Today’s post guides us through an introspective yin practice for spring growth and renewal.
Spring is here and during my morning walk, I can feel a new energy in the air around me! And I love it! It is the energy of growth; I can see the buds forming in the trees, iris and lily shoots pushing up from beneath the ground and birds are returning from the south.
This energy is infectious and I can feel it in my body, mind and soul as I walk. It gives me the motivation to grow and change in the same way that I observe in nature. I am happy to share with you this yin practice designed to help you tap into the energy of spring.
In this practice, we will combine journaling with yin yoga with a focus on the growth and renewal of spring. Keeping a record of our thoughts is a safe and personal way to process our thoughts and emotions. Giving language to our ideas can help us to complete them and to make them more concrete.
To help guide the focus of today’s practice, I am providing a statement for you to reflect on while you hold each pose. As you come out of the pose, take a few moments to record the statement in your journal as well as your thoughts.
Spending a few minutes with your journal on a regular basis can help you to bring awareness to your behaviours, perceptions and attitudes.
- journal / pen
Breathe + Centre (5 min)
Begin practice comfortably seated to spend a few moments breathing and settling into practice. Tap into the rhythm of your breath and energy circulating in your body.
Supported Bridge (5 min)
Lie on your back and slip a block under your hips. Make sure that the block is under the bony part of your pelvis so that you are not supported in any way by your vertebrae. Arms and legs may extend (as in the picture) or you may place them in another comfortable position.
As you hold this pose consider the statement: I can clearly see the blessings around me.
At the end of your time in this pose, take a few moments to record your reactions and thoughts regarding this statement in your journal.
Reclined Shoelace Pose (5 min each side)
Remove the block from under your hips and set it aside. Lower your spine down onto the mat and rest here for a few breaths.
Bend your knees and allow the soles of your feet to come to the mat. Cross your right thigh over your left and draw your knees into your chest. Cup your kneecaps with your hands. You may stay like this or slide your hands down the outer shins toward the ankles.
The heels are equi-distant from the hips.
As you hold this pose, consider the statement: Today I support my body by moving it and growing strong.
Unwind from this pose and spend a few moments writing in your journal.
[Repeat this pose on the other side]
As you hold this pose on the other side, consider the statement: I nourish my body with clean food to live well.
Unwind from this pose and record your thoughts in your journal.
Reclined Deer (5 min each side)
Come to a seated position, facing the front of the mat. Bring your right shin parallel to the front edge of the mat. Draw your left shin parallel to the long edge of your mat. Both knees are roughly at a 90 degree angle. Lean back onto your hands or forearms (feel free to place blocks under your hands or forearms). You can keep your chin tucked or let the throat open, whichever is most comfortable for you.
As you hold this pose, reflect on the statement: Past mistakes are released. I hold only valuable lessons from them.
Repeat this pose on the other side. As you hold this pose, reflect on the following statement: I am capable of conquering the clutter and creating order in my life.
Melting Heart (3 min)
From table top walk your hands forward, allowing your heart to ‘melt’ towards the mat while keeping the hips over the knees. You may choose to place a pillow under your chest and/or a block under your forehead for support. Or, you may choose to bring your forehead or your chin to the mat.
As you hold this pose, reflect on the statement: Powerful changes are happening. I welcome and embrace them.
Frog / Half Frog / Child’s Pose (4 min)
Again starting from table, begin to walk your knees outward, moving to a place where you can feel a gentle stretch in your inner thighs. Settle your feet straight back from your knees with the inner arch of your feet on the floor. You may remain resting on your hands or forearms or bring your chest down to the mat. Alternatives to this pose include Wide Kneed Child’s Pose or Half Frog. For Wide Keed Childs Pose bring your big toes together, your hips over your heels and your forehead to the floor as you extend your hands forward. If you choose Half Frog, begin from prone with your arms in a goal post shape, palms to the floor. Slide you right knee along the floor toward your right elbow. Repeat on the other side. (2 minutes per side)
As you hold this pose think about the meaning of the phrase: With passion and joy I am creating my own future.
Savasana (for as long as you have the time!)
To finish this practice, spend a few moments lying in corpse pose relaxing and enjoying the sensations in your body. Take this time to reconnect with the quality of your breath and the sensation of energy in your body.
Complete your practice by writing a few final words in your journal. Write anything that occurs to you from favourite poses to additional thoughts on the topic of growth and renewal.
I truly hope you have enjoyed this practice and that you find that adding journaling to be a beneficial addition to your yin practice.