Heart Chakra Yin Yoga for Love & Compassion {30 min}

/ 08:03:00

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Namaste yogis, welcome to my channel! I'm finally adding on to my Yin Yoga chakra series with this new heart chakra class. The heart chakra relates to our ability to love ourselves as well as others. It is about compassion, forgiveness and caring.

The heart chakra is associated with the color green and for this yin yoga class you'll need 2 blocks and possibly a blanket. The poses in this practice all have to do with opening the area of the heart by stretching into the chest, upper back and shoulders. This is suitable for all experience levels!




Namaste,
Kassandra

Please do subscribe to my YouTube channel




☮ Website: http://www.yogawithkassandra.com ☮ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kryoga ☮ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yoga_with_k... ❤ Your donations help me improve my channel and the quality of my videos, thank you! http://bit.ly/ywkdonate Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.



SIGN UP FOR MY 30 DAY STYLES OF YOGA CALENDAR AND CHALLENGE

Namaste yogis, welcome to my channel! I'm finally adding on to my Yin Yoga chakra series with this new heart chakra class. The heart chakra relates to our ability to love ourselves as well as others. It is about compassion, forgiveness and caring.

The heart chakra is associated with the color green and for this yin yoga class you'll need 2 blocks and possibly a blanket. The poses in this practice all have to do with opening the area of the heart by stretching into the chest, upper back and shoulders. This is suitable for all experience levels!




Namaste,
Kassandra

Please do subscribe to my YouTube channel




☮ Website: http://www.yogawithkassandra.com ☮ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kryoga ☮ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yoga_with_k... ❤ Your donations help me improve my channel and the quality of my videos, thank you! http://bit.ly/ywkdonate Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.


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Yin yoga as a practice is done by holding passive poses for extended periods of time. These asanas are not about increasing strength or endurance. As you hold each pose avoid using muscular effort, instead try to relax, soften, and let gravity do the work. The focus of this practice is more in to the joints. And the goal here is to increase your range of motion and improve your flexibility.

SIGN UP FOR MY **FREE** 7 DAY YIN YOGA IMMERSION PROGRAM TO IMPROVE FLEXIBILITY! 

If you are new to Yin Yoga, first things first, Hi!!! We are happy to have you here!

Whether you are a long time practicing yogi trying a new style, or a brand new student, the following 7 pose sequence will provide you with a nice place to get started in Yin.

Yin yoga as a practice is done by holding passive poses for extended periods of time. These asanas are not about increasing strength or endurance. As you hold each pose avoid using muscular effort, instead try to relax, soften, and let gravity do the work. The focus of this practice is more in to the joints. And the goal here is to increase your range of motion and improve your flexibility.

Each pose is typically held for 3-5 minutes to allow your body to open over time, but you can start with a goal of a couple minutes a pose and work your way up to longer holds.

You will want to have 2 blocks and a strap handy, if you don't yet have props at home a cushion or pillow and a belt will also do the trick.

1. Child's Pose - From kneeling, bring the big toes together and take the knees apart. The wider the knees, the more intense the sensation you are likely to experience through the inner thighs and inner groin. You don't want to feel any pinching or compression here, however if you do that is an indication you should narrow your knee positioning. Walk your hands out and bring the forehead to rest either on the mat, on your palms, or on a block. Find your edge, not going so far that it becomes painful or is hard to breathe. The same goes for each of the poses that follow. Let your hips be heavy to the heels, melt your chest to the floor, relax your shoulders and upper back. Breathe in and out, slowly and steady through the nose. After a couple of minutes here, push in to the palms and slowly ease your way back up.

2. Sphinx - Come forward, to lay down on the belly. With your toes untucked, bring your feet about hip width distance apart. Slide your forearms out in front of you, with the elbows and palms about shoulder width distance. Note that in this pose, you control how deep you take the back bend. The further forward you bring your arms, the easier the pose will be. The closer you walk your elbows in towards you, the more intense the pose. Shine the heart and chest forward, while pressing the shoulders down and squeezing the shoulder blades back. Keep the chin parallel to the mat. As mentioned in the previous pose, if there is any pinching or compression, you've taken the pose too far and should walk your arms further forward.

