Embrace the profound simplicity of the Yin Yoga practice with these five basic postures. Physically, this sequence targets all lines of the body for optimal health and function, while providing a necessary nudge towards energetic and emotional harmony.
While you practice, consider tuning in to this episode of the Everyday Sublime podcast to encourage a sense of friendliness and compassion towards your experience. And before you dive in, please familiarize yourself with the Four Principles of Yin Yoga and our suggestions for practicing safely.
Let us know how it goes!
Josh + Terry
The Postures (in detail):
Butterfly: From a seated position, draw the soles of the feet together and slide them away from you creating a “diamond-like” shape of the legs. Fold forward, allowing the spine to round and the head to drop towards the heels. Rest the hands on the floor or on your feet. Hold for 3-6 minutes.
- TARGET AREA: Inner thighs and groins, outer hips, spine. TIP: sit on the edge of a blanket to elevate the hips and potentially increase the sensation in the hips and/or assist with the flexion of the pelvis. Having the hips higher than the knees can be helpful in the event of sciatica.
2. Melting Heart
- TARGET AREA: Chest, spine, arms and shoulders. TIP: pad the knees with a blanket; experiment with the angle of the arms if shoulder flexion is compromised.
3. Dragon (Inside to Winged)
Inside Dragon: From hands and knees, place your right hand to the center of your mat and step your right foot outside the right hand. Keeping the back knee down, slide it behind the line of the hip, or back far enough to potentially observe sensation in the front of the thigh. Back toes may be untucked or tucked. Hold for 2-3 minutes.
Winged Dragon: From Inside Dragon, allow the right thigh to abduct, or “wing out” to the side, possibly rolling onto the outer edge of the right foot. Stay on the hands, or drop to the forearms. Hold for 2-3 minutes. (Repeat Inside Dragon and Winged Dragon on the other side)
- TARGET AREA: Hip flexors, quadriceps of back leg, inner groin, hamstrings and outer hip of front leg. TIP: pad the knees with a blanket; remember to play the edge appropriately – this can be a spicy pose!
Bananasana: From your back, bend your knees and plant the feet to the floor. Pick up the hips and move them to the right side of your mat, keeping the sacrum in contact with the floor. Straighten the legs toward the left corner of the mat, and shift the upper body toward the left, creating a “banana-like” shape with the body. Raise the arms overhead, elbows bent or straight, with option of clasping wrists or forearms. Hold for 3-6 minutes (repeat other side).
- TARGET AREA: Side body, especially the side waist. TIP: explore crossing the ankles – inner ankle over outer or outer ankle over inner – and determine which, if any, is preferred based on what you feel in the target area.
5. Spinal Twist
Spinal Twist: Lying on your back, draw your knees into your chest and roll to your right side. Peel the left arm open, allowing the upper body to rest toward the floor, arm extended to the left. Hold for 3-6 minutes (repeat other side).
- TARGET AREA: Spine, Chest/Arms. TIP: Explore variations of the arms, and turn of the head to influence other potential target areas of the upper body.