Yin Yoga | Side Body

Greetings, yinsters!

I hope you are all doing well on this fine autumn day. For once, it feels cool outside (as it should this time of year) in Texas. The climate here never follows the rules so I am incredibly grateful for the crisp air. This weather always inspires me to practice yin. Stretching the side body is one of my favorite things to do. We focus a lot of our time on forward folds and backbends in the practice, but we should not neglect the side body! These poses will trigger the urinary bladder, kidney, stomach and gall bladder meridian lines which will help our body stay healthy amidst the changing of the seasons. These poses will also help stretch the ribcage and allow for deeper breath throughout the day after you practice. Deep breathing is so important to our immunity and we are less inclined to take deep breaths in the cooler temperatures. The openness you create in this sequence will create the physical space you need to be intentional with your breath on and off the mat. Enjoy!

My Playlist

Audio Version: 

Childs Pose

(Neutral – 3 min) Begin in a neutral childs pose. Walk your hands forward or toward your feet to relax your shoulders. Support your body as needed using your props. Take this time to bring your awareness into the space around you and beneath you. Feel your body making contact with the earth and expanding into the space around you as you breath. Use this time to settle into a rhythm with your breath and eventually to set an intention for your practice.

(Hands to Side – 1 min) Walk your hands to the left hand side of the mat, deepening your stretch into the right side body as you keep your hips grounded evenly on/toward the heels. Breathe intentional breaths into the right side of the rib cage while you are here.

(Thread – 2 min) Begin to come back to center and thread the right arm across the mat toward the left side. Left arm can stretch forward or wrap  behind you depending on what feels best.

**repeat side stretch and thread on other side**

Lizard (4 min)

Rise up from childs pose and gently rise up into a table top position. Step your right foot to the top of the mat and bring both hands to the inside of the foot. Give your chest plenty of space by walking the right foot over until you can comfortably relax your shoulders. Keep the right toes pointing forward for the first minute as you get settled in and find an appropriate depth for you. When your body is still, you can add on by dropping to the pinky edge of the right foot and let the knee fall open to the right. Stay here or begin to walk your hands toward the left top corner of the mat deepening the stretch into the outer right hip and right side of the ribcage.

Wide Leg Fold (dangle) (2 min first time through, 3 min second time)

When you are ready,  begin to lift the hips and pivot on the feet to come into a standing wide leg fold facing the left side of the room. Place a block or two underneath you for support and begin to find a fold, letting the head hang heavy.

Shoelace + lateral bend (2 min)

Come back toward the top of the mat and begin to transition over to the right side as you scoot the left knee behind the right ankle facing the right side of the room for shoelace/cowface pose. You can stack both knees or gently straighten out the bottom leg if it’s too intense.

We will move into a lateral stretch by placing a block out to the right side of the mat and placing the elbow onto the block. Rest your head into the right hand and the left arm can stretch overhead or relax it at your side. When the time is up, rise up off the block and sit up tall for a moment to feel the release from the posture.

Deer (4 min)

Gently slide the right knee off of the left and place the shin toward the short end of the back of the mat setting up for deer pose. The inner left leg can rest on the floor or move it into more of a half hero/saddle shape. Fold over the right shin toward the back of the mat and breathe deeply into this release for the outer hip.

Wipers (1 min)

Lift up from your fold and begin to windshield wiper the knees toward the long edge of the mat slowly releasing and feeling the effects of these poses through the body.

**Move to the other side of the body by starting with lizard on the left leg and moving through deer pose once more.**

Frog (3 min)

After completing the sequence on both sides, come into a table top position at the long edge of the mat and begin to open the knees and feet wide into frog pose. Alternatively tadpole (wide legged childs pose) will also work here if it’s too much. Gently fold your chest forward and if desired, support it with a block or bolster. Breathe deeply here and do your best not to resist the pull of gravity as you sink into the release.

Saddle/Hero

Neck Stretches (1 min): Find a comfortable upright position sitting back onto the heels or to the inside of the ankles on a block or blanket if needed. Drop the right ear toward the shoulder for 3 deep breaths, then gently switch to the other side for the same amount of time.

Recline (3 min): Bring the head back to center and gently begin to recline back onto the hands. Scoot your hips forward to lengthen out the low back and to avoid too much compression. You can continue to move down to your forearms if it’s comfortable. If you do not have a prop under your hips feel free to move all the way down as long as there is no pain. Take your time with this one!

