Are you a weekend warrior - out playing, working, doing gardening, house work, sports all weekend long? If this sounds familiar, you may feel great over the weekend but by Monday - everything is sore and achy. This 40 min Yin Yoga practice is meant to gently move the entire body (especially those areas used most over the weekend) and loosen tension, release stress and relieve pain and soreness.
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Supported Fish Pose with Butterfly Legs
Hold: 2-5 minutes +
Take a rolled towel or blanket across the mat. Settle down onto it with the shoulders fully supported at first and then slowly begin to inch your way towards the floor with shoulderblades barely grazing the floor behind you. Take the bottom of the feet together. Start here allowing the shoulders and upper back to fully release and open. Take your arms up overhead or out to sides (even interlacing them if comfortable). You can stay here for the remainder of the time OR gently inch your way to where the shoulders are fully supported on the floor. To come out - stretch your legs out straight for 5 breaths then bend knees, press into your feet and lifting your hips - remove the blanket from underneath. Bring your hips back down and relax for 5 more breaths before continuing.
Twisted Ropes in Child's Pose
Hold: 2-3 minutes per side
Come into Child's Pose, big toes together, knees wide. Tuck your right arm, palm up, underneath your body and your left arm behind your right (palm up) so they are crisscrossed underneath your shoulders. Tuck your chin into the x in the middle or rest your forehead on a block or blanket. Breathe deeply and allow the shoulders to unwind and release. Have patience with this pose - breath into it and allow it to work it's magic. It is not an easy pose to hold but you will feel AMAZING when you come out! To come out, lift your chin and begin to unwind. Take a few minutes with arms bent out to sides and feel the sensations in your arms and shoulders. Take the second side crisscrossing the arms the opposite way with left arm in front of right.
Half Saddle Forward Fold (Ardha Virasana FF)
Hold: 2-5 minutes
Tuck a block or blanket (from last pose which was under knees) under your left outstretched leg (or sit on floor). Take your right leg and bend it back, keeping the right heel near the right hip. Use your thumb to gently slide the calf muscle back and out to give the knee space to fold. Prop yourself up as high as you need here. Sit upright for a few breaths and then, gently begin to fold forward. Release. Forget what you think this pose should look like or how far you get to the floor. Just breathe and surrender to gravity. As time goes by, you may find yourself coming closer to the floor but don't push yourself. Allow this to happen. To come out, gently lean over to the left side and slide the right leg out straight. Bounce the knees, wiggle the toes and massage the legs for 5-8 breaths before continuing to the other side taking the dragons on the other side.
Hold: 2-6 mins
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 continue to second side.
Hold: 5-10 minutes
Allow the heels to settle out to the corners of the mat, 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!
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)