It’s my birthday! And this year I’m entering a new decade – my 30’s!
As I’m going through this transition I’ve been reflecting on the idea of aging gracefully and having a positive outlook. In honor of this milestone, I created a 45 minute Yin & Affirmations practice.
Combining affirmations with yin poses is one of my favorite things to do on the mat, so naturally to celebrate I had to do just that.
The affirmations for each of the 6 poses outlined below focus on longevity, gratitude, health and feeling good. Repeat each one internally to yourself a few times.
You might want to have a journal nearby to reflect on anything that comes up. Birthdays are a great time to journal!
Hold each of these poses for about 3-5 minutes.
- Reclined Hero Pose (or Supported Fish) – Set up the two blocks, one under the upper back and the other to support the head. Start kneeling in front of them, with the femurs and thighs parallel to the long edges of the mat. The feet should be outside of the legs. Lift up and tuck your tailbone slightly. Slowly lower down onto the blocks. Bring the arms up overhead or down at the sides. If this is too difficult for the knees, take supported fish with the legs extended out or in butterfly.
Affirmation: I am grateful for my healthy body, mind and spirit.
2. Straddle Fold – Open your legs out to the side, any amount that works for you. Fold directly forward. Keep the knees and toes pointing up. Tilt forward from the pelvis. Use blocks underneath if you are close to the floor. Don’t push yourself too far right away, instead allow time for the body to open naturally.
Affirmation: Every day is a gift and I appreciate it.
3. Square Pose – From seated, stack the right shin on top of the left one (right ankle over left knee and right knee over left ankle). If this is too intense, bring the right shin in front of the left. Add a twist, by turning to face the sole of the right foot. Bring your right arm to the inside of the right foot. Use a block under head for support if it feels good and you are close to the ground.
Affirmation: I release all age related fears and love myself fully.
Switch the stack of the legs, and twist to the other side.
Affirmation: I live life to the fullest and take nothing for granted.
4. Puppy Pose – Start on hands and knees. Keep the hips over the knees, walk the hands forward and melt the heart to the floor. Bringing the forehead to the mat. Keep your arms straight ahead, or bend the elbows bringing the thumbs to the back of the neck.
Affirmation: Today and every day I honor and celebrate myself.
5. Side Sphinx – Come onto the right hip. Extend both legs out, stacking the left on top of the right. Stay up on the right palm, or lower down to the forearm. Relax the shoulders. Use the left hand in front of you for support.
Affirmation: I am excited to see what the future will bring.
Affirmation: I let go of expectations and timelines. All is well.
6. IT Band Stretch – Lower down onto the back. Cross the right ankle over top of the left knee. Drop your left thigh down to the ground on the left. Bring your right foot flat to the floor or on to a block. Extend your right arm out to the side, grounding the shoulder down. Hold on to your right ankle with the left hand or push the knee away.
Affirmation: My joyful attitude keeps me young.
Affirmation: I commit to taking great care of myself.
As mentioned, these poses come from a 45 minute Yin & Affirmations Birthday class on my YouTube channel. Check out the full class below.