Twisted Roots (3 min each side)

Gently rise up from hero and slowly come down to your back. Hug the knees into the chest and rock side to side massaging the low back. Cross the right leg all the way over the left, move the hips slightly to the right and then drop the knees to the left side with arms open wide like a T. Gaze can stay centered or release the head toward the right hand to complete the twist into the cervical spine. Make your way back to center and switch to the other side when the time is up.

Savasana (10 min)

Find a position you can rest in and begin to relax your body. Take rest here and use this time to bask in the space and openness you have created physically, mentally, and even emotionally.

 

Yin Yoga for the Upper Body | Shoulders + Spine

Good afternoon, yogi friends!

I hope that all is well in your world and that you are finding time for your yin practice in the warmer summer months. It is during the warmth of the season that our bodies and mind crave the benefits and environment of the yin practice to draw us back into balance. Yes, it’s of course ok to practice the yang side of the practice during this time of the year – but you do need to be intentional about incorporating your yin practice all the more.

Today I am sharing one of my go-to heart-opening sequences that I shared this summer at my “Understanding + Teaching Yin Yoga” workshop. It’s very simple, but can be a very powerful flow as it accesses the heart center and encourages blood and energy flow through areas that tend to get constricted by how we physically carry ourselves and mentally/emotionally hold onto and process our cares, passions and the things/people we love. My hope is that these poses offer you the time to gently open up and create space where there’s stagnancy as well as restore a sense of peace where there is anxiety. I am also trying out a new technique by recording me cueing the poses and timing it out for you. This will hopefully help the sequence easier to DIY at home.

Here’s the link to the recorded cues (it’s at 53 min. in length):

MY PLAYLIST

Reclined Fish (5 min)

Criss-Cross Arms (3 min. each)

Reverse Needle (3 min. each)

Elbows to Blocks (3 min.)

Childs Pose (2 min.)

Reclined Cow Face Arms (3 min. each side)

Butterfly (5 min.)

Savasana (6 min.)

Yin Yoga | Four Agreements: Always Do Your Best

“If you try to do your best, there is no failure.”    -Mike Farrell

Good afternoon, yin friends!

I know what you are thinking…she started this series AGES ago! And you are right! It took me forever to get the final sequence that lines up with my Four Agreements theme up. However, it kind of works perfectly that I’m so “late” in posting this, because me posting this today is actually me doing my best! I led a couple weekends of teacher training, my weekend immersion yin training and now my Thrive Program (4 weeks) all in addition to my regular workload of teaching, marketing and managing a studio. It’s been a busy season and I have had hardly any spare time to devote to my blog. But over the last month or so as I struggled with the pressure of feeling like I “had” to post the final agreement sequence on here, I had an AHA moment when I remembered what this fourth agreement is all about. And it’s all about giving yourself grace and knowing that if you really, truly have done your very best – then there is no need (or room) for shame/guilt. So I knew when time opened up for me to do this, it would be me posting it at a moment I was able to devote my full attention to. Nothing is coincidence!

Today’s sequence focusing on the fourth agreement, Always Do Your Best, includes some poses that we tend to internally put expectations and judgments on. But today, I want to encourage you to approach the poses with the attitude of doing your best and just see what happens. If we let go of our standard of perfection, we are able to embrace what is truly here in the present moment with gratitude and honesty. This agreement is what keeps the other three agreements grounded. For instance, we are not able to…

  1. Be impeccable with your word.
  2. Don’t take anything personally.
  3. Don’t make assumptions.

perfectly! We have to remember that if we do our best in each of these then, even though it won’t be perfect, it will be what we could 100% offer the situation in that given moment and that. is. enough.

My Playlist

Seated Hero (5 min) – Make your way into a seated position with the knees bent and sit either evenly on the heels, or open the feet wide enough to sit onto a block or to the floor in between the feet. Find a tall spine and settle the hands into the lap. Breathe deeply here for several minutes as you focus your attention on the present moment. Showing up simply to do your best on a moment-by-moment basis. Let that be your only expectation today as you practice.

Reclined Hero / Supported Bridge  (5 min) – From here, remain in hero pose if there is no pain and begin to work your way into a reclined hero (or Saddle) pose. You can support your spine with more props if you are elevating the hips. Alternatively, supported bridge pose with the block under the sacrum is a nice alternative to gently opening the front body.

