Make sure to do on both sides here.

Yin Yoga Sequence | Feel Vibrant – Kidney & Urinary Meridians

Spring daffodils in Texas

Hello friends!

Today I want to share with you a sequence that is very helpful for getting out of a dull state. The energetic focus of this sequence is on the kidney and urinary meridian channels, which are physically stimulated by the opening of the hips, incorporation of passive backbends as well as forward bending. When these channels are blocked or stagnant, we tend to slip into a protective, lazy and unproductive state. In contrast, when these energetic channels are given some attention through the longer holds of the yin practice, yogis will feel a sense of physical, mental and emotional balance. You might also experience a deeper connection to your sense of love, devotion, creativity and passions. One thing I really adore about the spring season is how green everything is. One day it’s winter, then a few warm days and spring showers later – BAM! It’s spring. It’s amazing how quickly the earth comes back to life after the cooler months. Our bodies and minds work similarly to this – we need some rain and some sunshine to nourish us. Then, we start to feel renewed and vibrant.

-Nancy

Printable PDF Version

My Playlist

Dangling Forward Fold (at the wall) – 5 min

Begin your practice by turning toward the wall and walking into a forward fold with your hips facing the center of the room. You are welcome to bend the knees and fold the chest over the thighs as to not overstretch the lumbar spine.  I placed a block between my feet for an addition grounding effect. Take your time and lean into where you feel this most – trusting that wall to support and uphold you even when it gets intense.

Yin Yoga - Meridians - Dangling Forward Fold at the wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butterfly Pose – 5 min

Draw the soles of the feet together and drop the knees wide. Use an exhale to guide your chest forward and release your head to a block, allowing gravity to pull you in. Over time, you may adjust the height of the block or remove it completely as long as your breath can stay vibrant and full.

Yin Yoga - Meridians - Butterfly Pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sphinx/Seal Pose – 5 min

Come to your belly and prop yourself up on your forearms. Take a few breaths here observing the physical and energetic shift from the previous stretch. You can stay as is or gradually transition deeper as sensations settle. Options include straightening the arms into seal pose and/or propping the forearms onto blocks (pictured) or blankets.

Yin Yoga - Meridians - Sphinx/Seal Pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

+ Neck Releases (30 seconds each side) – to enhance the release through the neck, you can drop each ear down to the corresponding shoulder. Relax your jaw and breathe steadily as you do this.

Yin Yoga - Meridians - Neck Stretch Sphinx Pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Counter pose – Half Frog – 2 min each side

Open the arms out to the sides like cactus arms. Begin to slide the left knee up toward the left elbow. Rest for 2 minutes then move to the other side.

Make sure to do on both sides here.

Puppy Pose – 5 min

From a neutral table top position, take a deep inhale and as you exhale begin to walk the hands forward until you reach a stopping point and melt the heart toward the earth. You can support your chest or forehead with a block if it helps you. If you want to increase sensation, you can bend your elbows 90 degrees bringing the palms together above your head and then reach the thumbs toward the base of the neck. You can also do this with two blocks under the triceps (bottom photo) for additional release.

Yin Yoga - Meridians - Puppy Pose on blocksYin Yoga - Meridians - Puppy Pose on blocks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Childs Pose – 3 min

Rest the hips back to the heels for a moment to allow the spine to settle.

Yin Yoga - Meridians - Childs Pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pigeon Pose – 5 min

Begin to draw the right leg out in front of you pulling the heel as close in to the hip as you need, while extending the left leg to the side (twisted deer variation) or back of the mat (pictured). Take some breaths to lengthen the spine and then eventually settle into the fold. Use as many props as you need to make this pose accessible and pain-free.

Yin Yoga - Meridians - Pigeon Pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wide Leg Lateral Stretch – 5 min

From pigeon, rock onto the right hip and come into a wide leg stance at the long edge of the mat. Take the right foot into the left inner thigh. Take a block to the inside of the left leg (you can play around with placement that feels best for you). Place your left elbow on the block and rest your head into the palm of the hand. Opposite arm can stay at your side, or to intensify the stretch in the side body, take it overhead and rest it on the opposite side of the head. You can also increase intensity by lowering the block a level or removing it completely.

Yin Yoga - Meridians - Lateral Stretch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spinal Twist – 5 min

Reach the right arm forward and roll onto the right side body, resting the head on the arm (first picture). Take your left leg forward, 90 degrees from the body (second picture). You can pause here and begin to rotate the spine back toward the floor behind you. OR you can bend the right knee and reach for the ankle/foot with your top hand (third picture). If you can bind with the foot, relax the head back down and begin to rotate the top shoulder back, moving into the twist.

Yin Yoga - Meridians - Spinal Twist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Counter pose – Childs Pose – 1 min

Yin Yoga - Meridians - Childs Pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**Repeat pigeon pose through spinal twist on the other side.

Forward Fold (seated) – 3 min

Starting in a seated position with legs straight out in front of you, locate a firm seat (using a blanket under the hips if your low back is strained in any way). Breathe a few breaths into the spine from an upright position and then take a few breaths to lower you forward. I like to use a bolster under my chest or block under my head (sometimes both!), so get creative with props and find a place to land here.

