focus, concentrate and enjoy the present moment. With this training we may find that we are more present while we are running, allowing us to enjoy the scenery or appreciate our body while we move.
Finally: when best to do Yin Yoga? If the intention is to work the physical body and open the deeper connective tissues, this is best done before a vigorous workout. We would like the muscles to be cool so that the stress of the yoga practice goes deeper into the connective tissues. (See this post on when it is best to do Yin Yoga:http://www.yinyoga.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=398 Or this one: http://www.yinyoga.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=352)”
Hope this helps you enjoy the yin-side of running. You also asked about yang yoga: yes – this too will help you with your running. There are many web sites that can guide you, for example: http://www.yogaforrunners.ca/resources.html)
Copied from:Copied from Yin Yoga Forum: http://www.yinyoga.com by Bernie Clark
This news may confuse and/or disappoint many people searching “yoga for weight loss” or those already enrolled in a sweaty vinyasa-thon to shed a few pounds in the new year. As it turns out, it may be restorative yoga that you really need to lose weight and feel better, according to a new study.
The 48-week study, conducted by Maria G. Araneta, PhD, MPH, of the University of California, San Diego, found that regular restorative yoga was a better means of losing weight and maintaining it than stretching exercises.
The study involved two groups of women, one doing restorative yoga versus a second doing stretching exercises. The yoga group had a mean age of 55 and the stretch group a mean age of 54, and all participants had metabolic syndrome as defined by International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) criteria. The participants started out with semi-weekly classes and then weekly classes during the first 12 weeks. After that it was bi-weekly until the 6-month mark. For the final weeks, almost another whole 6 months, participants were asked to continue their yoga or stretching on their own with classes only once a month.
By the end of the study, both groups had lost weight, but the restorative group lost 2.5 times the amount of subcutaneous fat (the kind found right under the skin that, in excess, is unhealthy) than the stretch group and managed to maintain the loss while the stretch group regained almost half of what it lost by the end of the study.
How can this be? The researchers are still looking for the definitive answer, but a strong theory points to cortisol levels. During restorative yoga, students hold poses for up to 5-10 minutes using multiple props for support and maximum relaxation. When the body is relaxed, stress is reduced and levels of cortisol (the stress hormone known for helping to increase stored abdominal fat) go down. This can also be referred to as the Relaxation Response.
Yoga has already shown promise for people with diabetes helping to steady blood sugar and maybe trim extra weight. Don’t go throwing in your yoga mat towel just yet. This isn’t to say that aerobic exercise isn’t a good way to stay healthy, in fact, the study’s main author stated that rather than a replacement, restorative yoga is a “complementary, ancient practice.” But it can mean that people who were intimidated by yoga based on body size or ability, those who are possibly obese, can have a more accessible way to practice yoga and reap the benefits of the gentle movements when another option might not be practical.
By Desiree Kleemann
Practice Yoga taking your hatha yoga practice to the next level.
Something happens when a group of like-minded individuals gather together in a beautiful location to share the practice of hatha yoga. What a magical way to escape on a holiday. Whether it is by yourself or with a friend or two, a yoga retreat might be a truly transformative experience and an effective way to recharge your life.
1. Deepen your practice.
In these busy lives we lead, finding the time to practice yoga can be a challenge. A committed week of yoga could be just what you need to deepen your practice. On a retreat you will likely have 2 classes a day. Practicing every day you will notice the changes not only in your physical body, but in your mental state as well. Coming home afterwards, you might even be inspired to start a new home practice or take your existing practice to a new level.
2. You will create a new perspective.
Going to a new and different place creates an opportunity to see the world, and yourself, in a new perspective. Experiencing the unknown is an accelerated way to grow and learn. You will have the luxury of time to do just what you want to do. When you change your routine and your surroundings, you see things in a different light.
3. Rest and relax
Being on a retreat is all about you, your yoga, eating healthy foods and slowing down. Sometimes it is easier to give yourself that indulgence when you leave your comfort zone of home and go somewhere far away and exotic. And if your retreat is all-inclusive you get 3 healthy and delicious meals every day prepared for you. Most retreats also have free time in the afternoon to do what ever you like to make the most out of your day.
4. Meet new like-minded people.
When a bunch of people on a similar path get together in a beautiful place, new friendships are bound to happen. It is inspiring to surround yourself with other yogis from around the world and to practice together. Gathering like this in a group is sometimes the perfect mirror to remind us that, although everyone is unique, we are all connected.
5. You deserve it.
You work hard in your daily life and you can always find reasons why you should or excuses for not doing something for yourself. We all lead busy lives, and we often neglect to live life to its fullest. When you immerse yourself for a week of hatha yoga, you find the creative juices just waiting to come out. Not only do you find your own inspiration, but you come home and are able to share it with others.
So what are you waiting to book your next yoga retreat?
Article copied from YOGITIMES. http://www.yogitimes.com/article/benefits-why-go-reasons-yoga-retreat/