Butterfly (5 minutes) – Wherever you are, slowly and mindfully make your way back to seated and come into butterfly pose. You can support either knee with blocks if it helps alleviate any unnecessary aches here. Fold forward in your own time, being mindful of sensations as they come and go.

Deer Twist + Neck Release (1 min) – From butterfly, make your way back upright. Draw the knees together and hug them in close or windshield wiper them side to side. Eventually drop both knees over to the right so that the right foot rests next to the left thigh. Begin to twist the torso over to the right placing the left hand to the right knee and the left hand behind the hip. Stay here and breathe several rounds of the complete breath. As an option, you can gently drop the right ear toward the right shoulder to stretch the left side of the neck. Relax the jaw here.

Belly Twist (4 min) – Stay twisted OR come back to neutral for a few breaths. Begin to transition back to the right side and walk the hands forward as the chest melts toward the floor in front of that right thigh. You can rest onto a prop or just come to the forearms. Be gentle and mindful as you twist.

Deer Fold / Half Pigeon (Swan) (5 min) – Come back to center and maybe take a gentle counter twist to the left side if needed. We will stay in this shape to fold over the front (right) thigh OR you can move the left leg behind you and come into half pigeon (Swan) pose instead if you are craving that release in the front of the hip joint.

*repeat Deer Twist + Neck Release through Deer Fold / Half Pigeon (Swan) on the other side before moving on

Half Butterfly Fold (5 min) – Begin to extend the right leg forward and plug the left foot into the right inner thigh in a half butterfly shape. As always, utilize props here as needed. Begin to fold forward over the extended leg and let the chest and head be heavy here as you find stillness. Once you complete this side, move right into the other.

Savasana + 5 Rounds of Brahmari Breath (10) – Find your way into a shape you’d like to take final relaxation in. Allow yourself a moment to physically settle into stillness and then move through 5 rounds of brahmari breath before releasing into savasana. Spend quality time here allowing your body to absorb the benefits and space created by you doing your best in the past bit of time. Savor this feeling and carry it with you into your day allowing it to influence the way you interact, work and live! Namaste

 

Thrive Program | Summer 2017

Good afternoon my friends!

It’s the best time of year to consider cleansing and renewal. Fresh produce, the warmth and joy of the sunshine,  and the turning of the seasons all support the detoxification process body, mind, and spirit. In the Thrive Program, we will embark on a journey that includes yoga classes, a cleanse, journaling, and accountability. This program allows you the time and permission to truly hit the “reset button” on your wellbeing! This summer session will be held at Inspire Yoga – Highland Village.

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DATES

FRI JULY 7 | 6:00 – 8:00PM | Kickoff Meeting
SUN JULY 9 | 2:00PM – 3:00PM | Weekly Meeting
SUN JULY 16 | 2:00PM – 3:00PM | Weekly Meeting
SUN JULY 23 | 2:00PM – 3:00PM | Weekly Meeting
SUN JULY 30 | 2:00PM – 3:00PM | Weekly Meeting
FRI AUG 4 | 6:00 – 8:00PM | Celebration & Yoga Class

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

Interested in learning some of the specifics? Join me for a free info session held at Inspire Yoga Highland Village on Wednesday, June 14th at 5:15PM 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 6/15/2016. 

If you follow my blog and are not local to the DFW area, I’m working on formatting this program into an online version. For those of you who have already expressed interest – I have your name and email saved and will contact you as soon as it’s ready! I considered leading the online version this summer but am postponing until I can get a few more kinks worked out. So those of you who are so patiently awaiting that exciting opportunity – I’ll let you know as soon as I have information!

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

 

Be still.

Be-Still.jpg

Good afternoon, yogis!

I hope your day is going well and that you are taking some yin-like moments for yourself. I’m getting geared up to lead my first weekend workshop immersion on “Understanding + Teaching Yin Yoga” in June. It’s going to be fabulous! If you are near to or would like to hop a flight to attend we have just a few more spots available: SIGN UP HERE

If you’d like to host me at your local studio to lead this workshop, you can contact me directly for pricing and availability.

