If you are new to the practice of Yin Yoga or someone who would like to explore the beginner's mind - this practice is for you! We work deep into the hips - using breath, mindfulness, props and shorter hold times from 1-3 minutes. We work with the 3 basic tenets of Yin Yoga and apply them throughout the practice learning what a personal appropriate edge is and how to use props to achieve the greatest benefit, learning to be settle in and being still with the breath. A perfect practice to go back over the basics of Yin Yoga or acclimate yourself to this beautifully serene practice.
So grab some blocks, bolsters, pillows, blankets and/or towels and join me using the detailed practice guide below OR using the link for the video practice with me!
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Supported Bridge Pose (Salamba Sarvangasana)
Hold: 2-3 minutes
Place a rolled blanket or towel under your sacrum and lie down (top of the hips). Stretch your legs out straight, heels on the floor and toes pointing upward. Take your heels onto the block for support or the floor if that is comfortable (if this is too much you can keep knees bent with feet on floor). Enjoy the gentle backbend and hip opening. To come out, bend knees, lift hips, and pull the blanket out from under you. Rest on the floor for 5 breaths.
1/2 Stirrup (Ardha Ananda Balasana)
Hold: 1-2 minutes/side
Take a rolled blanket or towel under your hips for support. Bring your right knee into your chest and take your right hand to the inside of the knee to grasp the inside or outside of the right foot. Using a little bit of shoulder and chest traction, pull the knee into the outer right side towards the floor and head the bottom of the right foot towards the ceiling. Take your left leg either bent or out straight. Hold here feeling the deep stretch in the lower back, hips and glutes. Release and take a breath or two - sense the feeling in the right body versus the left. Take the second side.
Reclined Shoelace Pose (Supta Gomukhasana)
Hold: 2-3 minutes/side
Cross your right leg over your left and bring your knees into your chest grasping the shins, ankles or feet with your hands. You can take the feet wider or remain with a tighter twisted legs position. Settle your shoulders on the floor and allow gravity and a little arm power to bring the legs in closer to the abdomen. Breath and sense the space you are making here. Feel everything unwind and open. Before taking the second side, take your hands wide and allow the knees to drop over to the left for Twisted Roots below. When you finish, return and take the second side.
Hold: 2-3 mins per side
Staying on your back, stretch your legs out and walk both heels over to the right, stacking the left ankle over the right (option to just keep them side by side). Keeping the hips in place, move your upper body and head over to the right as well. Take arms up overhead and grasp left wrist with right hand OR simply take hands where you feel stretch but not pain. Turn your head wherever it feels most comfortable. Take deep breaths into the left side body feeling the opening from the left foot through the left hand. To come out, release the hands to the hips and move the upper body back to center. Slowly unwind the ankles and realign the lower body to center. Relax with arms and heels wide for 1 minute. Try the second side.
Child's Pose (Balasana)
Hold: 2-3 mins
Come onto your hands and knees, bring your big toes together and knees apart 2/3 of your maximum opening. Drop your hips back toward heels and stretch arms out in front, reaching to the front of the mat. Feel the stretch and settle in, breathing deeply into your side body as well as front body. Rest your forehead on the ground or on a block. Feel the tension release in your chest, back and hips. To come out, return palms to ground, press up and lifting through hands pull knees together. Take 10 rounds of cat/cow to release the spine and loosen the back.
Hold: 2-3 minutes/side
Come into a crosslegged position and flex feet taking the heels under each opposite knee. If you are able, take your front leg heel and place it on the opposite knee for a Firelog style pose. Either way, keep a little engagement in your foot so the ankle doesn't turn inward. Take your elbows gently to your knees and softly rest your head in your hands for a few breaths. You can stay here or take your hands to the floor or a prop and fold forward. Breath into the hips and hip flexors allowing the area to open. To come out, press up and uncross taking the feet wide and taking a windshield wiper action to soften. Take the second side.
Seated Figure 4 Pose
Hold: 1-3 mins/side
While seated, begin to take your hands out behind you at an angle and lean back. Take your right leg out straight in front of you and cross your left ankle across right above the knee. Begin to bend your right knee until you find your appropriate edge and can hold for 1-3 minutes. You can lean back further or bring your torso more upright for a change in sensation. To come out, lean back and uncross the legs. Bring your feet flat and windshield wiper your legs side to side. Take the second side.
Hold: 2-3 mins/side
Come onto your back and take arms wide - level with shoulders or bent elbows (more chest opening) and cross the right leg over the left - winding once or double wrap. Press through the foot and gently shift hips over to the right. Drop knees over to the left and turn head to the right. Allow gravity to take the knees over and if you feel you can, walk the left toes back behind you more for more twist. To come out, engage your core and bring legs back to center. Drop feet wide on the mat and let knees come together. Breathe here for 8 breaths and take the second side.
Hold: 5-10 minutes
Allow the heels to settle out to the corners of the mat OR keep your feet wide on the mat and knees bent and allow your knees to drop toward the center. Slide your shoulder blades underneath your body, and take your hands out to the sides, palms up. Take some deep breaths, coming back to the 3 part breath - first in the belly, then in the chest and finally the collarbones - and extend the exhale even longer. Allow yourself to sigh a few times and let it all go! Focus on your breath and let go.
I have been "playing" and experimenting with yoga, aromatherapy and healthy living since my late teens - researching, testing, reading, investigating, and learning anything that would make my life - and the lives around me - better naturally.
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All rights reserved by Aprille Walker and The Yoga Ranger Studio 2014-2018 (copyrighted material)