Can you do too much Yin Yoga?

Check this forum for suggestions on Yin Yoga flows, sequences and postures, as well as HOW to practice Yin Yoga.
Post Reply
Site Admin
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:41 am

Can you do too much Yin Yoga?

Post by admin »

I recently received the following questions:
  • I teach a lot of Yin. 2 classes a day seven days a week... and I am noticing an alarming trend. We are getting people that are becoming addicted to Yin. They are coming once a day and sometimes twice a day almost every day of the week. They are typically athletes or people with joint disorders who have extreme stiffness. Everyone is feeling like a million bucks. This clearly is a great problem for a yoga studio to have but I care about my students and want to make sure they're not going down a rabbit hole towards injury. I know you're going to say something about balance. 😊 But these type of people are not so good at balance. It's like a drug and they can't get enough. I'm trying to find information regarding risk of tearing the fascia with such constant daily compression over the long-term. Can you do too much? I'm sure there aren't studies on this yet. But do I shoo people away or just let them keep coming and figure it out on their own? I just don't want a whole bunch of people pointing a finger at me in six months saying why did you let me do this. Thank you for any advice.

Hi Laura

This topic has been addressed a bit in the past and you may find these threads interesting: It is correct to say that this has not been studied in any scientific settings, but I think it is safe to say that it is certainly possible to do too much of anything. But what is too much for one person may be just right for another. So, I don't believe you can issue a standard edict that says only do Yin Yoga once a day. For some that would be wise, for others that may be too limiting. Think of this: we stand on our feet for long periods of time every day: that is a daily yin stress of the feet fascia, but we don't damage our tissues because of it. People with braces wear them for years at a time and they don't break their jaws. Long held yin-like stresses are not inherently harmful. but if the stress is too strong or held too long, it could be harmful for some bodies.

What would be useful is to help your students learn for themselves how to determine if their practice is too much, just right, or not enough. If that sounds like something Goldilocks would say, good! She is very wise. If you can teach students how to listen to their own bodies and become their own teacher, then the finger of blame can only point back to themselves! ;-) If they are resistant to take on this responsibility, at least get them to be clear what their intentions are in doing yoga. Is it to become healthier? If so, they better add attention to that intention. If it is merely to find a place to hang out for a few hours, perhaps because they are bored, well you have a different challenge ahead of you.

i would not shoo anyone away, but I would try to educate them on what sensations are healthy, bad and neutral and help them learn to notice these, not only while in the postures but when coming out and over the next 24 ~ 48 hours.

Post Reply