Hip Yin (80-min) Yin Yoga
A hip-focused yin yoga class takes you deep into the pelvis, groins, and legs; this class’s theme is surrender. Be with a deep sense of letting go as you breathe into each pose. Yin yoga is a passive release to lengthen the connective tissues and fascia. You’ll move through pigeon pose, lizard pose, pyramid pose, and frog pose.
Props: 1 Blocks, 2 Bolsters
Focus: Hip openers
Location: Vancouver, BC
Start seated in meditation and listen to your breath. Perform a light body scan to check-in with how you feel, passing over each area of the body and simply observing any sensation or tension. Can you surrender to how you feel at this moment? Can you sit and be still with your breath and be with how you feel, no matter what shows up? Take a moment to define what surrender means to you.
Seated meditation with a body scan. With your eyes closed, bring your inner eye to each area on the body, scanning from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. A body scan brings awareness into the body and out from the business of the mind. It’s a way to ground if you’re feeling untethered, anxious, or overwhelmed.
Tibetan Sun Salutations
These are a gentle version of sun salutations that keep you low and close to the ground. Tibetan Sun Salutations are great for getting the blood flowing, lubricating the joints, and connecting your body to your breath.
- Sit back on your heels with toes tucked under to stretch the soles of the feet.
- Inhale stretch hands overhead, bring palms to a prayer.
- Exhale draw the prayer down to the floor in front of you for puppy pose.
- Inhale slides hands back toward you for an angry cat pose.
- Exhale lift the hips for a downward dog.
- Inhale knees to the earth for angry cat pose.
- Exhale hands slide forward for puppy pose.
- Inhale, come to the shins reach your hands overhead.
- Exhale, sit back on your heels with your hands at your heart.
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Pigeon Pose)
* If this pose does not serve and causes strain on the knees, take a seated pigeon pose or reclined pigeon pose from your back with one ankle hooked over the opposite thigh.
Benefits of pigeon pose include:
- Opens the groins and psoas
- Releases piriformis
- Alleviates sciatic pain
- Stretches the gluteal muscles
- Massages the internal organs
To come into pigeon pose:
- Take one shin to the top of your mat on an angle; the wider you extend your heel away from your pelvis, the more intense this becomes on the knee joint. Decrease the space between your heel and your groin to protect the knee.
- Extend the opposite leg back behind you with the toes pointed. Ensure that the heel is aligned with the hip. This shape opens the psoas (hip flexor) of the extended leg.
- Place a block at the top of your mat for your forehead, or stack your arms and bring your forehead to your palms.
Come to a place in this pose that you can sustain for several minutes; you should not feel any sharp pain or stain, nor should you have to work for the pose. Deepen your breath and allow your body to soften and receive the shape.
Slowly transition to change sides my stepping into downward dog or stay low to the ground and take tabletop pose before taking the opposite leg forward.
Utthan Pristhasana (lizard pose)
Benefits of the pose:
- Stretches the hip flexors, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
- Improves hip flexibility.
- Strengthens the legs.
To come into lizard pose:
- Place your bolster length-wise at the top of your mat.
- Step one leg outside of the bolster with the heel tracking under the knee.
- Extend the other leg behind you with toes tucked to support the knee.
- Place your forearms, or hands, inside the front leg on the bolster for support.
- Let your pelvis get heavy toward the ground.
- Let your head and jaw relax.
Hold this pose for several minutes. Relax your body and let the shape express itself as you hold still and breathe. Any fidgeting or thoughts that arise, acknowledge them and breathe into them, and let them go. Send your breath into the bowl of your belly, your inner groins and hips, and the front of your back leg.
Parsvottanasana (pyramid pose)
Benefits of this pose:
- Lengthens hamstrings and glutes.
- Strengthens the inner thighs.
How to get into this pose:
- Walk your feet in so that they are hip distance, and secure both heels to the earth.
- Straighten both legs and press down through the soles of your feet.
- Gentle hug the inner thighs towards each other.
- Bring your hands to blocks on the highest height under your shoulders.
- Lengthen your spine so the tail bone extends to the back of your mat and the crown of the head forward.
To increase the depth of the stretch in the outer hamstrings, take both hands with the blocks to the outside of the front leg. Create a shape that you can sustain for about five minutes.
Mandukasana (frog pose)
Benefits of this pose:
- Opens the hips to reduce strain on the knees.
- Strengthens the lower back.
- Aids in digestion.
How to get into this pose:
- Take a blanket or your mat, and fold it length-wise to create a long tube of padding for your knees.
- Take your legs wide to the left and wide.
- Plex your feet curling the toes to the shin, and point the toes outwards to the right and left so they’re in the same direction as the knee caps.
- Ensure that your hips are in alignment with your knees.
- Take your arms forward to the ground or a bolster, with the shoulders stacked over the elbows.
- Relax your jaw and the lines of your face.
This pose requires a lot of surrender as it may feel like a lot on the inner groins and hips. Come to a shape that you can hold for about ten minutes.
Savasana, any variation of rest that you like. Seated meditation or legs up the wall are also options. Add as many layers, including your eye pillow, that you like.