A short yin yoga class with twists, hip stretching, and heart openers; this class is an invitation to unwind and release through simple postures and breath. This class is excellent for anyone with tension in the back, shoulders, and neck. Spinal undulations and side waist stretching create a bit of space through movement. Your class closes with a deer pose to relieve the hips, supported fish pose to express the chest, and a supported bridge pose to ease the front of the pelvis. Savasana or seated meditation complete this yin yoga class.
Style: Yin Yoga
Props: 1 Bolster, 2 Blocks,
Focus: heart openers and twists.
Location: Vancouver, BC
Music: Let It Go Spotify Playlist
Come to sit on your mat with as many or few props as you need.
Take a couple of deep breaths in through the nose and out your mouth.
Take your hands and touch the earth.
Observe what you are arriving at your mat with and how it feels to align with your palms against the ground.
What can you let go of through your breath at this moment?
Quietly scan your body to see if tension lives in any of its areas.
Seated side waist stretch
- Come up to sit with your legs crossed or sitting on a bolster
- Extend one arm to the side of your mat
- Reach the opposite arm overhead and lean over to one side
- Option to take the extended arm behind your head
- Take a couple of breaths
- Repeat on the other side
Why we stretch the side body:
- Relieve tension from the muscles that attach to the ribcage and the muscles between the rib bones—the intercostal muscles allow the ribs to express range of motion and the lungs to respond to the increase and pressure of air.
- Muscles stretched include the Quadratus Lumborum, Latissimus Dorsi, Serratus Anterior, and the Obliques.
- The digestive and lymphatic benefits from side body stretching. Opening the side body creates more space for and around the colon, intestines, stomach, liver, spleen, and pancreas. Taking the arms above the head stimulates the lymph nodes in the armpits and spleen to propel lymphatic flow throughout the body to aid drainage.
Seated cat/cow with hands behind the head
- Interlace your fingers behind your head
- Keep your elbows wide and draw your shoulders on your back
- Inhale and lean your head back into your hands
- Exhale and round the spine, hugging your elbows to the side of your face
- Repeat several cycles
Why we do cat/cow spinal undulations:
- Synchronize movement with breath to create calm in body and mind.
- Improves blood flow between each vertebra of the spine.
- Enhances mental stability, focus, and clarity.
Seated forward fold
- Round your spine and push the back body towards the back of your mat
- Walk your palms forward and press them to the ground
- Breathe into your back body to stretch the back of the heart
Why we do seated forward folds:
- Soothes the digestive system.
- Stretches the back of the heart, upper back, shoulders, mid-back, spine, and hamstrings.
- Stimulates the liver, kidneys, ovaries, and uterus.
Seated spinal twist washing the knees from side to side
- Come to sit with your knees bent and your feet on the ground
- Tent out your fingertips with the fingertips facing your waistline
- Lift your chest and breathe into the front of your body
- Keeping the knees bent, windshield wipe your legs from side to side
Why we do seated spinal twists:
- Promotes and soothes digestion.
- Enhances spinal mobility.
- Massages the internal organs around the lower abdomen.
- May relieve low back pain.
- Stretches the hips, glutes, TFL, obliques, back, chest, and shoulders.
Deer pose with a twist
- Come to sit with your front shin parallel with the long edge of your mat
- Align the opposite shin with the front edge of your mat
- Turn your torso to the back of your mat
- Press the fingertips down and lift your chest
- Breathe into your side waist and glutes
- Walk your hands to the back of your mat
- Option to use a bolster to support your forearms or forehead
- Hold and breathe into the twist
- Repeat on the other side
Why we do deer pose:
- Rotates the hips internally and externally.
- Relieves stress and tension around glutes, pelvis, and hips.
- Aids in digestion, bloating, and menstruation cramps.
- Great for anyone with knee injuries or sensitivity, pregnant yogis, and a great alternative to pigeon pose.
Supported fish pose
- Take your bolster lengthwise across your mat.
- Lower your mid-back on the bolster with your head on the ground.
- Take your arms wide to either side of your mat.
- Option to take your bolster lengthwise down your spine from head to tailbone.
- Breathe into the front of the chest.
Why we do supported fish pose:
- Stretches the muscles connecting the ribs, the front of the chest, shoulders, abdominals, and front of the neck.
- Stimulates the organs around the abdomen and throat.
Supported bridge pose
- Come to lay on your back with your feet on the ground.
- Lift your hips and place your tailbone on a bolster or block.
- Option to keep the knees bent or extend the legs long down your mat.
Why we do supported bridge pose:
- Stretches the chest, heart, hip flexors, and spine.
- Stimulates the organs around the low belly, lungs, and thyroid.
- Improves digestion and encourages a state of calm.
Savasana to close, you can use as many or few props to close your practice.