45minute Yin Yoga Flow to Open the heart
I love Yin Yoga. There is nothing like treating yourself to a practice that is restorative and so beneficial for your body. In most active Vinyasa or power yoga classes the muscles get used a lot. We gain strength from these classes but don’t really achieve great stretching. Yin yoga stretches deep into the muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissue or fascia in the body. These tissues are very dense. Yin yoga poses are held anywhere from 3-20minutes! Sounds like a lot, but that is exactly what your yin tissues need in order to restore, rebalance, and for your meridians to be stimulated.
Sometimes after Yin yoga I feel like I just got body work done. I am in a very relaxed state in my body and mind. My parasympathetic nervous system takes over and my whole being is given the opportunity to restore. Below is a flow to Open the Heart Center. As you practice, give yourself time to get into the poses. Use as many props as you need. Sometimes 2-4 blocks works, sometimes a bolster or pillows work. You will figure out what you need as you practice.
Yin yoga is not about getting into the poses perfectly. It is about allowing your body to mold into the poses the way it can at a given moment. Some days your body will feel more open then others. Use the props accordingly. If you experience sharp pain while in a pose, or while getting into a pose, please adjust so that you don’t feel that pain. Pain is the message our body sends to tell us that something we are doing is too much or dangerous for the body. Listen to those messages and do not force yourself into any pose. Allow your body to mold, with the props into the appropriate alignment for you.
Give yourself a moment to check in with your body, mind and soul and set an intention for your practice. Once you’ve set your intention, please get into the first pose. Do the poses in the order given and let me know if you have any questions. Enjoy!
HERE IS THE FLOW
Childs pose (5minutes)
Bring knees wide to the mat, reach forward with your arms, bring your forehead to the mat. Breathe into your hips, knees, ankles, and underarms.
Rest on your back, bring arms and legs out like a star. Find stillness in your body and allow the previous pose to integrate.
Broken Wing (2minutes each side/pentacle in between)
Place your Right hand under your torso, palm faces down. Breathe into your shoulder and elbow. Switch sides.
Supported Bridge (reach arms up, extend legs stretch) (2minutes in supported, 3minutes in stretch)
Start on your back with feet planted hip width apart. Place a block under your sacrum/low back and rest on the block. Arms rest by your side palms face up.. Breathe into your spine.
Come onto your belly. Bring your forearsm parallel to each other on your mat. Lift your heart and pull forward a little bit with your hands. Option to rest your chin towards your chest or even sway your head from side to side. Breathe into your chest and neck/shoulder area.
Place hands wider than shoulder width in front of you on the mat and press up. If this causes pain, stay in Sphinx. Arms stay straight, bring your shoulder away from your ears. Breath into your spine.
Lower to belly rest (1minute)
Place your palms one on top of the other and rest your forehead on your hands. Rest your body.
Shoulder stretch R arm out (2minutes)
Stretch your Right arm out and roll onto your shoulder. Find whatever position is comfortable with the legs. Breath into the front of your Right shoulder.
Rest on belly with head to side (1minute)
Roll back onto your belly and turn your head to the Right. Rest your body.
Shoulder stretch L arm out (2minutes)
Rest on belly with head to side (1minute)
Roll onto belly and turn your head to the Left.
Table top Cat/Cow flow (1minute)
Come onto hands and knees. Inhale drop your belly towards the earth into Cow. Exhale round your spine up into Cat. Move through three breath cycles of that.
From tabletop, reach your arms forward. Place your chest, chin or forehead on the mat. Breathe into the opening in the front of the body.
Baby pose (2minutes)
Come down to your knees and rest your forehead on the mat. Arms rest by your sides, palms face up.
Saddle with Heart Opening Support (5minutes)
Come on up. Separate the knees about as wide as your mat. Place one or two blocks in between your shoulders and rest back onto the blocs. Place another block under your head for support. Arms rest by your sides palms face up. Breath into your heart Chakra.
Twist R (2minutes)
Bring both knees in, give them a squeeze and guide them over to your Left for a spinal twist. Let your whole body melt onto the mat. Breathe into the twist.
Twist L (2 minutes)
Rest on your back and allow yourself to integrate everything you just did. Let your breath come back to normal and find stillness in your body. When you are ready, slowly wake the body up with tiny movements. Bring the knees into your chest, roll up into a seated position. Bring your hands to your hearts center and bow forward in recognition of yourself and your effort.