I hope you are doing well on this fine Thursday! We’re finally getting some fall weather here in Texas so I’ve been really savoring my yin lately. There’s something about these cooler months and a cozy yin class! I taught the following sequence on Wednesday as a nice little hip opening class with a little zing to it in the form of frog pose! I hope you enjoy.
Begin seated facing the long edge of the mat. Spend some time here moving in any way that feels good to settle in. Take several cleansing breaths (in through the nose, big sighs out of the mouth) to release any residual tension from your day. Eventually find some stillness here and connect with an intention that supports your need for today’s practice.
Half Butterfly – 3 min (each side)
Take one leg out wide while keeping the other knee bent with the heel drawing in toward the hips. Take your chest and torso in the direction of the extended leg. Spend some time upright to prepare the spine and then when you feel ready, fold and release forward. Let go of any pressure you feel to touch the toes – aesthetic is always secondary to sensation!! Find something that feels good and breathe into it.
repeat half butterfly on second side
Dragonfly – 5 min
Now, extend both legs out wide like a V. Take your time to find a forward bend from the hips. Allow the back to gently round and enjoy some time in this release. Prop yourself up as desired!
Deer – 4 min (each side)
Begin to bend into the right knee so the shin faces the short edge of the mat (doesn’t need to be perfect). Draw the left knee toward the heel of the right foot. Your left hip might lift here and that’s okay! Fold toward the right shin and experiment with how it feels best to angle the torso in this shape today.
Reclined Deer – 4 min (each side)
Staying in your deer position in the legs, gently begin to lean back onto the hands as you slightly curl the tailbone toward the space in front of you to lengthen the low back. Continue to lower over time if it feels appropriate for you today. If you feel anything sharp or painful – back out!
repeat deer / reclined deer on second side
Sphinx + Half Frog – 3 min (each side)
Make your way to your belly and begin to prop your chest up by placing your forearms to the ground beneath you. Elbows line up beneath or in front of the shoulders. You can stay in sphinx pose the entire time if desired!
If you’re ready for a bit more in the lower back – draw the inner right leg up the side of the mat for half frog here. This will help prepare the hips and the spine for our peak pose here in a bit. The head can relax as you ease the tension through the back of the neck as much as possible.
Reverse Needle – 4 min (each side)
Take some time to let the spine be neutral as you rest on the belly. When ready, extend the right arm out more or less 90 degrees from the side of the body. Begin to push into the left hand (also turning the gaze to the left) and roll toward the right side body. The left foot can step behind the right leg to help you gauge the depth of the pose. Left arm can stay like a kickstand in front of the chest or you can rest it in front of or behind you.
(Bottom image) After the pose, gently take a half threaded needle with the right arm across the chest and release into the opposite side of the shoulder (about 1 min here).
repeat sphinx + half frog / reverse needle on second side
Childs – 2 min
Take your time to press the hips back to the heels for childs pose. Keep the arms forward or drape them along side the body toward the feet. Spend some time here just breathing and reconnecting with the space you’ve opened.
Stay in childs pose or return to it if frog pose becomes too much.
Frog – 5 min
After a couple of minutes, rise up to hands and knees and slowly begin to widen the knees out from one another. Hips can shift as needed as the inner groin begins to stretch and release here. This pose can be very intense. I recommend utilizing props to support you so that you can decide how much pressure you want to apply at once. A bolster under the torso, blanket under the knees is my personal preference. If you have an additional pillow or bolster – you could place that beneath the hips to help slow the descent into the pull of gravity. Find a place in the posture where the sensation meets that goldilocks spot – not too little, not too much – but juuuust right!
Upright Hero – 2 min
Rise back up however it works for you and take a moment in a seated position with the legs together. Reconnect with the breath and intention while you are here. Feel the effects of that deep opening as you breathe!
Savasana (suggested & pictured: legs up the wall) – 7 min
Make your way to a comfortable resting position. If you enjoy legs up the wall, it’s a nice pose after the depth that frog pose takes you to as it creates a sense of lightness and ease. Settle in wherever you go regardless and allow the breath and body to rest as long as you’re able!