The wall can be an amazing prop and one that we all have! Take advantage of this stabilizing prop to deepen your hip opening, stretch your legs fully and open your lower back. Practice with me by clicking on the video at the bottom (http://bit.ly/YinYogaWallHipsHamstrings) OR practice on your own - holding the poses as long as you feel you want to. Peace, Aprille
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Squat Pose with wall support
Hold: 2-5 minutes
This is a great way to traction out your back, open your hips and release tension throughout the entire back body. Take your feet wide about 3-6" from the wall (use a blanket under heels if they won't come to floor) and pressing your back against the wall, slide down as far as you can using the wall to support your back (you can place a block under seat for more stability). Settle in, breathe and hold. Come out slowly and do a few cat/cows to fully release.
Supported Hero Pose (Virasana)
Hold: 2-5 minutes
Settle your hips onto a block or the floor, gently taking your thumbs and rolling the calf muscles back and out to make room. Keep tops of feet flat and use the wall for back support. Breathe deeply, extending your exhale longer than your inhale and close your eyes. You can use a folded blanket or towel between or under the knees to relieve knee pressure and bend. To come out, lean forward onto hands and take Downward Facing Dog for 5 breaths.
Sphynx Pose with wall
Hold: 2-5 minutes
Come onto your belly with knees against the wall and shins up the wall, resting your feet on the wall. Taking your elbows under your shoulders, palms together, gently traction your back by taking your heart/chest forward. You can keep neck level with back or drop chin to chest. For more shoulder emphasis, allow your chest to drop towards the floor. If this is too much for your lower back, gently engage your core and lift while pressing lightly into the forearms us place a bolster under your chest for support.
Reclined Hand to Big Toe Pose with wall support (Supta Padangusthasana)
Hold: 2-5 minutes per side
This is a deep stretch for the inner leg as well as the hips so go slow and use a block under the foot if needed or a strap to control how far the leg goes. Begin on your back with hips against the wall or slightly away from it. Take feet up the wall and allow one leg to remain straight up the wall while the other slides down the wall to the left or right. Know the wall is there to support you and keep you from going too far and breathe deeply. Enjoy the deep stretch in the hamstrings and inner thighs. To come out, take both feet back up and switch sides.
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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