If you have been feeling drained, stressed or anxious lately, a little bit of yin yoga can be one of the best ways to show yourself some care. The poses below are a really nourishing practice.
For each of these poses, tune into yourself as you hold the pose. Holding each one for between 2 and 5 minutes.
Please have a set of two blocks or a bolster available.
1. Supported Fish – Set the two blocks up on low or mid level. One underneath the mid and upper back (between the shoulder blades) and the other to support the back of the head. Lower down slowly. Extend the legs out long. Let the breath flow at a natural pace, in and out through the nose.
2. Supported Bridge – Slide the blocks out, then place one underneath the hips at the height that feels good. Stay with the knees bent or legs extended. Or like I am in the photo, take a butterfly variation with feet together and knees apart. Shrug the shoulders away from the ears.
3. Half Butterfly with Side Bend – Come to a seat. Extend the right leg out to the side, with left foot inside the right thigh. Use block inside of the right leg. Bring the elbow down, and support the head with the hand. Bring the left hand behind the back if it feels good to help draw the left shoulder back. Play with the level of the block and the angle of the legs before settling in. After a few moments, lift up and repeat on the other side.
4. Straddle Fold – Open and extend both legs out to the side. Start to round and fold into the center, no pushing and pulling. Use the block to support the head if you like, or let it dangle. Relax as much as possible.
5. Swan Pose – Come to kneeling in table top. Bring right hand behind right wrist. Extend left leg back behind you. If hips are elevated, you can place a block underneath them. Then fold down. Also option to support head with a block. Remember in yin, less is more. After a few minutes, lift up, ease out and switch sides.
6. Balasana – Come back to table. Bring the big toes together and the knees wide as you like. Sink the hips back to the heels. Fold down. Keeping the shoulders pressing down. Melting chest towards the floor.
These poses make up a 50 minute practice on my YouTube and app. Practice alongside me below.