Waking up in the morning, you don’t always have a lot of time before getting started with your day. With that in mind, I wanted to test out a short morning yin practice to open the hips, stretch the shoulders and spine.

Without further ago, let’s get to it. Below are 4 yin yoga poses and a quick ending stretch. Hold each of the yin poses for about 2 minutes.

  1. Reclined Butterfly – Lay down on your back. Bring the soles of the feet together, letting the knees fall apart to open the hips. Let your hands rest on the belly, or extend them overhead to get into the shoulders and upper back. Relax the body full, letting gravity do the work. Send the breath down into the belly as you settle in and find stillness here.

2. Reclined Spinal Twist – Extend the legs out. Draw the right knee in to the belly, maybe swaying side to side a few times. Cross the right knee over the body towards the left. Use your left hand to guide the leg across. Reach your right arm out to the side, keeping the shoulder down and collar bones facing up. To deepen the stretch and get into the hamstrings and IT band, straighten the right leg and slide the left hand further down the leg. Repeat on the other side.

3. Wide Legged Child’s Pose – Come to kneeling. Bring the big toes together, take the knees as wide as you like. The further they are the more intense the pose will be. Walk your hands out in front of you as you fold down and bring the forehead to the mat. Relax the hips to the heels. Melt the heart to the floor and roll the shoulders down the back.

4. Sphinx – Lower to the belly, extending the legs back behind you. Bring the forearms to the mat, with elbows roughly under the shoulder as you open and lift through the heart. The closer the elbows are to the chest, the deeper the stretch in the upper back and shoulders.

5. Spine Stretch – Sit back on the heels for a quick, non yin finishing. Bring the left hand down at your side, reaching the right arm up and over in a side body stretch. Round forward, reaching the fingers out and cupping the hands. Lift up and take the side body stretch to the other side.

Prefer to simply be guided through the poses. Press play on the 15 minute class below.

Namaste,

Kassandra

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