Yin Yoga - Meridians - Forward Fold (seated)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reclined Heart Opener (block down the spine) – 3 min each

This is just one of those things that makes me feel taller after doing it. Every part of your spine matters – from cervical, to thoracic, to lumbar, it houses your spinal cord as well as helps bring blood and nutrients to the brain. Breathe deeply and consistently while in these variations to create space between the vertebrae.

  • 3 min – Upper back w/block vertically placed between shoulder blades
  • 3 min – Middle back with block horizontally placed at tips of shoulder blades
  • 3 min – Low back (sacrum)/Supported Bridge Pose

Yin Yoga - Meridians - Block down the spine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Savasana – 7-10 min

Choose whichever savasana position will help you to rest more completely. Enjoy some time to soak up all the goodness that you were able to create with your practice.

Savasana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Namaste!

Version 2

Yin Yoga – Full Body Release

After a long day, we tend to pour a hefty glass of wine and veg out in one way or another. I’m all about my evening wine, but sometimes what my body and mind really need is a little TLC. Yin is a great practice to add into your evening routine. You will sleep better and release tension before moving onto another day of expectations and busyness.  I believe that if you take some time to let go of physical tension, mental and emotional tension will also find space to release. This full-body sequence is a great way to create this space to decompress a bit after a long day at work, school, or whatever it is that is weighing you down. Try to implement it into your schedule this week. If you need to – write it down so you’ll make it happen. You’ll thank yourself for doing it!

My Playlist

Upper Back Release | 5 min – Place the block (or a blanket works too) in the upper back region, nestled between the shoulder blades. Come into a comfortable lying position. Your legs can be straight (pictured) or bent. Make sure you find a place in which you can fully rely on the pull of gravity. The more stillness you create physically, the more space you’ll be able to create.

Upper Back Release

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butterfly Pose | 3 min – From your back, gently begin to roll off the block and come up to a seated position. Bring the soles of the feet together and cushion the knees if you need to support them. Take several breaths to lower down into sensation. Once you discover tension, pause and breathe through it. As the sensation settles, you can continue to deepen. Just be as physically still as possible and utilize the power of your breath to create space.

Butterfly/Bound Angle Pose

If you would like to go even deeper, you can elevate the feet on the block for an intense release!

If you would like to go even deeper, you can elevate the feet on the block for an intense release!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twisted Deer | 3 min – From butterfly, gently rise up. Keeping the hips open, begin to slide the right shin parallel to the side of the mat and the left shin more parallel with the top of the mat (though, it can be slightly angled if needed). Your right hip will bump up a bit here, and that’s okay! As in our last pose, lower down slowly – pausing at each burst of intensity as you settle into the posture.

Twisted Deer Pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

Front View

Front View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pigeon Pose | 5 min – You can remain in twisted deer or begin to take the right leg all the way behind you. The left shin will stay close to where it already is. Take some breaths to lengthen the spine and eventually settle into the fold. Use as many props as feels appropriate to make this pose accessible and pain-free.

Pigeon Pose

OPTIONAL: Thread the right arm under the left for a shoulder stretch. Grab the back foot for a deep quad release. Make sure to do with other leg fwd as well.

OPTIONAL: Thread the right arm under the left for a shoulder stretch. Grab the back foot for a deep quad release. Make sure to do with other leg fwd as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lizard Pose | 4 min – From pigeon, peel your torso up and gently place the foot to the ground. Heel toe it all the way over so you can place both hands to the inside of the foot. You can stay here, lift the hands up higher (on blocks or similar) or perhaps move deeper. To add a lateral stretch for the upper body, you can walk the hands toward the side of the mat away from the feet (bottom middle picture).

Lizard Pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Threaded Needle | 3 min – This is a nice twist in the spine and releaser for tension held in the upper back, neck and shoulder regions. Begin by coming into a Table Top position, maybe moving with your breath for a few rotations of Cat/Cow to loosen the spine. Come back to a neutral spine, inhale and lift the left arm up to the sky, as you exhale draw that left hand all the way across the mat and over to the left side of the mat until your shoulder is grounded and you can lie your head on the floor or a block. You can take the right arm and reach it overhead or wrap it around your back. To lift out of it, place the right hand at eye-level and then press yourself back up. 

Threaded Needle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Childs Pose | 2 min – Take a moment in childs pose before moving to the other side. In this posture, observe the rhythm of your breath and the space you’ve already created within the body and mind. Do this after the second side as well to notice a balanced effect through the legs and hips especially.

Childs Pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**Repeat Twisted Deer – Childs Pose on the other side**

Toe Stretch | 2 min – From childs begin to tuck all ten toes. Slowly begin to walk your hands in toward the knees. If you can come all the way back onto the heels without pain, do so. Otherwise, keep the hands in front of you for support. Stay where you are or if you need more sensation, inch the knees forward a bit more so the tops of the feet are at an angle. Breathe consistently and fully while here. Ensure that the pinky toes stay tucked under the whole time. They tend to attempt an escape in this pose.

