Release tension from a long day at work and sitting at a desk!
This being a Yin Yoga practice, we will hold these passive poses for 3-5 minutes each, without using muscular effort. The focus here lies on stretching the connective tissue, the fascia and the joint. While you hold a pose, do your best to relax and try not to fidget.
Make sure that you have at least one block handy, a blanket would also be nice as padding for the knees.
These poses are a collection from my most recent video on YouTube. Click on the video above if you would like to take the full 40 minute practice alongside with me.
1. Sitali Pranayama
We begin in a comfortable seated pose with a simple and cooling breathing exercise, Sitali Pranayama.
Sit crossed legged if comfortable, otherwise you can always be kneeling or sitting up on a block, if that suits you better.
We’re going to inhale through an “O”-Shaped mouth (lips pursed) and then exhale through the nose. Repeat for around 3 minutes, going in your own pac. The goal is to slow down your breath.
2. Toe Stretch
From all fours, flex your feet, curling the toes under. Shift your body back, hips directly on your heels and you may need to manually adjust your pinky toes with your hands. Place your palms on your thighs. If this stretch is too intense for you, you can keep your hips slightly elevated and put your hands on the ground out in front of you to make it less intense.
Hold for 1-2 minutes.
3. Wrist Stretch
Keeping your spine and neck parallel to the ground, rotate both palms so that the fingertips point toward your knees. Spread your fingers wide to keep the weight evenly distributed throughout your hands. Slowly shift your weight back toward you heels, lifting your palms off the ground, keeping your fingertips flat on the ground.
To make this even more restorative you can inch your knees a bit foward to your hands, so that you’re able to sit down on your heels. The more space between the knees and palms, the more it intensifies the stretch, so be mindful and find your edge in this pose.
Hold for 1-2 minutes.
Sit up tall and stretch your legs out in front of you. Caterpillar is a passive forward fold, so let your spine round, chin to chest, relax your head, neck and arms. There’s no reaching towards the feet at all as we let gravity do the work here. Keep a slight bend in your knees so that you don’t lock them up. If you notice that your lower back is tilting back feel free to sit on a block or a blanket. Turn the palms up to truly soften into this shape.
Hold for 5 minutes.
5. Half Butterfly
Extend your right leg out to the side with the left foot to the inside to the right thigh, keeping a bit of a bend in that right knee. Lean to the right side, placing your elbow on a block on the first or second side, bending into that elbow to support your head. The left arm relaxes onto your left knee, shoulders glide down the back.
Hold for 4 minutes, then switch to the other side.
6. Happy Baby
Widen the knees to your shoulders as a first option, stretching the inner groin. If you would like to go further into it, you can stack your ankles over the knees and either catch a hold of the big toes with your peace fingers or you can hold on to the outside of the feet, pulling gently down.
Always remember, if the stretch is to intense, you can always come back to having the knees pulling in towards the shoulders.
Hold for 3-4 minutes.
7. Supine Twist
Push into your legs to lift your hips up and shift them a couple inches to the right, letting the knees drop down to the left. Reach both arms out to the sides into a cactus shape. You can stay here, or you can double wrap the knees to intensify the stretch in the outer right hip and low back.
Try to keep your right shoulder down to the ground. If it doesn’t make it al the way there, prop your knees up with a blanket or a block. Chest facing up, twisting in the mid to lower back only.
Hold for 4-5 minutes, then switch sides.
Remember to end your practice with Savasana for at least 5 minutes, if not longer!
Thank you so much for practicing with me. If you enjoyed the poses and the video, please remember to subscribe to my YouTube Channel.
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