Yoga has the potential of taking us to a calm state of mind from a very stressed in just a few short minutes. These longer held and more passive poses are designed just for that.
In these 13 Yin-inspired poses first find your alignment and become comfortable, then allow yourself to transition effortlessly to a much passive and relaxed position as possible. There really is nothing to do but have a gentle focus on your breath, the sensations in your body and allow yourself to fall into the pose.
13 Yin-Inspired Yoga Poses
1. Butterfly Pose
Starting seated bring your feet to touch about a foots distance away from your hips with your knees wide. From here gently fold forward allowing the spine to round down passively towards the earth.
2. Extended Childs’ Pose
Bring your toes to touch and your knees just to the sides of ribs or little wider. Next bring your body and arms forward like downward dog nice and long before relaxing in this extended position.
3. Shoelace Or Gomukasana
Sitting up take one knee on top of the other, sitting in-between your feet. If it’s challenging stay upright or if you can effortless fold forward slowly over your legs, allow your spine to become passive and round. Don’t forget to repeat on the second side!
4. Seated Forward Fold
Taking both legs now straight forward, bend your knees and bring your chest and legs to touch. Once comfortable lengthen your legs over in front of you until you feel a gentle stretch behind your legs with your head and neck passive.
5. Balasana, Classical Child Pose
Bring both the knees and feet to touch, passively resting over your legs with the arms back. This is a simple pose for you to observe the sensations of the breath falling out from your body.
6. Sphinx Pose
Come onto your belly rest your elbows under your shoulders with your arms forward. Leave the head lifted, breathe and experience the sensations in your lower back as you leave your chest lifted.
7. Knees To Chest, Folded Pose
Resting now on your back take both knees into your chest. Rest your shoulders, hips and back down onto the mat and breathe.
8. Supine Twist
Take one or both knees over to one side looking in the opposite direction while leaving your shoulders level with the mat. Breathe and then repeat on the second side.
9. Reclined Pidgin Pose
On your back take one ankle and cross it on top the opposite knee. Then using your hands drag this knee gently closer to your chest to open the outer hip, repeat on the other side.
10. Happy Baby Pose
While on your back take hold of outer feet and gently drag them down towards the earth. Let the knees bend while leaving the hips low and level.
11. Legs Up The Wall Pose
Lift your legs up in line with your hips – bending your knees if you need. Stay passive here with your legs either supported by the wall or suspended in space.
12. Supported Belly Down Twist
Take a bolster or cushion and bring your hips to one side and your legs away in the opposite direction. Then twist down and hug the bolster looking the opposite direction. Repeat on the second side.
The most important relaxing position and one that should be included in all yoga sequences. Lying on your back arms and feet away from the body. Be comfortable, passive and observant. Lay here in silence or with relaxing music for at least 5 minutes or up to 20. Relax!
These poses can be done on their own or in the sequence above as a whole practice. You can perform these for a little or as long as you can with a maximum of about 4 minutes per stretch. Try and allow your surroundings to be relaxing and your attention in what is happening for best results.