A slow yin yoga class that invites a deep breath into the side waist and back of the heart. This class features gentle movement to express the lateral body and spine before moving into three yin poses with twists, a child’s pose, and the bolster at the abdomen. The bolster softens the muscles around the lower abdomen to give the organs an internal massage.
Relaxing the abdomen gives access to the psoas muscles; this provides the psoas with an excellent release.
Lunar practices such as yin have a cooling effect on the body and mind. Our inner wisdom and innate knowing can be heard when we create a sense of calm in body and mind. Jai Ma: may we connect to the Great Mother within and honour the inner knowledge, this quiet knowing.
Style: Yin Yoga
Props: 1 Bolster, 2 Blocks, 1 Blanket
Focus: forward folds, back release.
Location: Vancouver, BC
Music: Tonight Spotify Playlist
Come to sit on your mat and close your eyes. Breathe deeply into your body. Allow yourself to dissolve a little with each exhale. Letting go of your day and anything else you may be carrying.
Seated Side Waist Stretch
- Take one hand to the side of your mat
- Reach the opposite hand up and over to the side
- Breathe into the side waist
Seated Forward Fold
- Take your hands to the top corner of your mat
- Press your fingertips into the ground
- Round your back like an angry cat
- Breathe into the side body and your spine
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.
- Root your sits bones into the ground
- Round your spine and walk your fingertips forward and away from your torso
- Arch the spine and puff the back body
- Take 3-5 breaths in this shape
- Walk your fingertips back to your torso and lift the chest
- Arche the spine and spread your breath across the front of your body
- Take 3-5 breathes in this shape
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.
Prone with Bolster on Abdomen
- Place your bolster lengthwise across your mat
- Place your belly on the top of the bolster and relax your abdomen
- Stack your palms or use a block to support your forehead
- Extend your legs out behind you and take them a little wide of hip-distance
- Soften your belly against the bolster and breathe deeply into your back body
- Hold this shape for 3-5 minutes
Why we use a bolster on the abdomen:
- The bolster softens the muscles around the lower abdomen to give the organs an internal massage.
- Relaxing the abdomen gives access to the psoas muscles; this provides the psoas with an excellent release. The psoas (hip flexors) become tight and stained from sitting.
- As the psoas release, you may feel a rush of energy down the legs (tingling or heat).
- Bend your knees and take your inner thighs towards each other
- Bring your big toes to touch and rest your belly against your thighs
- Bow forward and take your arms along your sides with the palms by your toes
- Rest your head on the ground and breathe deeply
- Take 8-10 breaths in this pose.
Why we do child’s pose:
This pose stretches and releases the lower back and hips. You may also feel a stretch across the upper back and back of the shoulders. A sense of groundedness, introspection, and safety nourish the body and mind by holding this supported variation of the child’s pose for a duration.
Reclined Spinal Twist with a Bolster
- Bend your knees and stack them toward one side of your mat
- Option to place a soft block or blanket between your thighs/knees
- Take your bolster lengthwise up your mat against one of your hips
- Turn your torso to face your bolster for a gentle twist
- Place your fingertips on the ground and take one cheek to your bolster
- Rest your belly against the bolster and breathe deep into your torso
- Rest here for 2-3 minutes
Why we do 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.
- Take your bolster vertically on your mat and stack a block under one end
- Align your tail bone at the other end with your buttock on the ground
- Come to recline with your spinal column on the bolster
- Your head should land where the block is under the bolster
- Wrap yourself with a blanket and rest your body on the earth
Why we do savasana:
- Allows the central nervous system to deregulate and decompress.
- Aids in digestion and immunity.
- Reduces stress by calming the mind.
- Releases the muscles.
- Integrates the work that you did during the class.
- It helps to lower blood pressure.