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
Reclined | Sukhasana or Butterfly legs (5 min)
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.
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. 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.
– 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