Top Five Yin Yoga Poses to do at Home
Yin Yoga is a wonderful way to stimulate the connective tissues of the body. By holding specific poses we increase the energy flow and opening of internal Yin channels. By breathing in to these poses and aiming to hold them for at least 2 minutes, both the body and mind can fall in to a beautiful meditative state. With all yoga, it can be a fantastic way to start or end you day and these these five poses are a great place to start. If you’re unsure at any point,
If you feel like you would prefer a more flowing, movement based practise, try our Vinyasa Flow with the lovely Lindsay Jay.
‘Top Five Yin Yoga Poses to do at Home.’
1. Child’s Pose
Benefits: Child’s pose is both comforting and rejuvenating. It allows you to reconnect with your breath and stabilize your body. Periods of rest (like during child’s pose) are vital and will only enhance your relationship with Yoga.
How to: Sit on your heels, with your knees slightly apart. Relax forwards, reaching your hands out in front aiming to place your head on the floor in front of your knees. Your arms can reach out as far out as it feels comfortable, or alternatively you can rest them behind you by the sides of your legs.
2. Pigeon Pose
Benefits: Pigeon pose elongates the back, opens the hips, groin, hamstrings, and relieves pressure on the lower back and sciatica. Open hips improve your posture, alignment and overall flexibility.
How to: Getting in to this pose can be tricky, so be careful when lowering yourself in to it. Kneel on one knee (like you were proposing!) with your right knee forwards. Lean forwards placing both hands either side of your front (right) foot. Slowly take the right foot towards your left hand, keeping your leg bent and allowing the side of your shin fall on to the floor. Your back leg as a consequence will also fall to the floor and we want to aim to straighten it at the same time. It may remain a little bent initially, and that’s OK too. Fold your body over your front (right) leg and far as it will go and try to relax! Repeat on the other side.
3. Reclining Hero/Saddle Pose
Benefits: This is a little more advanced so only proceed to do this pose if you feel comfortable. It stretches the front of the body; the abdomen, thighs, quads and hip flexors. It also stretches out your spine, knees ankles and feet. It’s good for relieving menstrual pain!
How to: Sit on your heels again with your knees apart. If you can, allow your feet to fall outwards to rest by the sides of your bottom on the floor – not everybody is comfortable doing this, so if not you can remain sitting on your heels. Keeping your legs still, and slowly using your hands, guide yourself backwards until your torso is leaning back over your heels. You can stay there, rest on your elbows or if you’re really feeling flexible you can lay all the way on to your back and place your arms above your head. This can be uncomfortable on knees and the lower back initially – so ease yourself in to it gently and try to relax!
Benefits: This pose really helps to stretch your spine, chest, lungs, shoulders and abdomen. It will also help to firm your buttocks, calm your mind and relieve stress.
How to: Lay on your front with your legs straight. Bend and tuck in your elbows by the side of your body, with your palms down. Aim to get your fingertips in line with your nose – fingers pointing straight forwards ahead of you. Start with your face facing down, nose to floor and gradually push up in to your hands so you are now looking straight ahead and out. Keep the elbows in when you do this. Your shoulders to your belly button should be lifted off the floor in a nice gentle back bend.
Benefits: This pose is great for opening up your hips and stretching your inside thighs. It also allows for ankle flexibility and can be made more challenging if wanted.
How to: Sit on your bottom with your hands just behind you to support your back. Place the soles of your feet together in front of your pelvis allowing your knees to relax out to the side (like a frog!) You can keep your hands where they are or place them on your ankles. If you really want to challenge yourself, try to pop your forehead on to your ankles!