3. Baby Dragon - Come up to table top, then step your right foot through between the palms at the front of the mat. Since we will hold here for a while, you may want to fold the mat in to double up the support under the back knee. If you find it hard to keep the fingertips on the floor, bring a block under each hand, at whatever level feels best to you. Keep the front ankle, underneath the knee. Melt your hips forward and down, draw your shoulders away from the ears. Let gravity do the work as you hold here. If you need a break from this deep hip opener, feel free to straighten the front leg and come back to the low lunge. It's your practice. When you are ready to move on, push in to the right heel, returning to table top, and then switching legs.


4. Seated Forward Fold - Coming to a seat, extend your legs out in front of you and bring feet to hip width. As this is a passive forward fold, it means you should not be pushing or pulling and forcing your way deeper. Instead, you want to let yourself relax and round naturally in to the stretch. Slowly allow the body to find its own way deeper. Feel free to bend your knees if that feels good. Wherever you come to your edge, relax your neck and head. If you are close to the ground, you may want to bring a block or cushion underneath to support the head or chest. If you find yourself tempted to pull yourself further in to the pose, you may opt to turn your palms up to the sky. After a good long hold, be extra slow and careful as you ease your way back up, using your arms and hands to move inch by inch.

5. Simple Seated Twist - Keep the left leg straight out. Bend your right knee and cross the right foot over the top of the left thigh. Grab hold of your right thigh with the your left elbow. Bring your right fingertips down to the ground behind you, and open the chest to the right. Draw the bended thigh in to the belly. Avoid rounding the spine, keep shining your crown up to the sky while also grounding the sit bones down. Keep the shoulders drawing down and away from the ears. Slowly unwind and switch sides.

6. Reclining Leg Stretch - Grab hold of your strap and ease your way down to lay on your back. Bend the knees and bring the soles of your feet to the mat. Hook the strap over the ball of your right foot and extend that leg straight up. Holding lower on the strap will allow your arms to stay nice and relaxed down to the ground. If you want a bit more sensation, you can straight the left leg out to the ground in front of you. Again, if it feels good to keep a bend in the right knee, do so. If your leg begins to shake here, it's another indication you have gone too far and want to ease off a bit for now. Just be sure to keep ankle, knee and hip in line with one another. Slowly switch legs.

7. Banana Pose - This is a great way to open up the sides of the waist. Remain laying down, bend in to your knees and bring the soles to the ground. Lift the hips, shift them over to the right, and lower back down. Bring your head, shoulders and chest more towards the left. Extend the legs out straight in front of you, and then shift the ankles to the left as well. Reach your arms up over head, holding on to opposite elbows. To deepen the stretch further, cross the right ankle over the left. Feeling a nice opening in the right side, specifically the hip. Stay here for a few minutes, sending your breath down the right side body. Relax in to the pose more with every exhale. After a good amount of time has passed, ease back through center and switch sides.

If you think it would be more useful to practice your first time through by watching and listening along, check out the video below. It's the full 35 minute practice I shared on YouTube.



Namaste,
Kassandra

Please do subscribe to my YouTube channel




☮ Website: http://www.yogawithkassandra.com ☮ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kryoga ☮ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yoga_with_k... ❤ Your donations help me improve my channel and the quality of my videos, thank you! http://bit.ly/ywkdonate Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.

When I first started doing yoga I had a hard time picking a class to attend because I had no idea what all the names meant. I had no idea what Vinyasa was or how it differed from Hatha or Iyengar or Forrest Yoga or Power or any of the other dozens of styles I encountered when I googled "yoga".
I had to try a little bit of everything to really find the styles that work best for me (Yin & Vinyasa).
If you've ever wanted to branch out in your practice, let me introduce you to my ✨NEW ✨"Styles of Yoga" June Yoga Calendar!
"Styles of Yoga" is all about exposing you to different styles of yoga! (What I consider to be the top 5, although this is personal opinion)
  • Vinyasa is a dynamic form of yoga that links movement with breath. It will give you a cardiovascular workout and helps with flexibility.
  • Power yoga is a strong style that will help you build strength and endurance.
  • Yin yoga (my personal favorite) is wonderful for your joints and increases mobility.
  • Hatha is the original yoga style, fantastic to build a strong foundation in your practice.
  • Restorative yoga is great for stress relief and relaxation.
This program is for any yogi who wants to broaden and expand their practice!
Every day features a new yoga class from the Yoga with Kassandra YouTube library which you can stream or download. Discover videos you've never done before and take the guess work out of choosing a class!
By joining the Styles of Yoga challenge, you will get:
  • A downloadable yoga calendar that links to my YouTube videos
  • 30 yoga classes available to download (yours to keep forever)
  • A private YouTube playlist
  • Mix of Yin, Vinyasa, Hatha, Power & Restorative yoga classes
  • Classes from 15-60 minutes long
  • Suitable for all levels (beginner welcome)
  • Community support from other yogis and yours truly! (access to our Facebook group)
Best of all, this is on a pay what you can basis! I love to make as many of my offerings free or donation based, I want yoga to be accessible to all.
Hope you'll decide to join us :) See you on the mat!
Let's Stay In Touch!

