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Athlete and the Hamstring –> Yin Yoga gives you Relief

Yin yoga can GREATLY benefit the athlete and tight hamstrings.

What’s YIN YOGA you might ask. Think of it like the really SLOW yoga. And then you say…”OH GOSH, yoga is boring enough as it is…”. Well, those that tend to run faster say that. But seriously, keep reading…

So YIN YOGA, you can nutshell it to, is holding poses longer. A lot longer. Yin Yoga is very COOLING yoga. Everything that the triathlete, runner, busy person does is very heating. “Do this.” “Do that.” “Check that off.” “Must get that done.” “Hit that pace.” “Do that hill workout.” All of this is very heating. Yes, for that workout moment, but also just in general, energetically, for the body, long term. And especially if you are the personality that has the tendencies to be the “Get it done.” mode more than not.

Yin Yoga is relaxing, calming and cooling. And it’s a great place to stretch parts that get chronically tight. Think about this…how many minutes or hours is the hamstring asked to work. Or whatever…to cause it to be tight. A LOT. So, just be mindful that you might need to invest a bit of time to help them stay longer. And consider this, due to the nature of the anatomy, slowness/caution/gentleness is a benefit. You really don’t want micro tears at the knee attachment points or the butt bones. Those stink!

So quick anatomy lesson. Surrounding and supporting the bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments is FASCIA. It holds you in place. So it must be stronger and hold things more. As a result, it stretches slower. So you must hold the stretch a bit longer (more gently). NO BOUNCING in stretching. Also, your brain sends muscles signals to help the muscles relax. Holding stretches longer helps enough signal get to the muscle, so it finally decides to relax and let go. If you are being too aggressive with stretching, thinking you need to “fix something”, then it really doesn’t work well. And you end up with micro tears in places. BE GENTLE. BE PATIENT. (I know, right!)

Here are the things to keep in mind when doing YIN YOGA.

Connect in with YOU
 
Help the position out, use props (pillows, blocks, etc)
This means, if you are doing the first video below, you can use a pillow to prop up your torso, relax of it.  The intent is to focus on the legs, not stress the back out.
Do not put up with pain
 
Try not to give up on the pose if you’ve done #1-3
 
Good time to practice the breathe
So if you get “bored”, focus on your breathing.  Count the inhales and exhales.
Be mindful of what the stretch feels like
“Watch” it move around as things loosen up

YOU ARE AWESOME!
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What is SIBO

Small intestine bacterial overgrowth. This happens when bacteria that normally grows elsewhere in the gut takes residence in the small intestine.

This is a serious condition that can have a big negative impact on your health, well being and obviously training and racing.

Normally: the bacteria that we are chatting about, which are of the "GOOD" kind. These friendly bacteria usually live in the colon where they help to digest soluble fiber and makes vitamins/minerals that the body needs.

In other words - which leads to ...

  1. Too many friendly bacteria find their way to small intestines
  2. Bacteria flourishes and robs cells/body of simple carbs/sugars and interferes with nutrition absorption. In other words, the bacteria (now in a nutrient dense environment) complete for resources that your body needs. Overgrow can happen easily because of the nutrient rich (sugary foods) environment.
  3. Releases gasses - bloating, gas, nausea, vomiting, cramping
  4. Food / carb / nutrient absorption for the body is interrupted or negatively impacted. Especially vitamin B12.
  5. The bacteria that is eating with WILD ABANDON release gases that hurt the body by being released too far up the GI tract.
  6. Absorption problems can lead to malnutrition. Not having enough B12 is a very serious thing for the entire body. Then perhaps add that you are vegetarian. Are you actually absorbing the B12 that you might be taking? Same with meat eaters as well ... where we naturally "get B12". Fatigue, anemia, or brain fog.
  7. Fats are harder to break down . So you can become deficient in fat soluble vitamins.
  8. Carbohydrate absorption is affected as well, as the bacteria gets at it first.
  9. Contribute to Leaky Gut but causing inflammation of the tight junctions and affecting permeability.
  10. Villa in the gut get damaged further causing absorption issues.
  11. Inflammation and thinning of the mucosal lining.

