Free Download with Bernie Clark! Tension or Compression? Yin Yoga Keys to Working Within Your Edge

In a world where stress and challenges are inevitable, what if we could not only withstand challenges but actually grow stronger from them? 

This is the essence of antifragility, a concept that master teacher and author Bernie Clark believes can be cultivated through the practice of Yin Yoga.

“If something’s fragile, stress can break it,” says Bernie. “Whether that stress comes from changes in life, chaos, uncertainty, or something that’s fragile, it doesn’t take much pressure, stress, load, or exercise before it breaks.”

Bernie notes that a good example is dropping a glass vase onto the floor. It is a fragile structure, and hitting the floor will cause it to shatter into little shards of glass.

“But living organisms aren’t generally fragile. They’re at the opposite part of the spectrum: They are antifragile; they gain from disorder. They become stronger, whether through exercise, stress, or other challenges.”

However, Bernie notes that it’s important to apply just the right amount of challenge. If we know the right approach, Yin Yoga can help us develop greater strength and antifragility.

Central to this is the idea of finding your “intelligent edge”—going to the point of challenge without falling over the cliff into injury. 

How do we find our intelligent edge? The key is to learn how to distinguish between two forms of stress on the connective tissues: tension and compression. 

“Some people will run into the limitations of their anatomical structures sooner than others,” says Bernie. “If tension stops us, then over time, we can stretch those tissues out, and they get longer and longer.”

“But if it’s compression of bones, once we hit those bony limitations, we can’t change it. We’ve reached the limit of what our unique anatomical structures will allow us to do.”

And obviously, it’s critical to know the difference! So, one of the tricks in yoga is knowing what stops you. 

“It’s like a mantra in yoga. If it’s compression, I’ve accepted that I can’t go any further, and no amount of yoga will change that,” says Bernie. “But if it’s tension, well, okay, over time, I just have to work through that. It may be challenging, but over time, I can stretch those tissues out.” 

This is the art of Yin Yoga: By paying attention to sensations and understanding the difference between tension and compression in the body, we can safely and effectively build strength and antifragility, Bernie notes.

It is also important to learn how to adapt the practice to the needs of your unique body and not try to force your body into a one-size-fits-all mold.

“We don’t use the body to get into the pose,” Bernie explains. “We use the pose to get into the body.” 

Bernie also introduces his new course in which he will show how to work within a pose to develop an awareness of which limitations are from tension and which are from compression. These principles can be applied whether it’s a Yin yoga pose or a more traditional Yang yoga pose, he explains. 

Click GET ACCESS NOW to download the free talk and learn more.

Also check out Bernie’s course: Finding Your Intelligent Edge: The Key to Developing Soft Tissue Resilience and Lifelong Antifragility

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Bernie Clark (E-RYT 500) has been following a yogic path since 1978, originally purely through the practice of Zen meditation but eventually through the addition of asana practice.

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