Yin Yoga Sequence for Autumn
At last, fall has come! The weather this year has been odd. It went from summer, to winter quickly. A few snow storms and boom autumn!! So weird but I will take it. Fall is my favorite season. The beautiful colors, the shift of the sun with a warm orange glow and the chilly mornings. Oh and pumpkin EVERYTHING!!! Anyway with the change of season, the mind and body can get a little out of whack. The day's a shorter, allowing for possibly more sleep which is so great for the body. However it can also bring some lethargy and even some depression.
The negative outcomes of darker days and colder nights can throw you out of your norm. This yin yoga for autumn sequence can help bring some steadiness back. Check out a 15 minute Autumn Yin Yoga Video.
Sticking to a routine is vital especially as the holidays come about. Traveling or hosting can bring stress and make you feel out of sorts. Sticking to what makes you thrive like exercise and eating well, will help to maintain balance.
Yoga for Autumn to the rescue!
A video is coming soon but in the meantime, try the following sequence to calm your body and mind. Hold each pose for 1-5 minutes before moving on to the second side or the next posture. To keep your mind from wondering try concentrating on your breathing or listening to soothing music. Click here for a good Spodify playlist!
Dangling (standing forward fold grabbing opposite elbows): Stand with feet hip distance apart or slightly wider if that's more comfortable. Put a bend in your knees and fold the torso forward. Grab opposite elbows or allow the arms to drape down toward the earth. Keep the bend in the knees or straighten slightly (being mindful not to lock out the knees). Hold for 1-2 minutes before moving on to the next pose.
Half Dragonfly pose: From a seated position, extend both legs out to the sides. Bend the left knee placing the sole of the foot on the inner right thigh. Feel the sitting bones working evenly into the earth (alternatively you can use a block under the left thigh or a rolled up blanket under the sitting bones to alleviate any low back tension). Keep the hands by the hips, walk your hands to the inside of the legs or walk the hands out. Release the head and neck, placing a block under the forehead if desired. After holding, gently release and switch sides.
Butterfly Pose: Bend your knees, bringing the soles of your feet together. Gently drop the knees out to the sides, holding your ankles or placing your hands next to your hips on the floor. Take a few deep breaths, releasing the inner and outer thigh muscles. If needed you can place a block (or books or a rolled up towel) under each thigh for extra support. Stay here or when you're ready, walk the hands out in front or press into the hands (if by your hips) folding the torso over the feet. Hold for desired amount of time. Gently bring the torso back up and use your hands on the outer thighs to release the pose.
Child's Pose Thread the Needle: Come to hands and knees, bring the toes to touch, knees are inline with hips. Press the hips back toward the heels and rest your forehead on the mat or a block. Pause for a few deep breaths. Left the right hand and interlace under the left arm, resting the right shoulder onto the mat. Turn your head to the left. Hold for 1-2 minutes and switch sides after coming back to child's pose.
Swan Pose & Sleeping Swan (the next picture): From hands and knees, step the right foot forward so you're in a modified lunge. Walk the right foot toward the left hand and bring the right knee down to the earth. Place your hands under the shoulders (using blocks if needed). Be mindful to work the body toward the center line and not lean off to one side. Hold for 1-3 minutes. Stay in swan or walk the hands out folding over the front leg for sleeping swan. Rest your head on a block, stacked fists or the earth. Hold for another 1-3 minutes. Switch sides after you've completed the right side.
***Important note: if you have knee sensitivity or have had a knee surgery, skip this all together and lay on your back. Bend the left knee placing the sole of the foot on the mat. Stack the right ankle over the left thigh (right below the knee). Open the right knee out to the side, stay here or pick the left foot up off the floor and use the hands to hold behind the left thigh or in front of the left shin. Do the same on the other side after holding.***
Sleeping Swan Pose: see above description.
Supported Half Saddle Pose: Sit with feet extended out in front. Place a block under your sitting bones on any level (I have it on the lowest here but can turn the block over for the medium level). Bend the right knee and walk the foot so the top of the foot is next to the block. Keep the left leg extended or bend the left leg placing the sole of the foot on the floor. Place your hands behind you on the floor. Gently lean into your hands or bring the elbows down coming onto your forearms. Keep the head lifted or release the had back, without dropping the head and constricting the front of or pinching the back of the neck. Stay as long as it feels comfortable and switch sides when ready. Slowly release the pose.
***Important note: If you're experience trouble bringing the hips down onto the block or if you have knee problems or sensitivity come to dragon pose (alternatively, skip the pose).
Supported Bridge Pose: Come to laying on your back. Bend your knees placing the soles of the feet on the mat in line with the hips. Press into your feet as you lift your hips up. Place the block on the medium (like mine) or lowest level directly under the sacrum. Release your hips down to rest on the block. The hips/sacrum should feel totally supported by the block. Hand can rest on your belly or out to the sides. Hold for as long as you like, release and move on to the next pose.
Reclining Butterfly Pose: After removing the block, walk the soles of the feet to touch. Drop the knees out to the sides. Release the muscles throughout the body, resting the hands on the belly, by your sides or one hand on your heart & one hand on your belly. If needed you can place a block under each thigh for extra support, especially if you find you're holding tension in the legs.
Reclining Twist: Gently bring the knees in toward your chest, pause for a couple of breaths. Keep the right leg in toward your chest and release the left sole of the foot to the floor or bring the back of the leg to rest on the mat. Hold your right knee with your left hand, dropping the right arm out to the side. Exhale bringing the right knee across your body to the left. Relax the torso, neck and head. Hold for as long as you like and repeat on the second side.
Shavasana: From laying on your back, release the backs of the legs to the earth, walking the heels out to hip distance apart and let the toes drop out to the sides. Release your arms out by your sides and turn the palms to face up. Close your eyes and drop in, turning your gaze inward and relaxing. Stay as long as you like.
More Autumn yoga things:
In the spirit of settling into a new season. I have been making some Fall specific yoga sequences and videos to honor the inward focus during this seasonal change (log on to the Alt Yoga Vibe YouTube Channel or check other blog posts after you're finished with this post!). These sequences/asana practices can help you bring the balance you crave, back to your mind and body. Stay tuned for holiday season specific yoga posts and resources.
P.S. Come take a LIVE yoga class with me on Ompractice. Check out the classes I teach and use code "VALPOSE" for one free class!!
Disclaimer: The information on this website (Alt Yoga Vibe) is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for medical treatment or hands on instruction. If you are experiencing any severe pain or symptoms, please consult a healthcare practitioner.