Have you tried Yin yoga yet? It is one of the absolutely best things you can do to increase your flexibility.
For those new to this passive practice keep the 3 principles in mind – find your edge, be still, hold the pose. All this to say, don’t go too far into the pose. If you find it is too intense ease off. Allow your body to open slowly.
These poses are beginner friendly. Hold each one for between 3 and 4 minutes.
- Wide-Legged Child’s Pose – Start kneeling. Bring the big toes together and take the knees as wide as appropriate for you. If you are tight in this area, keep the knees closer to hip width. Reach your hips to your heels. Lengthen and stretch out of the low back as you walk your hands forward and fold down. Bringing the forehead down to the floor.
2. Sphinx – Slide onto the belly. Extending the legs back behind you with the feet hip width and toes untucked. Walk your hands out, keeping the forearms down. Lifting through the chest. Push the pubic bone into the floor to lengthen out of your back. Dragging the heart forward. Bring the elbows closer to the ribs to intensify or bring farther forward to ease up.
3. Open Wing – Starting with the right side, extend the arm out to the side with palm facing down. Have the hand maybe an inch or so forward from the shoulder. Roll to the right hip, shoulder, ear. Maybe bending the knees. Roll and press the shoulder blades down the back. To intensify, bring the left hand back or step the left foot behind.
Repeat on the other side.
4. Melting Heart – Press up to table top. With the hips over the knees. Walk the hands forward, lowering the forehead down to the floor. Relax the arms a little so elbows are on the mat. With each inhale, feel the ribs expand around the heart. With every exhale feel the chest getting closer to the mat. Keep the shoulders moving away from the ears.
5. Half Butterfly – Come to a seat. Extending the right leg out to the side, and left foot inside the thigh. Either fold straight forward or to intensify twist and fold to the right leg. Keep the right knee and toes pointing up. Stay sitting evenly on both sit bones. Keep palms down, or stack fists, or bend elbows to support head. Whatever allows you to relax into the pose.
6. Sleeping Swan – Lower to the back. Cross the right ankle over top of the left knee. Press the right knee away from you. Stay there or pull the left knee into the chest. Notice is you’re rolling over to the right hip. Keep weight pressing into the left side. Keep the head and shoulders relaxed on the floor.
7. Savasana – Straighten the legs. Take up space with the arms, palms facing up to the sky. Roll the shoulders back. Close your eyes. Remember this final resting pose is just as important as all the other poses, don’t skip it!
These poses come from a full 40+ minute yin practice on my YouTube channel. Check it out and practice with me below.