Inthe first partof this series, , shared why her students yin, from stress and crisis management to empowerment and courage. The stories continue in Part 2 - read on for more reasons to start your own yin yoga journey.
The stories and the journeys of my yin yoga students at YYoga continue to wholeheartedly convince me that this is a worthwhile, healing practice. They all arrive on the mat for different reasons, they all leave with different lessons.
Yin Yoga for Running
“In September, to balance the intense effort of marathon running, I started practicing warm yin with Ashley. Warm yin classes have proven to be a perfect complement to running as they have helped increase strength, flexibility, balance and mental acuity. I credit yin yoga for helping me stay healthy, assisting with recovery from high-intensity training, addressing postural and structural imbalance, preventing overuse injuries and ensuring that I’ll be running for decades to come.”
The Science:A five minute hold in a stretch can increase and improve the body’s immune system. "Mechanical input in the form of static tissue stretch has been shown ... to have anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic effects.”
Yin Yoga for Physical Pain
“I sit at my desk for 8 hours a day on a computer. Since going to Ashley’s Yin classes, my carpel tunnel symptoms are gone and I don’t get huge knots in the back of my shoulders that constantly ache. Her classes are a part of my life so I can keep living… even with all the sitting. If you have an office job, you need to go to these classes. They will change your life.”
The Science: ”We now have proof that the extended postures [of the spine] can drive the nucleus material that is in the delaminated pockets of the posterior nucleus back towards the central part of the disc.”
Yin Yoga for Emotional Breakthroughs
“There are very few Yoga classes I attend that consistently capture what I love most about Yoga — the journey inwards. Many classes are just there to make you stronger physically and test your limits. That’s easy. Yin Yoga helps you get stronger emotionally. I’ve broken through so many self-built personal walls, built decades ago.
It’s rare that I open my heart. I think most people can say that, but Ashley’s yin yoga class is truly heart opening. There have been times when I’ve felt an incredible transcendent bliss in her class and other times where I’ve questioned if there was any end to my unmeasurable sadness. That said, I think what I’ve learned most from Ashley is that I have choice. Choice is what I’ve always had and in Ashley’s class I’ve learned how to choose me.
She’s helped me find out what’s mine inside my body and my mind. What to keep, what to let go, what to love and what to choose differently. That, in my honest and heartfelt opinion, is truly wise and worthy of love.”
The Science:“[Yoga] practices enhance muscular strength and body flexibility, promote and improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, promote recovery from and treatment of addiction, reduce stress, anxiety, and chronic pain, improve sleep patterns, and enhance overall well-being and quality of life.”
 See Stretching of the Back Improves Gait, Mechanical Sensitivity and Connective Tissue Inflammation in a Rodent Model by Sarah M. Corey et al in PLoS ONE | www.plosone.org January 2012 | Volume 7 | Issue 1 | e29831
 Low Back Disorders by Stuart McGill, pages 43 and 47.
 Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life by Catherine Woodyard in Int J Yoga. 2011 Jul?Dec; 4(2): 49-54