Through a series of postures and breathing exercises, yoga is a form of active recovery from high-intensity training that can and should be done daily to improve strength, flexibility, mobility and balance. It works the whole body to stretch out the muscles so as to improve blood circulation.
"The connective tissues in our body need to be both stretched for a long time (like in yin yoga) to maintain its elasticity, as well as engaged in dynamic movements (like in vinyasa yoga) to maintain its viscosity and bounce”, said Jo Phee, teacher and Director of Teacher Training at True Yoga.
Restrictions in muscle or joint tissue are a common cause of chronic injury. Restorative yoga, also known as yin or gentle yoga, focuses on mysofascial release – releasing the muscle tightness and shortness in the fascia or connective tissue to improve joint range of motion.
“When we exhaust the physical body through strenuous exercises, the body needs to rest in stillness in order to rehabilitate and become stronger and more pliable. Yin yoga also allows the mind to disengage from the daily strain of striving and efforting”, Jo pointed out.
Calming for both mind and body, restorative yoga aligns the physical and mental by holding positions for longer periods of time with the aid of props, such as pillows and blankets, to eliminate unnecessary straining. It promotes relaxation and improves blood and lymphatic circulation, reducing stress and tension in the body. However, each injury is unique and the types of yoga exercises depend on the nature of the injury. It is best to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider beforehand to get a better understanding of your condition.
Prevention is better than cure. Don't wait for injury to seek yoga for recovery. Perhaps, it is best summed up by Christine Felstead, author of the book, "Yoga for Runners". "Rather than using yoga on an irregular, as-needed basis, integrate it into your program on an ongoing basis by making time for it in your weekly workout".
References: Christine Felstead, “Yoga for Runners”.
"When we exhaust the physical body through strenuous exercises, the body needs to rest in stillness in order to rehabilitate and become stronger and more pliable."
- Jo Phee, teacher and Director of Teacher Training at True Yoga.
Jo has been teaching at True Yoga since its inception in 2004. With a special interest in Yoga Anatomy and Chinese Medicine, Jo’s teachings have been devoted primarily to the mindfulness practice of Yin Yoga. She is also the Director of Teacher Training and oversees True Yoga’s Teacher Training Programs and international workshops.