The more I teach yoga, the more I have realized that it is extremely important to be a well-rounded instructor in the practice of yoga. There’s so much of the practice that is focused on the yang side of things, especially with the increase in popularity of the pretzel-like “how’d you even do that?!” type of poses you see spread across the internet. And though I love vinyasa and the feeling of strength and complicated poses, my body and mind crave the balance and the simplicity that the yin practice offers. Yin has even infused itself into HOW I approach my flow practice and has allowed me insight on how to “Be Still” even when the practice is chaotic. It’s from my yin practice that has helped me tap into my ability to BE STILL with myself so that I can truly look inward and to BE STILL before God so that I can truly look upward.

I wanted to share with you that I designed this shirt as a way to raise scholarship money for students to be able to attend my workshop that are in a tough financial spot. If you’d like a tank/tee and to support a future attendee of Understanding + Teaching Yin Yoga, email me your preferred style (tank/tee) and size and I will send you an invoice. The items are both $25 plus shipping costs or free local pick-up.

Yin Yoga | Four Agreements: Don’t Make Assumptions

“It is wiser to find out than to suppose.” -Mark Twain

Good afternoon, yin friends!

It’s been a couple of crazy weeks so I’m just now getting around to sharing my third sequence based on The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. This week’s topic and the 3rd Agreement: Don’t make assumptions. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, if you’re anything like me – this concept is a continuous struggle. The author of the book gives ample reason for us to fight this struggle and to seek out the truth. In the book, he states that “the problem with assumptions is that we believe they are the truth.” By making assumptions, we invite in something that may or may not be true and then react according to that “truth”. He goes on to discuss how this habit is a sort of protective mechanism that allows us to avoid the tough and uncomfortable pursuit of the Truth of the situation. AKA, making assumptions is a way we manifest our “control” over a circumstance (which is ultimately an illusion). So this week, I want to encourage you to ask the hard questions and seek out the Truth even if it isn’t the answer you want to hear, at least you can react according to something that is real and not fabricated. In my journey into making less assumptions and uncovering Truth instead, I have  found that when I actually choose to find out what is over what is not, I’m able to approach the situation with more peace and love toward myself and others involved. Yes, it’s vulnerable – but it’s worth it. The more we practice this, the more we establish a steady foundation of Truth to live from.

A mantra you can incorporate into your practice today to put this agreement into action:

Inhale: ACCEPTANCE (allow in what is true/present)

Exhale: EXPECTATION (assuming what you know the pose/moment will be like)

MY PLAYLIST

Wide Leg Childs Pose (3 min) – Begin in childs pose and if it’s comfortable take the knees wide allowing the belly to melt between the thighs, supporting it on a block if you’d like. Take a few minutes here to mentally and physically land on your mat. Allowing gravity to begin to take over the “effort” portion of your practice. Practice deep ocean-like breaths here and perhaps begin to incorporate the above mantra or set your intention.

+ Side Stretch (3 min) – In your childs pose, take your hands over to the top left corner of the mat and breathe deeply into the right side body. Nothing forced, just allow your breath to carry you deep into the pose.

+ X arms (2 min) – From your side stretch, come to center and thread the left arm under the right and then cross the right in front. Allow your upper body to hang heavy into this counter stretch into the tops of the shoulder joints.

+ Eagle arms (1 min) – Keeping the arms crossed, begin to sit up onto the heels and bring the knees close. Cross your arms into your favorite eagle arm option and elevate the elbows off the chest for about a minute, breathing into the upper back and let the chin slightly drop toward the chest.

+ Neck release (2 min) – Drop your left arm out to the side and release your right hand behind the low back. Take an inhale with the head lifted tall and use your exhale to drop the right ear to the right shoulder. Relax and stretch out your jaw here as you breathe deeply. After this, repeat your childs pose side stretch through the neck release on the other side.

Puppy w/hands on blocks (5 min) – Make your way to table top so the hips are above the knees. Begin to walk the hands forward to the top of the mat and melt your chest low. You can support yourself with a block under the chest/head if needed. If you’re looking for a deeper variation, take the hands to two blocks to intensify the release through the backs of the arms. The higher the blocks, the more intense. So be mindful and only focus on smaller sensations a little bit at a time.

Shoulder Release (3 min) – From puppy, release your hands back to table top and then bring your shoulders down to the two blocks, letting your arms rest at your sides. Your head and chest melt in here. Again, the higher the block, the more the intensity.

