Yin Sequence | Self-Expression

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Nancy Nelson

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”

Martha Graham

I’ve been considering the element of fire in all things lately. One aspect to consider during this season is our ability to self-express. If we are each unique – down to our very cells – then we have a one-of-kind kind of offering to share with the world. In thinking of my tendency to close myself off for fear of criticism or disapproval, I realized that it’s far more detrimental to not share my unique offering with my world. If I don’t share it, when I die – so does the the offering. How does that make the world a better place? If we all can share, we find common ground as I have a sneaky feeling our gifts connect in many ways. If we all share with raw vulnerability, there is also no room for shame as we can each see ourselves in every other person. Let’s normalize letting people be just as they are and letting them share what they are created to reveal to the world with an open mind and receptive heart.

This collection of poses helps to stimulate our connection to what makes us uniquely us! Leave a comment with how you are working on self-expression in your life.

Props Needed:

  • Blocks (2)
  • Blanket
  • Bolster

Reclined Butterfly + option to have feet elevated (5 min)

support the outer knees if it helps you settle in!

Begin your practice reclined on your back with your legs in a butterfly position. This is a very vulnerable shape energetically, so find ways to feel really supported here. A blanket over the lower abdomen and pelvis works nicely to ground this posture. If you want to amp things up, elevate your feet to a block and take the arms open into a cactus shape.

Reclined Twist + hand at shoulder (5 min each side)

Slowly guide your knees in towards one another. When ready, drop the knees over to the left. Consider placing a prop between the legs to counter the previous posture. For extra attention to the upper body meridians, place the palm to the shoulder on the knee side.

Repeat on second side.

Dragons – High and Low (3 min each variation)

Make your way to a table position and move through some postures such as cat and cow, hip circles, etc. When you feel ready to settle back into stillness, step the right foot to the top of the mat. For the first 3 minutes of the lunge, stay more upright. Use a couple of blocks if you need extra support (like I do!). For the final 3 minutes, lower down to the inside of the right foot. Stay up on the hands, or drop to the forearms. If you want a different sensation, drop the knee out to the side and feel the stretch in the inner groin as well.

Half Saddle + EFT under nose (5 min)

Before moving onto the next side of your dragons, guide the back knee in a bit and then sit down to the inside of the left foot. You can elevate your hips to a cushion if it’s helpful. Extend the right leg to straight. Settle into the seated version of your half saddle. After a few moments, begin to tap under the nose above the upper lip. This will help to stimulate self-acceptance and compassion. After about 1 minute upright, lower back and down to a reclined variation. You can pause leaning back onto the hands, forearms, or all the way back to a bolster or the floor.

Repeat the lunges and half saddle on the other side.

Butterfly with Feet Elevated (5 min)

Rise up and shake out the legs or windshield wiper the knees side to side. Eventually, open the legs into a butterfly position. You can fold forward in a traditional butterfly, or elevate the feet to a bolster or other prop to go a bit deeper. Pain is never a good thing! Back out if you feel anything sharp, burning or achy.

Dragonfly (5 min)

Open the legs into a wide V position. Begin to fold forward when you feel ready. Allow for the spine to round and the head to relax.

Supported Fish (4 min)

Position a block under the shoulder blades. The legs can extend out with or without props. The arms can rest to the belly, sides or overhead. Alternatively, to create more space in the upper back, cross the arms over the chest. Switch the arm on top when you are halfway through the pose.

Savasana (10 min)

When the time is right, make your way to a savasana position that feels supportive and helpful. Feel the open space you have created with your practice to feel more connected to who you are in this moment. This time will be a beautiful way to settle into confidence and personal understanding.


Connect with Nancy!

Instagram: yogi_nancy

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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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