Why World Class athletes now practise Yin/Slow Yoga

“You don’t use the body to get into the pose, you use the pose to get into the body” Bernie Clark.


There are so many different types of yoga out there from Vinyasa, Hatha and Purna to Bikram, Ashtanga and Kundalini but when people ask me what makes Yin or Slow different from any of these the answer is simple.  If we look at yoga on a physical level only, Yin promotes joint health.


And that’s why Yin yoga has now been adopted into the training plans of major global athletes.  Coaches are starting to understand that a muscle strain is easy to come back from, but if an athlete damages their joints, it can mean they’re on the benches for months.


If you think about a footballer who pulls a muscle in his calf, he might go through a lot of physio and be back on the field the next week, but a footballer who damages his knee or shoulder joint may have to undergo surgery and a long recovery.


All yoga styles can be beneficial for you, but if you lead a very active and exercise filled lifestyle (a yang lifestyle) then it’s a good idea to include a yin practise once and better still twice a week to balance you out and get some profound joint health happening.


Yin has so many benefits and works for all kinds of bodies, it’s especially beneficial for mature yoga students who may not have as much fluid in their joints.  Yin works by holding poses for more extended periods and then when the poses are released the joints are flushed with new blood and chi (energy) which lubricates the joint and moves any stagnant cells, energy or toxic build up.


And, if you don’t consider yourself an athlete then think of Yin as adding years to your life in terms of your joint flexibility and youthful appearance. Yin is a winner on every level.


Written by Emma Ritchie

Contributing author and passionate Yoga Slow instructor.