Yin Yoga at the Wall

Titles for Website (15)
Nancy Nelson

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

Need a timer? I highly recommend the CDN TM30! It’s got a vibration setting that’s just the right subtle reminder to ease out of the posture.

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 Prep
Yin 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 wall
Yin 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
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20 Responses

  1. Thanks for this Nancy! After competing in Atlantic Canada’s Strongest Man this weekend, my muscles are VERY tight and I can’t move in ways I normally can. I’ll be using this sequence tonight to help me gain some mobility.

  2. I love this! I am teaching beginner’s yoga and this would be perfect. Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. i really love your sequences and thoughtful emotional connection behind them as well. can’t wait to offer this sequence to my yin students today. lovely and potent sequence that helps to create connection to strength and support through pre existing foundations!

  4. I have been away from my practice for a few months. As a result, everything in my body is tight, so I decided it was time to get back on my mat and start my day with a few sun salutations. As I faced that prospect this morning, it felt too daunting, so I started with a few easy breaths and side stretches in mountain poise. I happened to be facing the wall in my dining room and the idea to incorporate the wall into my practice jumped out at me. As I moved through my practice using the wall for support, I thought this could really be a thing. How nice to have the support of the wall. This could be really useful for people who find yoga intimidating. Of course, one of the first things I do when I have a “new” idea is to do a quick web search, the result of which is usually that my idea is not new at all. As is the case this time. But I am now excited to try your yin yoga at the wall sequence. It looks positively supportive. Thanks for sharing. Many blessings.

  5. Just practiced your sequence! so calming and balancing. I will post definitely share it with my students this week
    Thank you and god bless <3

  6. Nancy I love this wall sequence, and wish to use it as inspiration to teach my own class. I couldnt find your playlist though, is it still up?

  7. First and most importantly, thank you for sharing this beautiful sequence. I have practiced yin yoga and yoga at the wall but never both combined and loved the experience. The hour length allowed enough time to melt away uncomfortable muscle tightness; any shorter would have been less effective. Second, with respect to your request for feedback about the YouTube format, I found it incredibly helpful! The auditory cues made it much easier to follow along at the intended pace. Plus, observing you getting into and out of poses, and transitioning between them, provided much more information about alignment and placement than a static picture with written instructions. I anticipate returning to this video many times over which makes your gift of rest, release and renewal one that will continue to give. With gratitude to you, Tara

  8. Hi nancy today one of my student complain her back was pain during caterpillar pose. She have neck problem. I told her shld stay in pose and observe pain it is not chronic pain! And her curve is just a little and support with 2 horizontal block. She is be with me for 3mths and we doin yin yoga once a month.
    So shld she continue practice caterpillar to release stiffness of back? Thx

    1. Hey Katie! I would see about setting up props so her head and neck aren’t hanging forward too much. For some folks, dropping the head can stimulate back pain. If her back is really rounded in the pose, have her bend her knees and roll up a blanket/bolster under to help her lengthen the back more. If there is ANY sharp pain, have her skip the pose all together. You might also consider working with her on some spinal extension (backbends) if she has back pain from sitting/driving/bending over consistently in her day-to-day. Supported Bridge/Fish poses are great for that! Please let me know if you have follow up questions. Happy to help as best I can! -Nancy

      1. Dear nancy thank you for reply
        That us good idea of fish pose to lengthen her cervical spine which she also been complain sharp pain while doing wind releasing pose when raising forehead to knee.

        In fact she been complaining most of the post which her main cause was nexk pain! She attending yoga classes also hope it will help her to relief pain yet some of pain she cant take ig and ask me if she that normal doin pose and pain

        I explained to her if it is. Chronic pain than you shld stop it and alwys listen to ypur body. Class is an open class so i cant oni take you as a main focus. Abd class us npt a therapy yoga class that why cant particular focus on certain problem either

        .even she been doin accupunture in the past one year abd yet pain stil havent relief! So she hope that yoga can help her.

        I do suggest her to see osteopath. And i will help her with massage ball and singing bowl maybe

  9. Awesome poses
    Releases each and every muscle group
    I always use this in my class and people are very happy with the above poses

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Titles for Website (38)
Nancy Nelson
Nancy Nelson
Nancy is the fearless leader here at Nancy Nelson Yoga! She has been instructing yoga since 2012 and is certified as a Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500, YACEP) with Yoga Alliance. She loves guiding yoga classes in all forms – from sweaty vinyasa flows, to slow mindful movement - but her favorite style to practice and teach is yin yoga. She attended a formal 50-hour Yin Yoga training with Bernie Clark and Diana Batts in the fall of 2018 and it truly propelled her into developing her yin focused website, webinars and trainings.

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