Written by Marzena Bard, PTA
Daily stretching is important for flexibility, preventing injury during exercise, and general
musculoskeletal health, but some people may find that their stretching routine is not as effective
as they want. If you stretch regularly and still deal with muscle tension and stiffness in those
areas, it may be because you aren’t sufficiently stretching the fascia, tendons, ligaments, and
other connective tissue in your body.
One great method to achieve a deeper and more effective stretch, particularly for the pelvic floor
area, is yin yoga. This form of yoga uses poses that are held for a relatively long time – 3 to 5
minutes – while breathing deeply and mindfully. The extended time spent holding poses means
that comfort is very important in these exercises, so you should use a prop such as a bolster,
yoga block, or pillow to help support your body.
The longer you’re able to spend in a yin yoga posture, the deeper the layers of tissue you can
stretch, and the greater amount of time you’ll feel the benefits. Once you’ve assumed each
pose, your focus should be on your breathing. Some people find that they’re able to assume a
meditative state this way, which has psychological benefits including reducing anxiety.
If you’re experiencing tightness in your pelvic floor, there are yin yoga poses that target muscle
groups in this area, such as the hamstrings, quadriceps, and hip adductor and abductor
muscles. The more you perform these stretches, the better your awareness of your pelvic
anatomy and the condition of your pelvic floor muscles becomes.
In a 2015 study at Sweden’s Lund University, adults who reported stress saw better
psychological health and decreased levels of stress hormones after five weeks of yin yoga
practice. Other benefits of this form of exercise include:
● Improved flexibility
● Better circulation
● Improved sleep
● Enhanced mental focus
● Greater relaxation
● Breath awareness
● Faster healing of injuries
Yin yoga may not be suitable for everyone, and it is best performed with the guidance of a
physical therapy professional. Contact JAG PT today to inquire about how we can help
you add yin yoga to your daily fitness routine.
Three of the key poses of yin yoga are demonstrated below.
Butterfly Pose – hold 3-5 minutes each side (option with block)
Melting Heart Post – hold 3-5 minutes each side