We live in a society obsessed with overachievement. The quest to strive beyond our limits has taken over and burnout, exhaustion and sickness are more prevalent than ever. There comes a point when your body and mind need to slow down and rest. There is tremendous wisdom in not pushing yourself too hard and understanding that you deserve a break. Yin Yoga and Sound Healing welcome you to quiet your mind, be still and allow your physical, mental/emotional, and energetic bodies to reset and rejuvenate.
What is Yin Yoga?
Let’s start by considering all types of yoga categorized into two buckets: yin and yang. Yang yoga targets the muscles. Muscles benefit from rhythmic, repetitive movements. Yoga types categorized into this bucket are Power Yoga, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Bikram, etc. all of which are designed to target half of the body, the muscular half. Yang yoga emphasizes strength and endurance. When practicing yang yoga, muscles are often contracted, poses are performed repetitively and are typically held for 10 to 30 seconds.
Yin yoga targets the connective tissues. Connective tissues are fascia, bones, joints, vertebral discs, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. Yin tissues benefit from an appropriate and tolerable amount of positive stress (tension or compression), which activates a physiological response that repairs, maintains, and increases tissue health. Yin yoga emphasizes relaxing fascial contracture, including ligaments, joint capsules, and discs. For this reason, yin poses are performed with the muscles relaxed and held for around 2-7 minutes seated or reclining.
Though the practice of yin yoga is relaxing compared to other yang types of yoga, it can be challenging. Stimulating and stressing tissues to increase flexibility and mobility is far from lazy yoga. In fact, some of the longer holds can be intense, especially where the body is holding tension. Some people find it difficult to slow down and relax into the postures, not only physically but mentally as well. It is an ongoing practice of patience and training the mind and body to surrender into the present moment.
Benefits of Practicing Yin Yoga
- Increases circulation
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Revitalizes the tissues of the body
- Improves flexibility and joint mobility
- Restores equilibrium and cultivates balance
- Activates the parasympathetic nervous system
- Develops a mindfulness and meditation practice
To optimize the health of Yang/muscle tissues and Yin/connective tissues it is important to understand how they differ and what types of exercise they benefit from. Both are equally important and finding the right balance for your body is key.
What is Sound Healing?
There are many types of sound healing experiences and all of them produce vibrations that alter your brain waves and aim to relax the mind and body. A sound bath generally involves a variety of instruments or voices, all of which have the potential to shift lower frequencies into higher vibrations. Popular instruments often used are crystal singing bowls, brass bowls, gongs, drums, tuning forks, and chimes. Such instruments provide an immersive, full body listening experience that can help to recalibrate the system while providing a space for healing physically, mentally and/or emotionally.
Sound waves produce unconscious activity within the brain. If you think of sound waves (including spoken words) as aural units of measurement, each of these units enter the ear and then into the brain where psychological and physiological changes can be observed. For example, when a song makes us nostalgic it produces certain psychological shifts in perception. You’ve experienced this, right?
There is also a physical component to sound waves that enter your brain. Each sound wave must be broken down by the brain into neural information and this produces a wide array of action potentials that scurry around to make sense of it.
We often think of sound as something that we merely hear throughout the day, not realizing that we are almost always physically responding to the sounds around us, whether we know it or not. What you might not realize is how sounds, vibration and music are affecting the way your neurons fire and the way your entire nervous system is reacting. There is a fascinating field of study that delves into the ways that sound can affect us all the way down the cellular level.
Many people are already experiencing the benefits of sound healing to treat certain ailments and a variety of different mental and physical illnesses.
Benefits of Sound Healing
- Lowers heart rate and blood pressure
- Encourages deep relaxation which aides in meditation
- Triggers the brain to chemically release natural opiates
- Awakens, aligns, and balances the chakra energy centers in the body
- Synchronizes brain waves to restore the normal vibratory frequencies of cells
Moreover, sound healing and meditation compliments the practice of yin yoga by invoking the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing stress, and helping the body to locate a sense of peace, calm, and presence.
Yin Yoga and Sound Healing Classes
Yin Yoga and Sound Healing are two different class types that can be combined into one. These classes are appropriate for beginners and no experience is necessary. Yoga props such as bolsters, blankets, and blocks are often used for support and a yoga mat is recommended.
Yin yoga includes gentle, therapeutic stretching. Some teachers stream relaxing music during class while others play sound healing instruments, or a combination of the two. Yin yoga classes generally range from 60-90 minutes in a group setting.
Sound Healing (a.k.a sound bath, sound therapy or sound meditation) typically does not involve stretching, but often begins with breath awareness to calm the mind before laying down in a resting position. A sound bath usually ranges from 30-90 minutes.
Jeny Dawson of Zen Soul Balance specializes in teaching and training the theory of yoga and the science of yin and sound healing, partnering with other practitioners, doctors, businesses, and organizations around the world. To learn more about Yin Yoga or Sound Healing join her and the ZSB for weekly classes, monthly sound bath sessions, Yin Yoga workshops and 25-hour Yin Foundations training courses. To schedule a private session contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit zensoulbalance.com for more information.
All Special Event Group Sessions: Sound Baths, Workshops Trainings are listed here: Zen Soul Balance Classes
Weekly Classes with Jeny:
Yin Yoga and Sound Healing (75 mins)
Yin Yoga and Sound Healing (75 mins)
All Special Event Group Sessions: Sound Baths, Workshops Trainings – Zen Soul Balance Classes