Vin to Yin - A Hybrid Class for Core Strength and Flexibility

This is another class that I have been receiving requests for time and again - a hybrid class which starts with vinyasa and transitions to yin yoga.   We will start with some strong poses to work the core of the body, and then will switch it up to wind down with long holds in yin asanas.

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This is another class that I have been receiving requests for time and again - a hybrid class which starts with vinyasa and transitions to yin yoga.

We will start with some strong poses to work the core of the body, and then will switch it up to wind down with long holds in yin asanas.

A small caveat, typically yin is better done when the muscles are cold, allowing gravity to slowly open up the joints as you hold a pose. However, this combination is something I personally practice daily. If I can give you one strong caution, please pay attention to your body in the yin stretches to make sure you're not stretching too far.

I'm not using any props here, but as always have handy whatever props you typically use in either your vinyasa or yin practice.

Before getting started with the following 7 poses and short sequences, I recommend doing some hand and wrist stretches.


1. Laying Triangle - Open your practice with a vinyasa flow, ending up in downward dog. From there kick the right leg up, bend the knee to open the hip and drop foot towards sit bones. Straighten the leg and square the hips. As you exhale, float forward to plank, tapping knee to nose and bringing the shoulders over the wrists. Inhale up and back, exhale this time right knee to right shoulder. Keeping the hips low. Inhale up and back once more. Then exhale, twisting the right knee to left elbow and hold here. Straighten the leg out, dropping the right foot to the ground. Hold here, or lift the left hand up to the sky. Push strongly into the right hand to lift the hips up. Look down to the mat, return the left hand down, and transition back to plank and then downward dog.


2. Low Lunge - From downward dog, step the right foot through and lower the back knee down. Arms reach up as you sink into low lunge. Draw the rib cage in, tone the belly, press the hips forward and down, and lengthen your spine. Return hands to the ground, shift the hips back and straighten the front leg to get a nice hamstring stretch. Bend the knee as you shift back forward into low lunge.


3. Warrior - Lift the back knee, spinning the left heel to the ground. Keep hands down to the mat as you push into the back heel to stretch out the calf and ankle. Ensure that the right knee is in line over the right ankle (not past). Keep pushing into the back heel as you lift the right hand to right hip, followed by left hand to left hip. Push into the legs as you lift the torso up and extend arms overhead. Keep that nice generous bend in your front knee.

Repeat 1-3 on the other leg.

Still want more vinyasa, watch the full Vin to Yin video for more strong standing flow. Otherwise continue reading to move on to yin stretches.

4. Swan - Come first into 3-legged dog with the right leg lifted, then swing the lifted leg through. Bring the right knee down to the ground behind the right wrist. Extend the left leg back and relax your muscles. If you find yourself shifting more towards one side or the other, use some props to support underneath your hips. Fold the upper body down towards the ground. Again using any props to get comfortable as you melt forward in this pose. Hold here for about 3 minutes (use this similar time for all remaining poses). After the time is up, slowly ease out and switch sides.


5. Straddle Fold - Come to sitting, opening the legs out to the sides as wide as comfortable. If you feel yourself rolling backwards, prop your sit bones up on a blanket, block or cushion. Point the knees and toes skyward. Inhale to find length in your spine, and on your exhale ease your way forward into the fold. Turn the palms up, this will help to ensure you are keeping the pose passive rather than pushing or pulling through the hands. With each exhale, feel yourself sinking deeper into the shape. Relax your shoulders and chest, making the body heavy to the floor.


6. Reclined Spinal Twist - Ease your way down onto your back. Hug the right knee in to the chest, and extend the left leg long. Cross the right knee over your chest towards the left. Reach the right arm out to the right. To take the stretch deeper and work your IT band, straighten the right leg and grab hold of the shin or thigh (or use a strap). Keep the foot low to the ground and gently pull the foot in the direction of your head to increase the stretch. All the while, keeping the right shoulder grounded.

7. Reclined Shoe Lace - From your spinal twist, bend the right knee and clasp hold of the foot, then roll flat onto your back. Wrap your right thigh over the left, grabbing hold of the left foot with the right hand. Try to stack one knee on top of the other, pulling the feet apart and hugging the thighs into the chest. Doing shoe lace while reclined is easier on the joints and your legs don't have to do quite as much work.

Repeat 6 and 7 on the other leg.

Want in on the full hour long practice, or more of an audio/visual learner? Click through to the video below to practice.


Namaste,
Kassandra




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