(Cat/Cow) – Take a minute or two to move the spine through some flexion and extension or any other movements that sound nice today.

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

Leg Stretch (2 min) – From your table top, take the left leg to the back of the mat and hang heavy into the heel. Breathe into the release you feel from the heel all the way up into the belly of the hamstring.

(open to) Half Butterfly (5 min) – Drop your hips back and open out into a half butterfly position with the right foot plugged into the left inner thigh. Fold forward in a slow yin-like manner, utilizing your breath to guide the depth. Use your props to support your head and relax your shoulders and upper back completely. Especially when it comes to the hamstrings, practice acceptance over assumption!

Deer OR Double Pigeon (5 min) – From your half butterfly, lift up and begin to bend the left knee. You can come into deer pose with the left leg at the top of the mat or stack the legs for double pigeon. You can always support your knees/ankles with props so this feels level in your hips. Fold forward until you find your sweet spot and then stay for a while!

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

Deer

::repeat Leg Stretch through Deer/Double Pigeon on other side::

Frog (5 min) – Everyone’s favorite pose 😉  Come back to table top and gently begin to widen the knees and feet away from one another allowing the hips/groin to drop down toward the earth. Try to keep your hips centered (rather than pushing forward/back) and support yourself as needed (I use a block under my chest or a bolster under the torso often). If this pose is too much at any point, back off and come into a wide legged childs pose again.

Supine Twist (3 min each side) – Make your way to your back and rest for a moment, observing the release in the hips. Draw the left knee into the chest and begin to drop it over to the right side as you come onto the right side body. Keeping your left shoulder grounded, allow the foot/knee to land to a prop so you feel grounded here. Breathe into the twist, perhaps turning your gaze to the left to complete the twist in the cervical spine. After 3 minutes, repeat this on the other side.

Bridge (5 min) – Bend your knees and press into the feet to slide a block under your hips for supported bridge pose. Rest here for several minutes breathing into the front of your body.

Savasana (7-10 min) – When ready, make your way to a final resting pose where you can soak up the deep release and awareness of what is that you’ve created with your practice. Bask in the present moment and allow your breath to turn back to its natural pace/rhythm.

Yin Yoga | Four Agreements: Don’t take anything personally.

Good afternoon, yin friends!

I hope you are having a wonderful week. Today I wanted to continue in The Four Agreements series with a yin sequence themed for the second agreement…

Don’t take anything personally.

This one is a lost art in our society. With the age of technology, we have become quick to assume, to think, and to act. We are offended by views and behaviors that differ from our own. We say we are “tolerant” when we still continue to be put off when someone disagrees with us. In the book The Four Agreements, the author discusses how each person is the main character in the story of their life, therefore what other people say and do is almost always going to be a reflection of what is happening within their own lives. So whether you receive a compliment from a friend or slander from a co-worker – don’t take it personally. What we speak to others is a reflection of what’s happening on the inside. That, of course, is not always a bad thing – but it’s important that we don’t take things personally so nothing but the Truth can effect our sense of worthiness and acceptance. People change and opinions shift – if we lean on others for our worth we will be very confused when it comes to our identity. You determine how you react and you decide what you believe and therefore who you are. This week in my classes, I have focused on this quote from Wayne Dyer as a sort of mantra to help us bring this agreement to life –


The way you feel about yourself is totally up to you. The way you move on from a hurtful comment is up to you. You can take it personally and carry it with you. Or you can remember the TRUTH about who you are. No one can change that (except you) and you can move on without the weight of that burden. In a different light, if you let compliments become a part of your identity and soak them into your ego, you will walk around loving only yourself, rather than sharing love with others (which is the only way true love works – in community). Today as you practice, we will be moving through poses that stimulate the solar plexus chakra (located in the navel area). This is the part of our body that is foundational in our reactions. When you are taking something personally, it often hits you in the form of an anxious feeling in your gut before it takes up residence in your mind. As you feel space and openness being created in that region, allow yourself to come back to the truth about you. Cultivate thoughts and beliefs about yourself based on what is true, not what other people say or do.

My Playlist

Belly (5 min) – We will start our practice a little less conventionally today on the belly. Make your way to your stomach if it’s comfortable for you. You can place your head onto stacked hands or rest your arms at the side and turn the head one way for the first couple minutes and the other way the last couple. Alternatively, if you need to modify – come to a childs pose.

