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Get both yin and yang, in this well balanced practice! One part is a strong Vinyasa flow, the other is a passive practice of Yin.
When the two types of yoga are combined, Yin is traditionally done first (and cold), though I prefer it first. I have divided the two styles in to two blog posts, so you can choose to flip them around if you prefer. But if you are doing it the way I have (in the video below), be mindful that your muscles will already be warm. You’ll be working them, rather than the joints and tissues. It is easy to go past your edge this way, so be sure to pull back a bit so you don’t overstretch.
Without further ado, find the seven Vinyasa poses/sequences below. Then find the Yin portion in part 2 for after you’re done (or go find it first if you prefer).
1. Core Warm Up – Lay down on your back, with knees bent and feet hip width apart. Press the low back in to the mat. Bring your knees over the hips and shins parallel to the mat. Straighten your arms and press the palms in to the floor. Exhale, dipping the right toes down. Inhale, bringing them back to table top. Exhale, dipping left toes down. Inhaling them back up. Moving only from the hip joint, keeping the upper body steady and core engaged. Alternate dipping for several rounds. Straighten both legs up over the hips, keeping arms as they are. As you exhale, lower the right leg to hover a few inches off the ground. Inhale, bringing the right leg back up (possibly adding on a pelvic curl). Exhale to lower the left leg down, and then inhale it up. Alternate this motion for 5 or so rounds.
2. Spine Warm Up – Come up to table top. As you inhale, drop the belly and lift the gaze and tailbone up. As you exhale, round and contract the spine. Repeat for several times through. Walk your hands slightly ahead of the shoulders, tuck your toes and lift the hips up to come in to downward facing dog. On an inhale ripple forward in to plank, with your exhale shift back to down dog. Take a few rounds of breath in this way, then lower down to the belly. Untuck the toes and take 3 baby cobras – lifting the chin, palms, chest, and shoulders up on inhales.
3. Warrior Flow – From down dog, kick the right leg up. Bend the knee and open the right hip up. Inhale, shifting forward to 3-legged plank. As you exhale, bring the right knee towards the left elbow. Inhale to return to 3-legged plank. Repeat a few times. Then step right foot between the hands at front of mat. Turn the left toes out to the side, bringing the heel down to the ground. Lift up in to Warrior 2, extending the arms out. Reverse your warrior, bringing the left hand down and right up. Then come to Extended Side Angle, with right forearm on right thigh and left arm up and over.
4. Ground Series – Look down to the mat, and set your left hand down inside the right foot. Lift the back heel off of the mat, tucking toes under. Reach the right arm up to the sky, pushing into left hand and enjoying the Easy Twist. Drop the left knee to the mat, bend the knee and kick the toes up. Reach the right hand back to grab hold of the left foot. Pull the heel in towards your glutes. Gently release the foot down and return hand to mat.
Move through a Vinyasa Flow, then repeat 3 and 4 on the other side.
5. Eagle Sequence – Return to down dog and kick the right leg up. Step the right foot through between the hands. Keep the back heel lifted, bend the right knee, and come up in to a high lunge. Cactus the arms and move through a cat/cow motion here (inhaling to squeeze the shoulder blades behind you, exhaling to round and contract and draw elbows together). Swing the left arm under the right, binding once or twice to find Eagle Arms. Focus on something unmoving ahead. Step the left foot forward, crossing the leg over the right one. Sink hips as you bend both knees for full Eagle Pose. Then unravel the limbs, bringing the big toes together and arms up overhead.
6. Strength Sequence – Drop down in to Chair Pose by bending the knees and sinking the hips down. Bring the hands to the heart. Twist to the right, crossing the left elbow over right thigh. Looking down, shift weight in to right leg as you pick the left foot off the mat. Step back into high lunge, keeping the twist. Lift elbow off the front thigh, then extend arms out front to back. Lower left hand down to floor. Step the right foot back, rolling on to outer edge of left foot, stack the legs, coming in to a side plank.
Take a vinyasa, then repeat 5 and 6 on the other side.
7. Warrior 3 Flow – Stand at the front of the mat, with feet a bit wider than the hips. Fold over the legs, bending the knees and decompressing the spine. Shaking out to remove the tensions from neck, jaw, and shoulders. Push in to the heels as you roll up. Lean onto the right foot, and bring hands to the heart. Engage your core, as you point the left toes back. Squeeze the glutes, as you float the back toes up and lean forward. Bring chest and leg at most parallel to the ground. Keep the left hip down, and reach the crown of your head forward. Inhale, as you slowly lift back up. Repeat on the other side.
Find the Yin Sequence here.
Practice the full 1 hour flow alongside me below.
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