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Do you find yourself getting home at the end of a long day, so utterly exhausted? But then when you try to go to sleep you spend hours tossing and turning and trying to count sheep? Give yourself 10 minutes to work through these 7 poses to unwind before hitting the hay.
All of these poses are low to the ground, either seated or reclined. No props necessary.
1. Neck Stretch – Find a comfortable seat. Tilt your head to one side, tuck the chin and drop the head forward, then circle to the other side. Taking half circles back and forth with the head a few times. If you feel this more in one area, you might hold here and breathe in to the stretch. Come back to center, bringing fingers down behind you. Bend the elbows, trying to squeeze them together. Bring hands to the thighs and do a few rounds of seated cat/cow. As you inhale, drop the belly forward and take the gaze up. As you exhale, round and contract the spine.
2. Forward Fold – Bring the legs in front of you, touching the soles together and dropping the knees out to the sides. Feet can be a bit away from you in a nice diamond shape. Inhaling, hinge forward at the hips, leading with the heart. When you reach your max point, round and release into it. Exhaling to come up with spine contracted. Move through this forward fold a few times.
3. Leg Stretch – Lower down on to the back. Draw the right knee in to the chest. Maybe extend your left leg forward. Rock gently side to side. Rolling the ankle, and flex and point the toes. Take it in to a twist, using the left hand to guide the right leg across the body. Opening the right arm out to the side and grounding the shoulder down. Return to back with right leg staying in.
4. Half Happy Baby – Catch hold of the big toe with the right hand, with elbow inside of the thigh. Kick the right heel up, stacking the ankle over the knee. While pulling the right thigh down to the outside of the body. Keep the left hip down, so you’re not rolling to one side.
5. Reclined Pigeon – Cross the right ankle over the left thigh. Keep left knee bent and foot grounded. Or reach through and grab your left thigh or knee and hug the legs in towards you.
Repeat 3 through 5 on the other side.
6. Sphinx – Flip over on to your belly. Point your toes back behind you. Come up on the forearms with fingers pointing forward and elbows under the shoulders. Lift the chest up and draw the shoulders back behind you, for a big expansion of the chest. Ground down the pubic bone and tops of the feet. To take this a bit deeper, you might lift the elbows up, stretching the arms out long and pushing in to the palms.
7. Wide-Legged Child’s Pose – From kneeling, bring the big toes together to touch and take the knees wide. Press your hips back towards your heels. Walk your hands forward and melt the chest and forehead down to the mat. Option to press the hands together and bend at the elbows, bringing the thumbs to the back of the neck.
Do you prefer to learn by watching and listening? Click play on the video below for the full 10 minute practice.
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.