Toe Stretch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tricep Shoulder Release | 1 min each side – I learned this stretch during a training intensive with the awesome Dice and Briohny when they were at my studio late in 2013. To get into the pose, bend your right arm and bring the back of the hand into the low back (sacrum area). Take the left arm, reach across your chest and grab the tricep of the right arm. Begin to pull the tricep toward the front of the room and at the same time, press the right elbow toward the back of the room. Finding a nice balance between the two. Once you have a good amount of sensation, begin to drop the left ear down toward the left shoulder until you feel a good stretch through the side of the neck.

Tricep Shoulder Release

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back of Neck Release | 1 min – Bring the head and neck back into neutral and lightly interlace the hands behind the head. Begin to drop the chin toward the chest and let your arms hang heavy as an additional weight to release. You can roll the head gently side to side to explore tension and make sure your facial muscles are completely relaxed. Note: Do not PUSH into the head, just let the arms serve as an additional weight.

Back of Neck Stretch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legs up the Wall w/Strap (or at the wall) | 3 min – Move to a wall or use a strap to support the soles of the feet as they are extended up toward the ceiling. You can also elevate onto a block for more of an inversion (pictured).

Strap Supported Legs up the Wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supported Bridge Pose | 4 min – From legs up the wall lower back down and let the legs settle for a moment. Then begin to lift the hips and place the block (at your desired height) under the sacrum. You can move your legs to wherever is comfortable. Pay special attention to the knees and low back and make sure they are happy in these variations.

Bridge Pose (Supported)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Banana Pose | 3 min each side – Make your way onto your back.Keeping your hips grounded, begin to scoot your shoulder blades to the right. Begin to take the right heel over to the upper right hand corner of your mat. Then, move the left ankle over to meet it or cross it over the right so you create the shape of a banana with your body. You can reach the arms overhead here if it feels nice.

Banana Pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Savasana | 7-10 min – Soak up all the effort and space you were able to put into your practice. Allow your body and mind to completely rest into the weight of gravity as your breath reverts back to its natural rhythm.

Savasana

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Yin Yoga at the Wall

Hello yinsters!

I hope you are all doing well. Today I have a very special class in store for you – yin yoga at the wall! This 60 minute class is created with love and has the primary goal of giving you a nice release as you flip your perspective a bit. Practicing at the wall is one of my favorite things to do whenever going through a change….weather, seasons, life circumstances etc. I feel that changing things up in this way will help you to access parts of the body and mind that need deep release. My prayer is that this class blesses you with rest and renewal.

NEW! If you would prefer to practice this sequence with a video instead, I have included a youtube version of this class as well. I would love any feedback you all have to offer on that front – it’s a new one for me.

My Playlist

Sukhasana (4 min)

Easy Seated Pose

Spine lengthened and resting against the wall. Slow your breath here and find an intention you’d like to keep with you. Potentially on the topic of what you lean on in your life – as you utilize the wall as a physical support today. Perhaps locating one particular foundation in your life that is dependable to lean on and find your hope in so you can truly take rest – mind, body, spirit.

Yin Yoga at the Wall - Sukhasana

Tricep Pull Neck Release (1 min each side)

Take the right hand behind the back and place the back of the hand on the sacrum. Grab ahold of the tricep with your left arm and begin to pull forward but at the same time resist the pull in the right arm as you gently draw back. Breathe in and then on your exhale, drop your left ear to your left shoulder until you find a good surge of sensation. Breathe there for about a minute.

Yin Yoga at the Wall - Tricep Pull Neck Stretch

**Repeat on the other side**

Butterfly (4 min)

Draw the soles of the feet together and drop the knees wide. Use an exhale to guide your chest forward and release your head to a block, allowing gravity to pull you in. Over time, you may adjust the height of the block or remove it completely as long as your breath can stay vibrant and full.

Yin Yoga at the Wall - Butterfly

Extended Arm Stretch (3 min each side)

Facing the wall in a standing position, extend the right arm to the side at about 90 degrees from the body. Left hand will be to your side like a kickstand. Use an exhale to rotate your body so the right side is resting on the wall. Find more sensation the more you rotate. Eventually you can relax the left arm and drop the head to the wall if you’d like.

Yin Yoga at the Wall - Extended Arm Stretch

**Repeat extended arm stretch on other side**

Downdog (3 min)

Turn toward the wall and begin to walk your hands down and your feet back. Melt your heart toward the earth beneath you and find a good amount of intensity in the shoulder joint. Relax through the facial muscles and focus on your breath while you’re here.

Yin Yoga at the Wall - Downdog at Wall PrepYin Yoga at the Wall - Downdog at Wall

Give yourself a moment to roll the shoulders and release this stretch

Dolphin (3 min)

Similar to downdog at the wall, begin to bend your elbows and place the forearms at the wall. Adjust your feet and chest until you find a nice amount of release to work with. Once you land in the height of sensation, focus on the quality of the breath crating space where you feel the most tension.

