“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.
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.
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).
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.
*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.
Sphinx (3 min.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Savasana + Seated Meditation (7-10 min.)
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.