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

Rest here for a few moments allowing your mind to arrive into the space you’re in. Notice the air, the sounds, the feeling of being grounded and secure – connected to the core of your body as your belly expands and presses into the floor. Consider in this first pose an intention. Maybe coming back to the simple mantra – “I am in control of what’s happening inside”

Half Frog (2 min) – Turn your gaze to the left and draw your left knee up the floor toward the elbow. Breathe for a couple of minutes here and focus your attention on the low back/hip as well as the space your belly has to expand into. Noticing that openness in the left side of the torso now with it being slightly elevated.

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

Supine Twist (5 min) – Stretch your right arm overhead and begin to press into your left hand so you can come onto the side body with the left knee still out in front of you. Transition your chest open toward the ceiling slowly on an exhale, moving into a spinal twist.

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

Counter Pose: Criss Cross Arm Release – Come back to the belly and thread the left arm behind the right resting your head toward the floor for a few moments. Take about a minute here to release into that space in the shoulder and chest.

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

repeat half frog – criss cross arms on other side

Sphinx (3 min) – From your twist, roll onto your belly and face the front of the mat once more. Take a moment on the belly to observe and relax and then begin to make your way to the forearms coming into sphinx pose. The elbows will be underneath or just beyond the shoulders as for alignment. You shouldn’t feel like you’re going to face plant, so allow yourself to find a place where you can lengthen the spine. Your head can stay lifted and active or relax it down to a block or to hang mid-air. Relax the glutes and breathe here.

Childs Pose (3 min) – Drop the hips back to the heels and allow the chest to rest onto the thighs. You can stretch the arms overhead or just keep them at the sides toward the feet. Take a few moments here to observe any shift in your body and mind from the first few postures. (I have a block under my chest here for extra support).

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin SequenceFour Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

Cat/Cow (1 min) – Come into a table top position and begin to move through a few rounds of cat and cow. Inhales bringing your gaze forward, tailbone high and exhales allowing you to round the spine toward the ceiling and relax the weight of the head. Continue to wiggle through these and any other shapes that are calling out to you.

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

Side Body Stretch w/Leg Back (2 min) – From a neutral table top position, stretch your left leg to the back of the mat and over to the right so you feel a stretch in the outer left hip. You can also walk the hands to the right to deepen the stretch in the side body. Press into the heel here and relax your head.

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

Lizard (4 min) – From your leg stretch, bring your left foot to the outer left hand and slowly begin to relax your hips down and forward. Take this pose very slowly and avoid rushing deeper quickly. The slower you can move into the posture, the more benefits you will find. (photo above)

Pigeon (5 min) – From lizard, begin to walk to left foot over to the right side of the mat and set the shin down. You can tuck the heel of the foot in closer to the hips to alleviate the intensity here. Utilize your props as necessary (perhaps a blanket under the right hip if there’s space there). Stretch the right leg back and let the front of the right hip sink into the floor/prop. Alternatively, you can take your deer pose (2nd photo) by drawing the right knee up toward the left foot. The right hip will stay slightly elevated in this variation. Allow your body to begin to melt forward, but take your time. Pause in the intensity and breathe. When the sensations quiet down a bit, then go deeper. You have time here – so utilize it and do not rush.

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin SequenceFour Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin SequenceCounter pose: Modified Wild Thing – From pigeon come back to the extended leg stretch and take the bent knee’s foot over to the right as well. Pressing into your right hand, lift your left arm and open the chest up. Take a few breaths here.

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

repeat side body stretch – pigeon on other side

Forward Fold (5 min) – Transition to 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.

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

Block Down Spine (9 min) – Breathe deeply and consistently while in these variations to create space between the vertebrae. There should be no sharp pain so if you need to keep the blocks at the lowest level or use a blanket to alleviate pain – do so! Whatever leg variation you prefer is fine here. I feel best when my knees are supported so that’s what I did. You can also keep the knees bent with feet to the earth, legs extended straight, butterfly, etc.

  • 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

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin SequenceFour Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin SequenceFour Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

Savasana (7 min) – Find a place where you can simply rest into the new space you’ve created in your body. Rest here for several minutes and then close by gentle coming back to a seated position, and thank yourself for the practice you took the time to explore in your body and mind!

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence