UmYazan's Blog

Yin Yoga & Cycling, a Personal Experience

Posted on: August 14, 2013

So I didn’t think that Yogo and Cycling could possibly go together. For me, Yoga was a concept I couldn’t understand. Breathing techniques, crazy poses, meditation and ‘letting go’ by keeping your eyes closed… Ummmm yeah, not for me thank you very much.

But I was encouraged by my team captain. Try out Yin Yoga. It’s not what you think. It’s actually a great way to stretch your body after intense exercise. So I thought, well why not? Let’s try this out…

As expected, I was asked to close my eyes and do some deep breathing… already I was regretting the decision… so I’d sneak open my eyes and see what the other veterans were doing… and lo and behold, they were focused… In my head I’m thinking… WHAT have I gotten myself into?

Fast forward a few moments later and the Instructor, Lindsey, asks us to move into the first pose and hold it for a at least 3 minutes. And THIS is where I finally started understanding the class. Concentrating on the stretch, focusing on stretching the deep connective tissues… I was actually starting go enjoy this class! 75 minutes later I felt completely rejuvenated! My mind was clearer, my aches and pains from intense training sessions were considerably lessened.

I began reading more about Yin Yoga and understanding the principles behind the practice. While I am no expert what I did learn was the following:

1. Yin is the peaceful part of your life, while Yang is the action. The two cannot exist without the other. Our lives are full of action. We barely take time to relax or rest, completely disconnecting from our excessive intense days of working, driving, interacting with people, working out etc. Hence why we are always feeling tired or stressed. The Yin in our lives is often neglected. For us to truly live enriching lives and learn to relax, we need to bring more Yin into our lives.

2. Yin Yoga focuses on stretching the deep connective tissues in our body. While working out we actually stretch our muscles, we forget the deep connective tissues, which as we grow older, become less malleable and as a result we become less flexible and our bodies begin to shrink and our movements are slowed down. By stretching our deep connective tissues we can ensure that as we age, we are still able to have a spring in our walk and less aches and pains in our joints.

I was suffering severe stiff neck and shoulder pain and with Yin Yoga it has completely disappeared. Not only that, but the stretching and 3 minute meditations at the beginning and end of the classes really made a difference in helping me wind down the day and clear my mind. Adding the Yin helped me learn and balance the Yang in my life which was non-stop.

While I don’t practice the other forms of Yoga, I have come to respect and understand what Yoga has to offer.

Wajeeha Al Husseini

I’ve been cycling for charity with the Qatar Sandstormers

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