Who's ready for my new yoga challenge? "Styles of Yoga" is my latest one and it's all about introducing you to different styles of yoga! Increase your strength, endurance and flexibility all while reducing stress.

🎇 Download my NEW June Yoga Calendar 🎇 http://bit.ly/ywkjune This is for any yogi who wants to broaden and expand their practice! Every day features a new yoga class from the Yoga with Kassandra YouTube library which you can stream or download. Discover videos you've never done before and take the guess work out of choosing a class! By joining the Styles of Yoga challenge, you will get: - ​A downloadable yoga calendar that links to my YouTube videos - 30 yoga classes available to download (yours to keep forever) - A private YouTube playlist - Mix of Yin, Vinyasa, Hatha, Power & Restorative yoga classes - Classes from 15-60 minutes long - Suitable for all levels - Community support from other yogis and yours truly! The best part? This is 100% donation based, pay what you can to join!​​




🎇 Download my NEW June Yoga Calendar 🎇 http://bit.ly/ywkjune

Thanks for watching, please remember to subscribe! Kassandra ☮ Website: http://www.yogawithkassandra.com ☮ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kryoga ☮ Instagram: http://bit.ly/ywkinsta

SIGN UP FOR MY **FREE** 7 DAY YIN YOGA IMMERSION PROGRAM TO IMPROVE FLEXIBILITY! 

No doubt about it, Yin Yoga is my favorite style of practice! This 35 minute yin yoga class is perfect for beginners who are new to this style or want a more gentle approach to yin. We will only be holding the poses for about 2 minutes each instead of the usual 3-5 I normally do in other yin yoga classes.

You will need 2 blocks and a strap for this practice!



What is Yin Yoga? Yin yoga is often called the Yoga of the joints because unlike other styles of yoga, the emphasis is not on the muscles but on the deep connective tissue. Connective tissue is made up of fascia, ligaments and tendons which surround and form your joints. Yin yoga improves the range of motion in your joints and also strengthens them. The results and benefits are more flexibility and greater range of motion and also more stability within your joints. Although your muscles will also be stretched, that is not the focus of the practice. It is best to practice yin yoga while your muscles are cold and NOT warmed up, even if that sounds counter intuitive. The reason we do this is so that we can send the "stress" and the "Stretch" to the connective tissues. If the muscles are warm they will steal the focus away from the joints.

There are 3 principles of Yin Yoga.
1. Find your edge
2. Be still
3. Hold the pose

Find your edge means respecting your body's limits and not pushing too far and risking injury. Pull back a little bit and as you hold the pose you will be able to go deeper into it without pushing too far or hurting yourself.

Being still means that once you are in the pose it is important to completely relax your muscles so the benefits can get into the connective tissues and joints. Try not to fidget or move or distract yourself, this is a meditative practice. Breathe deeply in and out through the nose.

Holding the pose means that in Yin Yoga a pose can be held for 1-10 minutes depending on the pose performed and on the comfort level of the student. I usually teach poses held for around 4-5 minutes. Learn to surrender and keep a timer close by if needed.

Use as many props as needed in Yin Yoga! Blocks, bolsters and straps are all great ways to support your body to make sure you are respecting your edge and not going too far.

