Balancing Flow to Yin Yoga Sequence
Late summer and the start of back to school can create stress which can cause an imbalance in mind and body. The excessive heat, increased activities, running around getting school ready for kids or teachers, there’s so much stress. Exercise or movement can be a great stress reliever but it can also add to some of the stress.
Finding an exercise like yoga that can bring some heat but also connection with the breath can be the prefect way to balance out the body. This flow to yin yoga practice has both yang (heat building) and yin (cooling) elements to reduce stress and restore the whole body.
The beauty of having a written or audio yoga class is you can do it in the comfort of your own home, whenever you want!
There can be times when getting to the studio or gym for an exercise class, like yoga, can add to the stress. Well this sequence will do the trick. You can read the sequence and do the poses as written coming up with your own little flow or follow the audio version to do the full hour long class as if you were in the actual class!
Whole Body Balancing Flow to Yin Yoga Sequence
Click above for the audio version of this recorded live version. This class was previously taught by me via live online classes.
At home sequence: This is a shortened version with many of the same poses for the flow portion and the same yin section of the class. No props are needed unless you know you want some like a block or rolled up blanket for your hips in some of the seated poses (suggestions are noted in the description).
Table Top Pose warm-up: Come to hands and knees, knees under hips and wrists under shoulders. Gently engage the core (belly button toward spine). Take any movement in the wrists that will help stretch them. Do the same with the ankles, hips and shoulders. Come back into the table top pose, keeping the arms still, hands pressing into the earth, inhale while releasing your shoulder blades away from your back by pressing the chest down an inch or so. Exhale and press the shoulder blades into the upper back. Take a few rounds of this.
Cow/Cat Pose: Continue to warm up with a few cat/cow poses. Inhale sink the belly down while gazing up. Exhale bringing your chin to your chest and arching the back up toward the sky. Move with the breath and take a few rounds.
Sun Salutation A (surya namaskar A): Move through one or two sun salutations to continue to warm up the body and stretch. Click here for a full version.
Crescent Lunge + a Twist: From downward facing dog, step your right foot in between your hands. Press the torso and arms up. Hold a couple breaths. Exhale bringing hands to heart center. Inhale and on the next exhale twist to the right. Stay with torso upright or hook the left elbow to the outside of the right knee. Hold a few breaths and release back to downward dog (maybe take a vinyasa to get there?). Repeat on the left side.
Warrior II to Triangle pose: Step the right foot forward between the hands from downward facing dog. Spin the left heel down bringing the ouster edge of the foot parallel to the back of the mat. Inhale the arms and torso up, right arm forward and left arm back. Keep a deep bend in the right knee and press the left foot into the mat. Inhale while straightening the right leg. Exhale reach forward with the right arm and tip the torso forward bringing the right hand to the shin, ankle, a block or the mat. Triangle pose. Hold and repeat the whole thing on the left side.
Wide Legged Standing Forward Fold: Step the feet wide, put a slight bend in the knees as you fold forward. Bring the hands under your shoulders and extend out through the crown of your head. Stay here or release the crown of your head down toward the earth while walking your hands inline with the feet. Hold a few breaths and release.
Dangle: Stepping toward the front of the mat, feet hip distance and a slight bend in your knees. Release your head toward the earth, maybe grab opposite elbows and hand the upper body down toward the floor. Hold for 1-2 minutes.
Cow Face or Shoelace Pose: Come to sitting. Extend the left leg out in front while bending the right knee and walking the right foot over the left leg, toward the outer right hip. Stack the right knee over the left knee (as much as possible). Stay there or bend the left knee, bringing the left heel toward the right hip. - If needed place a block or pillow under your sitting bones to release any pain in the hips. - Hold 1-2 minutes and switch sides.
Seated Forward fold or Caterpillar Pose: Sit with both legs extended in front. -Place a rolled up blanket under the hips if there’s pressure or discomfort in the low back. OR put a slight bend in the knees- Reach arms up and fold forward over the legs. Reaching your hands for the shins, ankles or feet. Release through your head and neck. Hold for 2-3 minutes.
Reclining Pigeon Pose: Lay down with knees bent and feet on the floor. Cross your right ankle over the left knee and gently press the right hand against your right knee to open the hip even more. Stay there or pick the left foot up, bringing the legs closer to the chest, wrapping hand behind the hamstring or the shin. Hold for 1 minute, relaxing the shoulders and head. Release bringing the left foot down, keeping the right ankle crossed. Walk the left foot to the left an inch or so. Drop the arms out to the sides in a “T”, exhale and release the knees to the right. Hold 1 minute.
Twisted Roots: Keep the legs in reclining pigeon pose. Bring the left foot out to the left an inch or so while opening the arms out in a “T”. Exhale and release the knees to the right. Gently releasing the knees down, gazing up or to the left. Stay here a minute or two. -Option to release the stacked right foot if there’s too much pressure in the back or hips.-
Repeat reclining pigeon and twisted roots on the other side.
Savasana: Extend the legs so the back of the legs rests on the earth. Heels are hip distance, allow toes to fall to the sides naturally and bring the arms near your sides at a 45 degree angle with palms facing upward. Close your eyes and softly tuck your chin to lengthen the back of the neck. Rest for 7-10 minutes (ore more if you like).
Please let me know how this practice goes in the comments!
Cheers and namaste,