doing a yin practice right after a hot yoga class

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Jeff
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Location: Cambridge Ontario
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doing a yin practice right after a hot yoga class

Post by Jeff »

Hi Bernie

There is a hot yoga class that finishes right before my class starts. People from the hot class often stay for my class. Should a person practice yin right after taking an hour long hot yoga class before? Should I caution people not to go as deep into the poses? I'm afraid that they're tendons and ligaments are too soft. What's your opinion?

Jeff
Jeff
Bernie
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Location: Vancouver

Yin after hot yoga

Post by Bernie »

Hi Jeff ... A hot topic, so to speak, and one that has been raised before. You might find these two posts interesting:

"Hot" Yin Yoga - Elaborate?
Hot Yoga approach and Yin

As a general rule of thumb, the cooler the muscles the more benefit a student will get physiologically from her Yin Yoga practice. The above posts will discuss why this is so, however, as also noted, there are other benefits from Yin Yoga beyond the physiological. People still benefit from the stillness of the yin practice regardless of what they were doing before the class. It always comes back to the intention of the student and why they are doing yoga in the first place.

Can a student go too deep? Yes! This is always a possibility and it is a possibility for students who do Yin Yoga cold too, just less likely. This is why attention is so important in our yoga practice: we have to be alert to the warning signals that the body is giving us and back off when we feel pain.

Let me know if you still have questions.
Cheers
Bernie
Jeff
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Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:13 pm
Location: Cambridge Ontario
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Post by Jeff »

thanx Bernie

I've been reading some of the other posts about hot yoga and yin and recall you talking about intentions. My concerns are more physiological. Could a person damage their tendons, ligaments and connective tissue after they've been super heated by a vigorous hot class then take a yin class without being aware that the damage is occurring?

When you talk about warm muscles absorbing the stress that we apply to our joints during our yin practice, could you explain how the muscles absorb the stress? I would like to be able to explain this to my students. They've asked when is the best time of the day to practice yin and I've told them " pending on what your intentions are for that particular session". But I'm sure they'll ask, the big questions of "the why and how warmer muscles absorb stress more compared to cooler muscles".

thanx for your patience
Jeff
Bernie
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Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:25 am
Location: Vancouver

Yin when warm

Post by Bernie »

Hi Jeff

Did you read the page where I discuss how the muscles "steal" the stress when they are warmed up? I use the analogy of elastic bands: if you have two elastics hooked up in series, with one being really flexible and the other stiffer, when you stretch them, it is the more elastic muscle that moves the most. This is what happens when the muscles are warmer: they will use up most of the stress of the stretch in their elongation, leaving less stress on the tendon and ligament.

The usual critique of this analogy is that the muscles with their tendons are not in series with the ligaments, they are in parallel, however recent studies have shown that this is not true. Muscles/tendons are in fact in a series arrangement with the ligaments and my example of the two elastics does represent what happens. See the work by Jaap van der Wal in which he demonstrates how we have had this all wrong and that corrections are needed to the anatomy books: muscles are not in parallel to ligaments, they are in series, and if you warm up the muscles, there will be less stress on the connective tissues.

This is why I recommend you don't do Yin Yoga after yang yoga IFF your intentions are to get the most benefits physiologically.

You are also asking if this could be dangerous for the connective tissues: maybe. It really depends upon the student: for some students, a full yang class of stressing tissues deeply followed by a deep yin class may be too much. I invite you to re-look at the Goldilocks article I wrote a while back: you will see that the cumulative stress does weaken our tissues and we could cross the point where damage can occur. When you are loose, you are closer to the breaking point. In the same way we advise pregnant women not go too deep in a pose because of the hormone relaxin flooding their system. They may be too flexible and too close to the danger point of hurting themselves. But, for many people, this won't be a problem so it is difficult to generalize. The key is to get the student to check for herself: what are you feeling? If there is any tweak or pain, come out.

I hope this helps.
Bernie
Last edited by Bernie on Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
Jeff
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:13 pm
Location: Cambridge Ontario
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Post by Jeff »

Again thank you. The page with the cold/warm muscles and elastic bands was a perfect analogy for how I learn. It will be a great tool in explaining what is happening to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments to my students. Thanx for the tip. I've really enjoyed reading through the posts and learning from other people's questions and your responses.
Jeff
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