Namaste,
Kassandra

Please do subscribe to my YouTube channel




☮ Website: http://www.yogawithkassandra.com ☮ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kryoga ☮ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yoga_with_k... ✔ GET A FREE AUDIOBOOK - http://bit.ly/audibleywk ❤ Your donations help me improve my channel and the quality of my videos, thank you! http://bit.ly/ywkdonate Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.

No doubt about it, taking my first Yoga Teacher Training was life changing!
Whether you’re considering Yoga Teacher Training to deepen your personal yoga practice OR to pursue teaching yoga as a career, I wanted to make sure you knew about my friend Brett Larkin’s Online Teacher Training program, which I’m also featured and a part of!​ (I teach the Yin Yoga module)

Many of you have e-mailed me expressing interest in this this training but also expressed some doubts:
How to know if you’re ready for Yoga Teacher Training?
Should you pursue it to deepen your own personal practice? Or only do it if you plan to teach?
Is it better to train locally, online or in a 30-day intensive?
How much to yoga teachers get paid? Can you really make an income teaching yoga?
I had all of these doubts and more when I first signed up for my first YTT 6 years ago. I had no idea if I wanted to be a yoga teacher or if I'd be "good enough" or "smart enough" to keep up with the other students. I had so many fears and doubts about it that I almost didn't sign up!
All I can say is I am SO glad I took the plunge and ventured into the unknown. Was it challenging? Sure! But was it worth it? Definitely.
Whether you want to teach or not, Yoga Teacher Training is an intense journey that has the power to transform you and your yoga practice. Of course, every student's experience will be different but I'm a big fan of encouraging people to move TOWARDS their fears rather than away from them.
​Brett did a livestream recently where she answered many questions about her online YTT. This would be a great video to watch if you have doubts!
Watch on Youtube here => https://youtu.be/TaKvESf7JTM
I also wanted to let you know that the 7-month payment plan for my August round of YTT closes in 3 days (May 20). I know payment plans are what make yoga teacher trainings affordable to many of you. (I know they did for me!)
Take advantage of this interest-free option by enrolling before May 20th, if you've decided that this online YTT is the right fit for you. (There are also payments plans for those of you who ARE teachers taking the online program for Continuing Education at a reduced rate).
Remember, you can get all the details on the 200-Hour Online Yoga Teacher Training I filmed with Brett here => http://bit.ly/onlineyogatraining​
Here's to more yoga in the world and facing our fears :)
Many of you know that I have been working on recovering from a knee injury. In doing so I have been doing these 7 stretches every single day (some of them multiple times each day).

SIGN UP FOR MY **FREE** 7 DAY YIN YOGA IMMERSION PROGRAM TO IMPROVE FLEXIBILITY! 

Many of you know that I have been working on recovering from a knee injury. In doing so I have been doing these 7 stretches every single day (some of them multiple times each day).

For those who don't know, as a result of a slip and fall accident I suffered a partial ACL tear and got a bone bruise on my knee cap.

Each knee injury is different and unique to the person recovering, so please note that what works for me may be what makes your injury worse. As this is a blog post shared on the internet, I can't be beside you to give personal guidance. Please proceed with caution, speak with your doctor, and know that the following is what I have been doing to recover from MY injury.

These stretches have to do with releasing hip flexors, working the quads as best as you can, and opening up your hamstrings.

As I can't put any pressure directly on my knee I needed to get creative with my stretches and use props. One prop I have been finding useful is a set of these yoga jellies to provide extra cushioning.  These are not necessary for this routine, but you will definitely want to have 2 blocks at the ready.

Injuries are really humbling, it has been interesting to note the changes the body goes through as it heals.

I have been doing a stretch routine and also a strength routine for my rehabilitation, stay tuned for the latter coming soon.


1. Passive Straight Forward Fold - Sitting on your mat, bring your legs and feet out straight and hip width distance apart. Soften in to the forward fold, hinging at the hips. Keep a small bend in your knees and be sure you aren't going past your full range of motion. As I am currently quite limited and stiff, I use a block or two between the legs to support the head. Hold this fold for about 10 breaths. Find your edge, where you experience a little bit of sensation, but not too much that it becomes painful.  Breathe deeply as you relax the shoulders, chest and upper back. After holding here, stay mindful of the low back as you roll your way back up.


