Yin yoga is a style of yoga that is different from anything else out there. It’s relaxing, energizing, and extremely beneficial, and is a great complement to other forms of yoga that you may already practice. It allows you to stretch and recharge, bring more meditation into your practice, work on flexibility, strengthen connective tissues and deepen breathing. All of these are important for a well-rounded yoga practice and overall well-being.
Getting started with a practice of yin yoga is simple and very worthwhile. All you need is a mat, some cushions and comfortable clothing. Here are a few poses you can practice at home to get started:
Sit with your spine long, with weight evenly distributed through both sit bones. Bring the soles of your feet together in front of you and allow the knees to relax out to the sides. If your hips are tight, move the feet further forward. Fold forward from the hips until you feel a stretch through the inner thighs, hips and back. Rest on your hands or on a cushion. Use cushions under each knee, if needed. As you release, use both hands to draw the knees together. Hold for 3-6 minutes.
Pigeon Pose (or Sleeping Swan in yin yoga)
Begin in the Table Top Pose (on all fours, spine long). Lift your right knee, moving it forward towards your head. Set your right shin and knee down in front of your right hip. Only if you are able, bring your shin parallel to the front of your mat, otherwise the shin will sit diagonally. Stretch your left leg out to the back and fold forward over the front leg. Support the upper body with your elbows, forearms or lower your upper body completely to the floor. Relax for 3-6 minutes, then switch sides.
Cow Face Pose
From a seated posture, cross your right knee over the left, stacking one knee on top of the other. Sit down between your ankles with both sit bones on the mat; use a cushion under the hips if needed. Reach your right arm out to the side, thumb down, then rotate the arm inward and reach behind your back and up towards your neck. Reach your left arm up, bend your elbow and reach behind your neck to grasp your fingers. Use a strap or towel if the fingers do not meet behind the shoulder blades. Hold for 3-6 minutes, then switch sides.
Spa, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert, Spa Consultant and Founder of Spa & Wellness MexiCaribe magazine