Yin Yoga at the Wall - Dolphin prep at wallYin Yoga at the Wall

Again, give yourself a moment to counter this stretch with a few shoulder rolls or similar

Forward Fold – HIPS at wall (3 min)

Turn around so your hips are to the wall and your head faces the center of the room. You can use a block out in front of you for your hands or head as you melt into a forward fold position. Bend the knees bringing the chest to the thighs as much as you need to. Give yourself grace when and where you can!

Yin Yoga at the Wall - Forward fold hips at wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take a moment to stand up and lean against the wall for several moments before moving to the next pose

Forward Fold – BACK at wall (3 min)

Now, begin to turn toward the wall and walk into a forward fold with your hips facing the center of the room. Same options with the block and bending the knees. Take your time and lean into where you feel this most – trusting that wall to support and uphold you even when it gets intense.

Yin Yoga at the Wall - Forward Fold Back at wall

Childs Pose (1 min)

Drop to your knees and sit back to a childs pose, resting your head to a block for a few breaths. Observe the physical and mental space created from the poses you’ve already put into your practice today.

Yin Yoga at the Wall - Childs Pose

Reclined Pigeon (4 min each side)

Come to your back and place your feet on the wall, knees bent. Cross your right ankle over the left thigh finding your reclined pigeon at the wall. The closer your hips are to the wall, the more intense this becomes. Find a good balance between drawing the left knee toward you and right knee away from you, then just breathe.

Yin Yoga at the Wall - Reclined Pigeon

Yogi Squat + arms rest on inner thighs (1 min)

From reclined pigeon, open the knees wide into the shape of a yogi squat. You can rest the weight of the arms on the inner legs to intensify the release.

Yin Yoga at the Wall - Yogi Squat

**Repeat reclined pigeon on other side**

Butterfly (2 min) + Wide Leg Gravity Pull (4 min)

Scoot your hips all the way to the wall and draw your feet in, knees out. Rest here for several moments. You can also place a blanket around your ankles and feet to support the legs if you’d like.

From here, straighten the legs up and then allow them to open out wide falling into the pull of gravity into a wide V shape, then let any activation in the feet and legs relax.

Yin Yoga at the Wall - Butterfly/Wide Leg Fold

Savasana – legs up the wall (7 min)

Straighten the legs straight up the wall and support them with a blanket or strap. Take rest and enjoy the release of your practice!

Yin Yoga at the Wall

Find a comfortable seat in hero pose. You can sit onto the heels, or onto a block/the floor in between the heels. You can stop here if this is plenty of sensation. If you are okay with moving into a reclined pose, begin to walk the hands back behind you. You can rest on the forearms or perhaps lower all the way to a blanket. Make sure the knees don't lift up as you lower down.

Yin Yoga | Blanket Sequence

I’m forever grateful for the influential role B.K.S. Iyengar played in introducing the incorporation of yoga props into the practice. I love that there are no rules with props, no “right” or “wrong” way to use them. They are just there for your individual, day-by-day needs. When it comes to yin, props are a huge part of keeping the body stable, comfortable and safe.

Today, I am focusing on the use of blankets in a  yin sequence. You can use any kind of blankets really, so grab what you have and set aside an hour or so for yourself to practice.Recline on Blanket

MY PLAYLIST

Reclined | Sukhasana or Butterfly legs (5 min)

  1. Roll a blanket up and set it behind your hips. Gently lie back onto the blanket. If you need additional support for your head, feel free to use another prop.

    Roll a blanket up and set it behind your hips. Gently lie back onto the blanket. If you need additional support for your head, feel free to use another prop.

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butterfly Pose (5 min)

Now, place the blanket under the hips so that your pelvis tips slightly forward. Take several breaths upright and then lower forward when it feels appropriate.

Now, place the blanket under the hips so that your pelvis tips slightly forward. Take several breaths upright and then lower forward when it feels appropriate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wiper Twist (5 breaths) – Belly Twist (4 min)

Rising up from butterfly, bring the knees in together and walk the feet wider than the hips. Begin to windshield wiper side to side and then land on the left side. Take the left ankle onto the right outer leg. Place the left hand behind you and the right hand on the knee. Lengthen the spine as you inhale. Rotate as you exhale.

Rising up from butterfly, bring the knees in together and walk the feet wider than the hips. Begin to windshield wiper side to side and then land on the left side. Take the left ankle onto the right outer leg. Place the left hand behind you and the right hand on the knee. Lengthen the spine as you inhale. Rotate as you exhale. If you’d like more release in the neck, drop the left ear toward the left shoulder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come out of the twist but continue to face the left side. Stack the knees and square the chest off to one or two blankets placed out in front of you. Let an exhale guide you forward. Gaze can be to the right/left.

