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"Paradox effect"

 
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driton



Joined: 27 Oct 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:59 pm    Post subject: "Paradox effect" Reply with quote

Hi Bernie

I'm doing yin yoga since about three years but not regularly, that means some months I practice quite regularly and some months I do nothing at all.

After the latest yin yoga sessions I constantly had a good feeling (good mood) but the session gave me to much power, I felt kind of overexcited and I couldn't fall asleep for hours. In other words, the lessons stimulated me like a couple of cups of coffee.

I'm a little bit confused because yin yoga is said to put you in a calm and relaxed vibe (also the teacher told me so) and when I did yin yoga in the past it actually had this effect and my sleep was more calm.

Can you tell me something about this "paradox reaction"? What could be the reason for it? Do you know similar cases?

Thanks a lot!

Driton
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Bernie



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1021
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:02 am    Post subject: What is happening when Yin is energizing instead of calming? Reply with quote

Hi Driton

Good question: you are not the only one who feels energized rather than relaxed after a Yin Yoga practice. You didn't tell me which poses you were doing or what else was going on (were you doing any breath work, listening to music, etc.) so I can only speculate, but one thing that can give people a buzz after practice is back bends. Stimulating the kidneys either directly or via the Kidney Meridian can be quite energetic. The adrenal glands can release adrenalin during a practice which can feel the same as if you just drank a couple of strong coffees.

Back bends are great in the morning (instead of becoming addicted to caffeine, become addicted to yoga) but for nighttime practice, you may want more forward flexion. We work more than just the physical body in yoga and Yin Yoga can be very effective in moving chi/prana/energy. I suspect this is what is happening for you.

Does that make any sense to you?

Cheers
Bernie
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driton



Joined: 27 Oct 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your answer!

Maybe I have to explain a little bit more about my situation: I'm 25 years old (male) and I came to yin yoga via martial arts. I wanted to reach more flexibility because I was (and I'm still) really immobile and I heard yin yoga is exactly what I need to reach my goal. Because of an injury based on soccer (cruciate rupture) I stopped martial arts but I proceeded with yin yoga. When I'm doing yin, I take a lesson once a week that takes 90 minutes and we're doing also back bends but I think more forward flexions. But I think I can confirm that back bends have a more energizing effect!

The other aspect to mention is my mental constitution: In the last two years I often was down (maybe triggered by stress in the job) and had fears (to much thinking, permanent self-examination) but there is no heavy mental ill-health like a psychosis. I also often have problems with the so called parasympatic functions (sleep, relaxation, digestion). I know that this is no psychological-forum but I heard and I also red on this board, that yin yoga can have an influence on the psyche and on the autonomic nervous system. And I heard that yin strengthens the parasympatic functions. On the other hand it is quite introspective and as I said, introspection isn't something that I miss...

What do you think, do I benefit from yin or is it the wrong thing for a person like me? During the lessons I don't feel bad, I just can't stop thinking. And as I said, after the lessons I usually feel quite well, also on a mental level but there is this paradox-effect...
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Bernie



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1021
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:33 am    Post subject: The benefits of Yin Yoga Reply with quote

Certainly Yin Yoga can help you: one of the lovely things about yoga is its ability to affect us and help us on so many levels - physically (hopefully you have already discovered these benefits); mentally (which we will talk about); and energetically (which you have noticed.)

Yin Yoga provided periods for mini-meditation which can allow us a chance to train the brain, improve concentration, help deal with anxiety disorders. There is a section in YinSights that you may find interesting: it is called A.W.A.K.E.N.. By being aware, first of sensations in the body, which are plentiful in a yin class, and then of thoughts in the mind, we can begin to allow the thoughts to go. First you have to be aware of them and then the practice is allowing - allowing them to go: not forcing them to go and not hiding from them either. We allow unhelpful thoughts to go like we allow our out breath to go.

This practice is not simply introspection: that can be unhelpful as well, when it lacks intention and direction. This is a directed investigation of what is actually happening, making a deliberate conscious choice and changing your mental state. This is simple; not easy; but very effective when practiced regularly; when practiced with both attention and intention.

Energetically we are dealing with the Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic Nervous Systems. I have written about how beneficial Yin Yoga can be and how to increase the "rest and digest" function through simple breath work in this newsletter article. Try these simple exercises and see if they affect the degree of agitated energy you have been experiencing. You can also try this at other times in life when things get a little crazy or stressful.

I hope this helps.
Cheers
Bernie
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