2. Supported Bridge - Set both blocks close by, as you come to lay on your back. Try to bend your knees as much as possible, and bring soles to the mat. Pushing in to your feet, lift your hips and slide a block underneath for support. Take a few deep breaths here. If you have them, you may want to add a yoga jelly here for extra padding. To get deeper, you may opt to straighten your legs next. If this is too much in the low back, then lower your block or return back to the first variation with knees bent. Take a few additional breaths here.

3. Reclined Lunge (No weight on the knee) - Bend knees returning to supported bridge. This pose will get deep in to the hip flexors, a similar sensation to if you were doing a low lunge, but on your back. Lower the block to the lowest level and stack a second block on top to lift the hips higher (or not if this is too much sensation). Again I place the yoga jelly on top of the blocks here for extra cushioning. Straighten the injured leg first, for me that is the right, and draw the other leg in towards the chest. You may need to use a strap, or clasp hold or the back of the thigh or front of the shin, whatever is accessible right now. Reach out with the extended leg, flexing the foot and pushing the heel away, but ensuring you aren't over stretching the knee. Breathe in to the aches and pains. I personally have been doing this stretch 3 or 4 times throughout the day. Slowly and mindfully switch sides. Lowering the lifted leg down and extending it out. Lifting the injured leg, holding on to the thigh. Use your opposite hand to support the calf muscle, and then slowly lower the foot down as much as you can. Play around with the placement of the hands, to find what works best for you. Leaving the supporting hand there will ensure you don't accidentally go too far. The longer and more often you do this pose, the more range of motion you will hopefully find. Return to supported bridge. Push in to the feet to lift the hips and slide the blocks out so you can lower hips all the way down.


4. Laying Spinal Twist - Pull your right knee in to the chest, interlacing your fingers behind the thigh and try to extend it straight up. Let your left leg extend straight on the mat. You may be able to slide your hands further up the lifted leg, to the calf, ankles or toes. You may also want to keep a purposeful bend in the knee, being gentle and mindful of your progression day after day. Sway the leg slowly, opening it out to the side, bringing back to center, and over-crossing it slightly to the left. Repeat a few times. Next, cross the right leg to lower it all the way to the left side for your laying spinal twist. Reach the right arm out to the right side, and use your left hand to support your right leg. If the stretch is too intense, bend the right knee. Take about 5 deep breaths here. Repeat this through on the other side, to keep things even and not just work on the injured side.


5. Half Happy Baby - With the left sole down to the mat, draw your right thigh in to your belly and clasp hold of the back of the thigh. Try to maintain a 90 degree angle in the right knee. Flex your right foot. Keep your hip, knee and ankle in line, so they are doing the same thing. Relax here, but every so often push your foot in to your hand to ensure it stays active and check in with how it feels.

6. Reclined Pigeon Pose - Cross your right ankle as close to the top of the thigh as possible. Keep the foot flexed. Try to push your right knee away from you. This might be more than enough, in the first week of my recovery this was all I could do. Now that I have a bit more motion, I'm able to pick the left leg up off of the floor. If you are lifting the left foot too, hold on to the back of left thigh or front of the shin.

7. IT Band Stretch - Keeping the figure four position with the legs. Return your left foot back down to the floor. Then drop your left knee to the floor as you try to bring the right foot down to the left side too. If it remains lifted, bring a block underneath it. I place a jelly on the floor under my foot for extra traction. Keep your knee from buckling in. Remember that what your foot is doing, your knee and hip should also be doing. Either hold on to your ankle or use your hand to very lightly open the thigh away from you. Reach the right arm out to the side to complete the twist. Release the grip, lifting the legs back up and uncross them.

Repeat 5-7 through on the other side, starting with Half Happy Baby, to ensure you aren't forgetting one side because the other is injured.

If you would find it easier to see and hear me guiding you through these stretches, follow along with the video below.



Happy Healing,
Kassandra

Please do subscribe to my YouTube channel




☮ Website: http://www.yogawithkassandra.com ☮ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kryoga ☮ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yoga_with_k... ✔ GET A FREE AUDIOBOOK - http://bit.ly/audibleywk ❤ Your donations help me improve my channel and the quality of my videos, thank you! http://bit.ly/ywkdonate Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.
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