Come out of the twist but continue to face the left side. Stack the knees and square the chest off to one or two blankets placed out in front of you. Let an exhale guide you forward. Gaze can be to the right/left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Repeat Wiper Twist and Belly Twist on the other side before moving on – 

Head to Knee Pose (3 min) – Lizard (5 min) – Half/Full Split (5 min)

Extend the right leg out in front of you and the left foot to the right inner thigh. You can sit onto a blanket here (as we did in butterfly) and/or bring a blanket on top of the right thigh to rest onto. Fold forward until you find sensation, then pause and breathe.

Extend the right leg out in front of you and the left foot to the right inner thigh. You can sit onto a blanket here (as we did in butterfly) and/or bring a blanket on top of the right thigh to rest onto. Fold forward until you find sensation, then pause and breathe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rise up slowly. Draw the left knee up and in. Begin to walk forward into a lunge in the right leg, bringing both hands to the inside of the right foot.

Rise up slowly. Draw the left knee up and in. Begin to walk forward into a lunge in the right leg, bringing both hands to the inside of the right foot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use your blanket to support the back knee and/or the hands at the top of the mat. You can lower down to the forearms and even walk your torso over to the left as it feels space is created to do so in your body.

Use your blanket to support the back knee and/or the hands at the top of the mat. You can lower down to the forearms and even walk your torso over to the left as it feels space is created to do so in your body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inhale to lift out of the lunge and gently find your version of "straight" in the front leg. Fold forward as it feels right for you. You are welcome to come lower in toward full splits. You can use your blanket to support the front thigh/back knee if you find it helps.

Inhale to lift out of the lunge and gently find your version of “straight” in the front leg. Fold forward as it feels right for you. You are welcome to come lower in toward full splits. You can use your blanket to support the front thigh/back knee if you find it helps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Repeat Head to Knee to Splits on the other side before moving on – 

Childs Pose (3 min)

Make your way to childs pose, resting your head to a blanket if you'd like. Roll the head side to side massaging across from temple to temple.

Make your way to childs pose, resting your head to a blanket if you’d like. Roll the head side to side massaging across from temple to temple.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reclined Hero Pose ( 5 min)

Find a comfortable seat in hero pose. You can sit onto the heels, or onto a block/the floor in between the heels. You can stop here if this is plenty of sensation. If you are okay with moving into a reclined pose, begin to walk the hands back behind you. You can rest on the forearms or perhaps lower all the way to a blanket. Make sure the knees don't lift up as you lower down.

Find a comfortable seat in hero pose. You can sit onto the heels, or onto a block/the floor in between the heels. You can stop here if this is plenty of sensation. If you are okay with moving into a reclined pose, begin to walk the hands back behind you. You can rest on the forearms or perhaps lower all the way to a blanket. Make sure the knees don’t lift up as you lower down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Savasana (7 min)

Make your way upright. Stretch the feet and legs for a moment and when you are ready find a comfortable savasana position to rest into. I chose reclined butterfly supported by a strap and with the blanket resting on my torso. Get creative and enjoy a few moments of stillness! You deserve it :)

Make your way upright. Stretch the feet and legs for a moment and when you are ready find a comfortable savasana position to rest into. I chose reclined butterfly supported by a strap and with the blanket resting on my torso. Get creative and enjoy a few moments of stillness! You deserve it:)

 

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THRIVE 2016

Good afternoon my friends!

I am excited to announce that I will be offering a four-week series on self-love called “Thrive” in March! This series will include yoga classes, a cleanse, journaling, accountability…and so much more!

For those of you who follow my blog that are not local to the DFW area: I have had several requests for an “online” version of this series. If I do receive enough interest, I will be happy to find a way to format the program into an online option as well later this year – possibly in the summer of 2016. If you are interested in doing the Thrive series online, please email me and I’ll keep you up to date when I have more details on that.

Additionally if you would like to offer this workshop at your home studio, condensed into a weekend, contact me about details and scheduling.

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DATES

FRI, MAR 18 | 7:00PM – 9:00PM | Kickoff Meeting & Yoga Class

MON, MAR 21 | 5:15PM – 6:15PM | Weekly Meeting

MON, MAR 28 | 5:15PM – 6:15PM | Weekly Meeting

MON, APR 4 | 5:15PM – 6:15PM | Weekly Meeting

MON, APR 11 | 5:15PM – 6:15PM | Weekly Meeting

FRI, APR 15 | 7:00PM – 8:00PM | Celebration Yoga Class

Are you an Inspire Yoga member? Save $50 on registration!

Not a member? I am thrilled to be able to include 4 complimentary yin yoga sessions in your tuition pricing. These classes are held each Monday evening during Thrive at Inspire Yoga in Denton at 6:30PM.

Interested in learning some of the specifics? Join me for a free info session held at Inspire Yoga Denton on Feb 29th at 5:30PM or email me at nancynelsonyoga@gmail.com

SPACE IS LIMITED. Sign up today!

Inspire Yoga Members | $150
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Non-members | $200
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Terms & Conditions: By clicking “buy now” and purchasing the Thrive Four-Week series you are reserving your space in the workshop. No refunds, exchanges or returns after 3/1/16. 
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Yin Yoga Sequence for Renewal

“Renewal requires opening yourself up to new ways of thinking and feeling”
Deborah Day

Happy New Years Eve!

