Guest Column: Finding balance through the chaos of everyday life

Published 2:59 pm Friday, November 17, 2017

By Jasmine Murphy

Jasmine Murphy teaches fitness classes at the Albert Lea Family Y.

I love intense workouts. They get the blood pumping, sweat pouring and a sense of achievement at the end. Teaching a variety of high energy classes like Zumba and HITT Bootcamp has given me the results I wanted.

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Yin yoga has given me different results. It has allowed me to not feel guilty about “me” time. I noticed after my first yin class that my mind and body felt better afterwards. I was hooked after that. Yin yoga has helped me manage things instead of allowing them to manage me.

We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with stimuli — stimuli that is available 24/7. Think about all the electronics used — laptops, phones and TV. The mind gets used to that amount of information and starts to crave stimuli if it gets quiet. So you end up browsing, looking for stuff — it doesn’t matter what as long as you fill the gaps. Instead of trying to fill those gaps, we really should allow ourselves some sort of down time — for the mind to stop and for you to just be.

Who is yin yoga for?

• If  you are tired, over-stimulated, your mind is overactive, you are craving energy or you feel you have too much of it.

• Athletes, the elderly, office workers and a highly stressed person.

• Addicts, persons with eating disorders or those dealing with pain/trauma recovery.

Yin and the body

Yin yoga works on the connective tissues. Connective tissue responds best to a slow and steady load. Yin poses can be held anywhere from 45 seconds up to five minutes in a class. If you gently stretch connective tissue by holding a yin pose for a long time in this way, the body will respond by making them a little longer and stronger. Remember the principle of exercise is to stress the tissue so the body will respond by strengthening it. Different yin poses work to stimulate and remove blocks in the myofascial meridians in the body. This has the effect of balancing the body’s internal organs and systems.

We need to make sure that even during the chaotic moments in our lives we still find balance. We need to be OK with putting some time aside for ourselves — some time to take care of our mind, body and spirit. Your health is so important. If you don’t feel good, you cannot be the best version of yourself for your family and loved ones.

If you haven’t tried a yin class, please do. I have seen such an improvement in my students who come regularly to my classes at the Y. So please give yourself some “me” time, and remember you deserve to take care of yourself.