SIBO IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE OF AN ISSUE

Currently 64% of folks going to GI specialists have found at SIBO is involved. They are saying that about 60% of folks with IBS are caused or can be traced back to SIBO.

Symptoms

  1. Pain in stomach, especially after eating
  2. Bloating
  3. Cramps
  4. Diarrhea / constipation
  5. Indigestion
  6. Regular feeling of fullness
  7. Gas
  8. Fatigue, anemia, brain fog

Causes

  1. Deficiency in the migrating motor complex MMC. Motility issues resulting in food and bacteria not passing through properly.
    • Series of movements/contractions to move food particles/bacteria out of the stomach and small intestines. MMC works between meals, cleaning. The moment food is in the mouth, the MMC stops. Works every 90 to 120 minutes. 2 hour process. Sweeps bacteria out of the small intestines into the colon where it belongs.
    • The MMC is most stunted by food poisoning and diabetes. In the case of food poisoning, whatever virus, bacteria or parasite gives off a toxin that damages nerves thus slowing down the MMC. It does this so your body can not get rid of it. Make sense? Smart of them. Diabetes also causes nerve damage that results in slower MMC movement/functionality.
    • Eating too frequently can alter the MMC "waves". If you are eating you are not cleaning. This is one of the underlying reasons that intermittent fasting helps. More cleaning going on.
  2. Defect in the ileocecal valve.
    • Valve that separates the small and large intestine. This allows a "reflux" type action to happen, allowing bacteria to "flow" back up into the small intestines. Infection. Parasite. Some other issue with undigested food.
  3. Structural defects from surgery or diverticulitis
    • Pouches form in the small intestines where bacteria can make a home in and grow.
    • This causes behind this are not for sure yet, tho a diet low in fiber might contribute. Also, when the stool is hard and the colon has to over exert itself, it can weaken the intestine wall, causing pouches to form.
    • Diverticulitis is where inflammation occurs due to this bacteria overgrowth and stress on the gut lining/environment. Most cases of diverticulitis do not form in the small intestines.
    • Intestine surgery, including stomach stapling can predispose an individual to SIBO.
  4. Compromised digestion due to low stomach acid and digestive enzymes. pH issues.
    • Stomach acid can normally kill off unwanted bacteria. But when it is low it can't do its job. So bacteria will collect in the small intestines. The use of antacids and proton pump inhibitors also contribute to SIBO, medications used for acid reflux. These medications can temporarily bring relief but long term they do not help the root cause and can make it worse. Any medication that affects the pH of the stomach acid, meaning make it LESS acidic can contribute to SIBO.
  5. Weakened immune system
    • Normally the immune system can take care of the bacteria when they grow out of place and the toxins that they produce. If they immune system is low there aren't enough resources to handle the stress. FYI. Keep in mind that chronic stress weakens the immune system. A weakened immune affects the MMC directly or if you take antibiotics this causes a VOID in the gut where opportunist bacteria can take over and grow like wild fire. Making the whole situation worse.

SIBO IS STUBBORN AND CAN REOCCUR

Some studies show a reoccurrence rate of 45%. Relapse can happen in a few days, weeks or months. Most common reoccurrence is within a couple weeks to months where it is being show that 70-80% of SIBO cases/reoccurrence is due to MMC issues. In these cases getting rid of the overgrowth is only 1/2 the battle. Repairing MMC functionality is key.

Risk factors: Crohn’s, diabetes, scleroderma, HIV, Parkinson’s, hypothyroidism, medications that slow down the bowel, like narcotics, ? Mag low?

To test for: breathe (bacteria releases hydrogen and methane) (fasted), blood, fecal, other

Natural Antimicrobials:

  • Cinnamon
  • Coptis
  • Indian barberry
  • Lemon Balm
  • Neem
  • Oregano
  • Red Thyme

Fixing

  1. Feed the bacteria to bring them out and medicate
  2. Low residue diet, less fiber, work on root cause
  3. Lifestyle - support Migrating motor complex, between the meals activity in the gut to get food and bacteria to large intestines.
    • Several hours between meals
    • 3 meals a day
    • Eliminate snacks
    • Avoid eating at least three hours before bed

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