I firmly believe that it is important to take a step back before we transition into a new year. However, in our very busy society – it is hard to slow down and allow yourself time to process. I hope this yin sequence serves as your permission slip to take 60-75 minutes for yourself. Use this time to look back on the joyful times, the broken times, and the times that felt neutral. Practice gratitude for all of it. You made it through. I love the verses in Romans that state, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” May you feel the abundance of God’s love for you as you close out this beautiful year in the journey called life.

Allow your body and mind to rest into these poses and find an intention you’d like to set before you in 2016.

Enjoy and have a very wonderful last day of 2015.

-Nancy


 

Block down the spine (3 min. each)

Any leg variation will do with these. I like to rest in butterfly or with the legs extended. Taking the arms overhead will help to also release the shoulders here. You can also add another block to support the head if it doesn’t touch the ground behind you.

Set your block up to where it will be positioned vertically into the upper back. The top of the block will be at the base of the neck.

Set your block up to where it will be positioned vertically into the upper back. The top of the block will be at the base of the neck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gently roll to one side and then come back to seated. Now, position the block horizontally where it will be positioned into the middle of the back. Your hips should touch the ground.

Gently roll to one side and then come back to seated. Now, position the block horizontally where it will be positioned into the middle of the back. Your hips should touch the ground.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bend the knees and press into the feet to lift the hips. Slide the block forward until it is positioned right beneath your sacrum (flat space at the base of the spine).

Bend the knees and press into the feet to lift the hips. Slide the block forward until it is positioned right beneath your sacrum (flat space at the base of the spine).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reclined twist on block (4 min. each side)

This is a new one for me. I love it because it’s like a little foam roller sensation that digs into the outer hip and psoas regions to release tension that is hard to target otherwise. With that said, if this pose is simply too much for you – just simply remove the block and take your favorite reclined twist.

From your supported bridge pose, walk the feet in and bend the knees. Scoot the hips over to the right so that the left hip is on the block and the right is hovering off. Open the arms wide like a T and extend the left leg forward and draw the right into the chest. On an exhale, take the right leg across the body to the left side. Gaze can go to the left if the neck feels okay here.

From your supported bridge pose, walk the feet in and bend the knees. Scoot the hips over to the right so that the left hip is on the block and the right is hovering off. Open the arms wide like a T and extend the left leg forward and draw the right into the chest. On an exhale, take the right leg across the body to the left side. Gaze can go to the left if the neck feels okay here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Repeat twist on other side*

Cat/Cow (2 min)

Remove the block from underneath and take a moment to hug the knees to the chest or stretch in any way that feels good for you. Rock up to table top position.

Take a few moments in table top pose to move through several rounds of cat and cow. Inhales bring your belly toward the earth, gaze to the sky and exhales help you to round your back like an angry cat and drop the head. Add on any other movements that feel organic in your body.

Take a few moments in table top pose to move through several rounds of cat and cow. Inhales bring your belly toward the earth, gaze to the sky and exhales help you to round your back like an angry cat and drop the head. Add on any other movements that feel organic in your body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sphinx (3 min.)

Prop yourself up on the forearms. Elbows below shoulders and arms shoulder distance from each other.

Prop yourself up on the forearms. Elbows below shoulders and arms shoulder distance from each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shoulder rollover (3 min.) – Neck Release (1 min.)

Do the left arm first, then the right ear to shoulder. On the other side, do the opposite.

On the belly, stretch the left arm out to the side (90 degrees from the body). Bend the right knee and use the right hand to push yourself onto the left side body. Plant the right foot behind the left leg and completely relax your head. You can release the right arm behind the back if you do not need it to balance.

On the belly, stretch the left arm out to the side (90 degrees from the body). Bend the right knee and use the right hand to push yourself onto the left side body. Plant the right foot behind the left leg and completely relax your head. You can release the right arm behind the back if you do not need it to balance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come back up to sphinx pose. Take an inhale to lengthen the neck and as you exhale, drop the right ear to the rightshoulder. Stay here for 5-8 breaths.

Come back up to sphinx pose. Take an inhale to lengthen the neck and as you exhale, drop the right ear to the rightshoulder. Stay here for 5-8 breaths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Counterpose: Low back release (2 min. each side)

On the belly, open the arms out to the sides like cactus arms. Begin to slide the left knee up toward the left elbow. Rest for several minutes then move to the other side.

On the belly, open the arms out to the sides like cactus arms. Begin to slide the left knee up toward the left elbow. Rest for several minutes then move to the other side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butterfly (5-7 min.)

Set yourself up in butterfly pose (legs in a diamond shape). You can do any of the variations on the left of the picture. Take several breaths to lower you down into the fold. Use props to support yourself in any way that feels appropriate for your needs.

