Apart from stretching and stimulating the fascia, the deep connective tissue within our bodies during a Yin yoga practice, we also come into plenty of asanas (postures) where one or more compressions are taking place as well. A compression would be on the other side of the spectrum from a stretch, instead of lengthening there is a compression taking place where as bone to bone might come to meet, or muscle to muscle, ligament to bone and so on.
When we compress the hip joint for example (or any joints for that matter) we have to practice with great awareness so that we won’t herniate a disk, grind on cartilage or even tare ligaments. A mild, moderate and mindful stress on joints is actually beneficial for the strengthening and longevity of them. We stimulate the synovial fluid that is capsulated around the joints, helping them regain or maintain their full range of motion, and their ability to move with ease and fluidity. Like mentioned previously, things that we don’t tend to will in time stop being attentive to us. What we put out we get back and so on.
This opposite type of stimulation, compression, is beneficial for our bodies health and also for the strength and density of our bones, joints and ligaments. Harvesting a body that is ready for whatever comes at it is not one who is only strong nor only flexible. But rather one who has a beautiful harmony of the both. Strength without flexibility causes rigidity and can have us snap. Flexibility without strength will have us lack resistance and even integrity. It is a complex diagram to picture but it is a holistic one, a body of strong muscles can have tight fascia and weak bones, a body can have healthy limbs, joints and facia but lack strength in core and muscles that help keep the body powerful and upright.
We have to be mindful when practicing compression swell, if there is bone to bone contact we must realise that our posture has reahed its maximum and from there on just compress mildly to keep the join, bone awake. If the compression is made up from tight facia, our body still has the ability to move deeper into the posture. Through a mindful practice Yin Yoga is very therapeutic, so stay with your personal responsibility in class and make sure you do not go too deep into a posture just because someone next to you can reach deeper, or whatever the reason might be for you to push beyond your own edge. As we all look different on the outside, remember our bodies vary on the inside aswell, no hip joint is exact to another ones… Be mindful, humble and kind with yourself.