Yin yoga is without a doubt one of the best ways to increase flexibility. Long held passive poses are also a great mental challenge.
If you have been practicing with me for a while and want to try and advance your yin practice, hold each of these poses for about 8 minutes a piece/per side.
For those newer to Yin, you could aim for just about 2 minutes per pose.
1. Half Butterfly – Start seated. Extend the right leg out to the side. Keeping toes and knee pointing up. Bending the left knee and bringing left foot inside right thigh. Fold straight forward, or add a bit of a twist by folding towards extended leg. Turn the palms up to the sky, or use palms to support head. Use just a bit of arm strength to support but don’t exert anything. Allow body to open naturally as you hold for about 8 minutes. When the time is up, come out extremely slowly. Then take your time setting up on the other side.
2. Swan – Come to hands and knees. Slide the right knee behind the right wrist. Stretch and extend the left leg back behind you. If you like, place block, blanket, or bolster under the seat to stay elevated. Stay up on palms, lower to forearms, or down to forehead. Find length in your spine. Take time to readjust, reposition, and really settle in. Take time exiting and switch to the other side.
3. Sphinx – Lower to the belly. Forearms grounded. Widen the feet. To decrease intensity, bring elbows out further. To deepen, walk elbows in. Don’t want to feeling jamming in the lower back. Roll the shoulders back. Melt the heart forward. Lightly push pubic bone into the floor. Hold this one for 4 minutes before advancing to Seal, or alternatively stay here for full 8 minutes.
4. Seal – If taking this variation, press up to the palms. Extending arms forward, and widening to the corners of the mat. Keep shoulders pressing back and chest melting forward.
5. Seed Child’s Pose – Bring knees close together. Press the hips back to heels. Forehead lowers to mat. Hands come back to the sides. Rounding the spine in a counter pose.
6. Laying Spinal Twist (or Cat Pulling Its Tail) – Lay on the back. Extend the left leg straight. Pull the right knee in to the belly. Cross the right thigh over belly to left. Straighten the right leg. Open right arm to the side, or bend the left knee holding the foot with right hand. Gaze to the right. Stack hips one over the other. Repeat other side.
7. Savasana – Make your way into your final resting pose. Extending arms and legs out. Take up space. Feel the effects of this deep practice.
These poses make up a 75 minute yin yoga class on my YouTube channel. Practice with me below.