Set yourself up in butterfly pose (legs in a diamond shape). You can do any of the variations on the left of the picture. Take several breaths to lower you down into the fold. Use props to support yourself in any way that feels appropriate for your needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Counterpose: Wipers

Windshield wiper the legs side to side several times to balance the body out.

Roll up gently from butterfly removing any props. Open the feet wider than the hips and prop your hands behind you. Windshield wiper the legs side to side several times to balance the body out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forward fold (3 min.)

Starting in staff pose, take several breaths to fold forward. Using props to bring the earth up to you.

Starting in staff pose, take several breaths to fold forward. Using props to bring the earth up to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roll to back…

Start seated with knees bent. On an exhale begin to roll onto the spine one vertebrae at a time. Landing on your back for a full body stretch.

Start seated with knees bent. On an exhale begin to roll onto the spine one vertebrae at a time. Landing on your back for a full body stretch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reclined shoelace (3 min.) + Twisted roots (2 min.)

Bend into the knees and cross the right leg over the left like you're sitting in a chair with the legs crossed. Lift the legs and give yourself a little hug. Then walk the hands to the shins or feet and rest your head on the earth as you pull the legs toward you.

Bend into the knees and cross the right leg over the left like you’re sitting in a chair with the legs crossed. Lift the legs and give yourself a little hug. Then walk the hands to the shins or feet and rest your head on the earth as you pull the legs toward you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Release your grip on the feet/shins keeping the legs lifted and crossed. Open the arms wide like the letter T. On an exhale, drop the knees to the left and send the gaze to the right.

Release your grip on the feet/shins keeping the legs lifted and crossed. Open the arms wide like the letter T. On an exhale, drop the knees to the left and send the gaze to the right. Do both poses on the other side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Banana Pose (2 min. each side)

Release the crossed leg position and stretch the legs forward and arms overhead. Walk the left heel to the left corner of the mat and take the right ankle and cross it over the left. Begin to walk the shoulderblades to the left as well (keep hips grounded in center) and rest in this nice side body stretch.

Release the crossed leg position and stretch the legs forward and arms overhead. Walk the left heel to the left corner of the mat and take the right ankle and cross it over the left. Begin to walk the shoulderblades to the left as well (keep hips grounded in center) and rest in this nice side body stretch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Savasana + Seated Meditation (7-10 min.)

Spend 7-10 minutes resting in any comfortable Savasana position (Supta Baddha Konasana pictured here).

Spend 7-10 minutes resting in any comfortable Savasana position (Supta Baddha Konasana pictured here).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Namaste, friends! Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Yin Yoga - Gratitude

Yin Yoga Sequence for Gratitude

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Melody Beattie

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

Every year that I am here on this earth I am humbled and deeply moved by the people and things I have to be grateful for. Not always because there is an abundance of things and people quantity-wise, but because of the depth of the relationships and the value of the things that I have been blessed with. God is so faithful to provide for me and this past year has been one that I have seen his handiwork on display. He meets with me in the morning while I read my coffee and journal my prayers to the tunes of the birds chirping. He holds me close in moments of sorrow and pain and He rejoices with me in the joyous times. And even in the seemingly simple, mundane moments – He reveals beauty. Something I wouldn’t have seen without His guidance, His direction, His friendship. His eye truly is on the sparrow and I am so thankful for His provision.

Also, the above quote by Melody Beattie is everything to me. Geez. She just hits the nail on the head with this one. Gratitude opens the door to a life never imagined. The hard part is shifting our mindset from our over-booked lifestyles and toward what the present moment has to offer us. It’s easy to focus on what’s difficult and beg God to bring us out of the discomfort. We linger in this place for so long, as if we secretly like it. What if there was more? SO MUCH MORE. More goodness and abundance than we could ever dream up?! Gratitude is the key to unlocking the inner-beauty of the present moment.

This particular sequence is one that targets the chest, shoulders, and hips – which are areas we hold anxieties, cares, and emotions. Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to feel something in these poses. Approach the postures with honesty, embrace the sensations – breath by breath, and take rest, friends. You are loved, seen, heard and abundantly blessed.

My Playlist

Reclined Butterfly w/knees supported (2 blocks or similar): 6-8 min.

Begin your practice reclined onto your back with your legs in a butterfly position. Close your eyes and allow your breath to begin to deepen as you relax into the pull of gravity. After your first few breaths, take the left hand to the heart and the right hand to the belly. Practice 10 rounds of a complete breath (belly-ribs-chest IN/EX through the nose).

Gratitude Nugget: Transition your awareness to the beating of your heart and the physical expansion of your breath. Spend several moments here expressing gratitude for your healthy body, your ability to be here and to create a physical release today. 

Yin Yoga - Gratitude

 

 

 

 

 

One Leg Twist: 4 min.

Release your legs forward and arms overhead for a nice full body stretch. Then, draw the right knee into the chest. Release your right arm to the side and then draw the knee across the body to the left side using your left hand. Keep the right shoulder heavy into the earth and if it feels good in the neck, send your gaze to the right. You can use the block to support the knee (pictured) if it helps you find more support here.

