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Practice with Clara

Open Pelvis (35-mins) Yin

A short yin yoga class to open the muscles along the front and back of the pelvis. This class targets the hip flexors, quadriceps, and hamstrings to relieve tension through longer-held postures and deep breaths. Open practice with a brief meditation. Three postures follow four simple stretches. Lizard pose, seated forward fold, and a supported bridge are held for 3-5 minutes.

Style: Yin Yoga

Duration: 35-minutes

Level: open

Props: 2 blocks, 1 bolster or some cushions

Focus: opening the muscles around the pelvis

Location: Vancouver, BC

Opening Meditation

Come to a seat on your mat. Choose as many or few blocks as you need to take a comfortable seat. Close your eyes and start to deepen your breath.

Bring your awareness into your pelvis. Send your breath into the front, back, and sides of your pelvis. Observe any tension that arises, either mental or physical. Note the stories that arise as you breathe and see if you can soften into your body with your breath.

If you feel or observe tension in your body, use the exhalation to let go of the tension. Allow the exhale breath to represent a softening or surrender to rid the body of unnecessary angst.

Stretch 1

Neck rolls

  • Stay seated and start to draw slow circles with the chin
  • Take full circles or half circles depending on how your neck feels
  • Gently encourage your head forward and back in either direction

Stretch 2

Arm circles

  • Take your fingertips to your shoulders
  • Use your elbows to draw circles to release the shoulders
  • Make your circles wide and smooth
  • Do several in either direction

Stretch 3

Seated side waist stretch

  • Walk your fingertips to one side of your torso
  • Extend the opposite hand over your head
  • Gently bow to the side with the hand on the ground
  • Breathe into your side waist
  • Tip the ear toward your shoulder to express the neck stretch

Stretch 4

Sufi grinds

  • Come to a tabletop on hands and knees
  • Take your hands a little ahead of the shoulders
  • Take your knees and feet wide
  • Begin to draw wide circles with your hips
  • Rock your pelvis forward, back, and to each side
  • Do the circles in both directions

Pose 1

Lizard pose

  • From a tabletop, step one foot outside of your front hand
  • Walk the foot wide to the edge of your mat
  • Allow your pelvis to get heavy toward the ground
  • Option to walk the back leg towards the backend of your mat
  • Tuck or point the toes on the back foot
  • Place your bolster, blocks, or cushion under your hands or forearms
  • Close your eyes and breathe into the lower belly
  • Deepen your exhales to relax into the pose
  • Repeat on either leg

Benefits of lizard pose:

  • Stretches the hamstrings, hip flexors, and quadriceps

Pose 2

Seated one-legged forward fold

  • Come to sit on your mat and extend one leg out in front of you
  • Tuck the opposite heel into the inner thigh of the extended leg
  • Place a block or cushion under your extended leg
  • Option to place a block or cushion under the opposite knee to support the weight of the leg
  • Round your back as you bow forward and fold
  • Use a bolster or large cushion to rest your torso, arms, and head
  • Relax into the pose; breathe deeply to help the muscles soften into the stretch
  • Repeat on the other leg

Benefits of the seated forward fold:

  • Stretches the spine (erectors), shoulders, and hamstrings
  • Stimulates the liver and kidneys
  • It can help improve digestion

Pose 3

Supported bridge pose

  • Come to recline on your back
  • Bend your knees and lift your hips
  • Place a block or a bolster under your sacrum/low back
  • Extend your legs down your mat or keep the knees bent
  • Take your arms wide or above your head
  • Rest in this pose for savasana

**Considerations: if you feel compression in the low spine when your legs are extended, bend your knees and take your feet wide on the ground.

Benefits of supported bridge pose:

  • Stretches the hip flexors, glutes and opens the front of the pelvis
  • Relieves tension in the neck and shoulders