Darling Flow Friends,
There is nothing I love more than have the luxury of spending 3 or 4 minutes in a Yin yoga pose, even better yet a whole class!
Yin yoga is often called the other half of your yoga practice, because we are exercising the connective tissues, and having a profound effect on calming our nervous system.
When we come into our chosen Yin posture, make sure there is a nice stretch, but not so deep that you are suffering, then we soften into the shape, doing our best to completely relax and let go, we then hold the shape for a longer period of time that we would in a regular yoga flow class.
This is how the fascia, tendons, ligaments and bones "exercise" and become more hydrated and flexible over time.
Cow Face Pose
The above pose, Gomukasana or cow face, is one of may fav Yin yoga poses, as most of us are tight through the chest and shoulders, you can be sitting straddling a bolster for an extra lower leg stretch, our just sit cross legged.
Have the strap in one hand, and then lower the strap between the shoulder blades, with the other hand reaching around to also hold the strap, breathing nice deep breathes, and holding for a minute or two.
FYI- You will feel a little fragile coming out of your longer held poses, so please go slow.
"In Yin yoga we are carving out neural pathways of loving kindness towards ourselves, as we learn to feel deeply into our bodies just as they are"
Hammock pose, is a beautiful hamstring lengthening pose, lying flat on the ground place one foot into the loop then extend the other leg up towards the ceiling, if you are feeling flexy, place the looped strap around the back of your head, just above your ears.
If its challenging, you can keep a soft bend in the knee. Hold for 2-4 mins then slowly change sides.
Upside down dragon pose
Upside down dragon on a bolster is a really nice alternative to full dragon pose, as it takes a lot of pressure of the lower back, while intensifying the stretch in the front of the thigh.
Start by lying down on the ground with your knees bent, then lifting the hips and sliding the bolster under the pelvis, bend one knee in towards the outer waist, and if possible extend the opposite leg long, hold for 2-4 mins, then slowly change sides.
This is also a wonderful pose to help digestion, and release hip and lower back tension.
"Our goal in yoga is not to become perfect, but become whole"
Heart opening pose
Heart opening pose over the bolster, with the option to come into butterfly legs also.
In our busy modern lives, our chest muscles are shortening, with all our time spent at our computers, driving and poor posture.
This shape in particular applies pressure in the upper back, encouraging the chest to be wide open, stretching out the chest and shoulders.
Make sure to have the palms facing up, bringing the soles of the feet together and knees wide if you want to also open the hips. Stay for 2-4 mins and come out nice and slow.
I hope that these shapes give you time out of the hustle and bustle of daily life, giving you new found space in your body & mind.
With regular practice of Yin yoga you will find that your body craves going slow and tuning into the stillness.
Wishing you every happiness, until we next meet.