Gratitude Nugget: Over the course of these next two postures, transition your focus to the chest and upper back. Notice first the physical tension and then let yourself observe the thoughts, concerns, and anxieties that might be present there. Breathe through these feelings and sensations. Perhaps using the following mantra with your breath: Inhale – Let; Exhale – Go. As you release the tension, begin to find seeds of gratitude. Perhaps being thankful that you have a caring heart or a compassionate outlook on life and others. Those are beautiful qualities. Nurture them.

Yin Yoga - Gratitude

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belly – Shoulder Roll: 3 min.

From your twist, reach both arms overhead and roll over onto your belly. Begin to extend the right arm straight out in line with the shoulder (90 degrees). Draw the left hand under the left shoulder and bend the left knee. Begin to press into the hand and roll onto the right side. You can use the left foot as a kickstand and if you would like, you can release the arm behind the back to release the top shoulder.

Yin Yoga - Gratitude

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*repeat 2 poses on other side*

Pigeon Pose: 7 min.

Rotate around to the top of the mat and draw the right knee to the right wrist. Then, take the foot across toward the left side, drawing it in as close as you need. Take some breaths to lengthen the spine and eventually settle into the fold. Use as many props as feels appropriate to make this pose accessible and pain-free.

Gratitude Nugget: On the first side of your Pigeon Pose and Janu Sirsasana, think back to a really wonderful time you’ve had recently. Perhaps it was a brief moment of complete and utter joy or maybe a longer amount of time over the course of a week or a few months. Express thanksgiving to that wonderful time. Thankful for the circumstances that made space for that happy time. 

On the second side, allow your mind to travel back to a difficult or challenging season you’ve encountered. Without attaching yourself to the emotions that accompany that time, send out a prayer of gratitude for the fact that you are moving forward. Perhaps still in the storm, but you are putting one foot in front of the other. Be thankful for qualities that this tough season has refined within you. Attributes you would not have attained otherwise.

Yin Yoga - Gratitude

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Janu Sirsasana: 4 min.

From pigeon, rise up and swing the left leg around to face the front of the room, squaring your hips off. Keep the right foot at the left inner thigh (support the outer knee if needed). Take your time as you use several breaths to guide you down into the fold.

Yin Yoga - Gratitude

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*repeat two poses on other sides*

Hero Pose + Neck Releases + Recline: 6 min

Yin Yoga - Gratitude

A regular gratitude practice leads to a heroic example.

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Sitting back onto the heels, bring your knees at hips distance, open your feet out wider than the hips and begin to sit back in between the heels (use a block under your seat here if it’s too much on the knees/ankles – there should be no pain, just sensation).

Interlace the fingers now behind the back and then tuck them over to the left hip. If this is not accessible for you today, you can take your right hand to your low back and left hand to the leg. Take a breath in and then as you breathe out, drop the right ear to the right shoulder. Loosen through your jaw and just breathe here. (Repeat on the other side) 1m each side

Yin Yoga - Gratitude

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remaining 4 min: You can stay upright the entire time, or you can begin to recline. If you have a prop under your hips, only go as far back as your forearms. If you do not have a prop, you are welcome to lower all the way down, but make sure there is no pinch in the low back.

Yin Yoga - Gratitude

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dangling Forward Fold: 5 min.

Release from hero pose, spending a few breaths in a down dog or table top to stretch through the back of the legs. Then come to standing, feet at hips distance or perhaps even wider. Lift up halfway and put a generous bend in the knees. Take an inhale and then let your exhale guide you forward as you drape your chest and belly over the thighs, letting your head hang heavy. You can let the arms dangle like a rag doll or interlace the hands behind the head or back.

Gratitude Nugget: As you release the weight of your body into this pose, allow the gentle, but bountiful depth of gratitude you’ve been able to cultivate in your practice begin to wash over you as you surrender here. Inhale: Accept; Exhale: Release

Hero Pose + Neck Releases + Recline: 6 min

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legs Up the Wall (any variation – 3 examples below): 8 min. + 7 min. in Savasana

Set yourself up at the wall. Begin to lay back onto your spine and then swing the legs up the wall. Spend a minute with the legs in butterfly or a wide V and then extend the legs straight up the wall. Rest for several minutes in legs up the wall, absorbing sensations as they come.

Gratitude Nugget: Spend time in Legs up the Wall, an inversion, to be thankful for the opportunity to physically, mentally and emotionally shift your perspective and start anew. Fresh starts are wonderful gifts. Each moment we encounter offers us this option.

For Savasana, stay here, or move to a more suitable position for your body. Before settling completely, practice 5-7 rounds of Brahmari breath (humming bee breath), then take rest.

Hero Pose + Neck Releases + Recline: 6 min

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gratitude often leads us to a place of humility and contentment. With these attributes as our foundation, we are better equipped to extend out compassion and love. With this in mind, close with metta (Loving-Kindness) meditation if time allows. Feel free to utilize my guided version by clicking play below:


Namaste, friends.