Today’s post guides us through an introspective yin practice for cultivating rest and restoration.
It is the end of the summer and if you are anything like me, you have been super active for the last few months making sure to fit all kinds of fun activities during our (all too) short summer season. Then, transitioning quickly into September business and routine.
Take a moment to relax and restore yourself. This practice combines yin yoga with writing in your journal. This provides an opportunity to turn down the noise in our lives so we can hear our inner voice.
As you move through this practice, reflect on the journal prompts provided. Notice how the words resonate with you. Before you move onto the next pose, spend a few moments recording your thoughts in your journal. Spending a few moments putting your thoughts into words helps you to crystallize your ideas and insights.
Begin by spending a few moments recording your feelings in your journal. This is a good time to set an intention for your practice. The focus of this practice is Rest and Restore but you can set any intention that you would like.
- journal / pen
Seated Breath (5 min)
Set your journal aside and take a few moments to breathe. Sit comfortably, using a cushion if you like, take long, slow inhales and full complete exhales. Stay here for as long as it feels good to do so.
Neck Stretch (2 min/side)
Remain seated and reach your right hand over the top of your head toward your left ear. Draw the left ear and crown of your head over to the right, without putting pressure down onto your head. Reach out with your left hand to enhance the stretch on the left side of your neck. Feel free to move your left hand or chin around to help find and release tension in your neck.
Repeat on the other side.
As you hold these poses, reflect on the following statement: I release my concerns for the time being.
Record your thoughts in your journal before continuing to the next pose.
Childs Pose with a Side Stretch (5 min)
Make your way to tabletop pose, bring your knees wide, to the width of the mat (or wider or narrower than your mat – just make it feel good!), slide your hips back over your heels and reach your hands forward.
As you hold this pose, reflect on the following statement. I have earned this time to rest.
Record your thoughts in your journal before continuing with your practice.
Add a side stretch to the pose by walking your hands over to the right, while you keep your hips pressed back over your heels. Keep your forehead down (use a block or pillow if you like) and reach out with your left hand.
Repeat on the other side.
Cat/Cow Just a little movement before your next pose!
Melting Heart (3 min)
Find a neutral table top pose. Keeping your hips over your knees, walk your hands forward until it feels like you are in a down-dog on your knees. Then start to melt your chest toward the floor – put a cushion under your chest if you like. Let your forehead or chin come down onto the mat or a block. Adjust your props so that you are super comfortable.
As you hold this pose, reflect on the following statement: I enjoy the simplicity of idle moments.
When you come out of the pose, spend a few moments recording your thoughts in your journal.
Lizard (5 min/side)
Return to table top and wiggle around a little bit! Cat/cow or some body circles. When you are ready to move to the next pose, draw your right foot forward to the inside of your right hand. You can turn your right toes out at an angle if that feels good. Sink your hips forward and down. Stay on your palms or bring your forearms to the floor. You can put blocks under your hands or elbows or a cushion under your back knee if you like.
As you hold this pose, reflect on the following statement: I create a stress free world for myself.
Take a moment in hamstring stretch, straightening your right leg and sliding your hips back. Then record your thoughts in your journal.
Repeat on the other side, while you consider the statement: I am learning to relax and go with the flow while enjoying my life.
Spend a moment in a counter pose, hamstring stretch, and then write in your journal.
Reclined Twist (5 min/side)
Make your way to your back and draw your right knee into your chest and give it a little hug. Then draw your right knee over to the left, keeping your right shoulder drawing down toward the mat.
As you hold this pose, reflect on the statement I do something new or different each day. Record your thoughts in your journal.
Repeat on the other side, reflecting on the statement When I let go of doubt, life becomes easy for me.
Record your thoughts in your journal.
Savasana (for as long as you have the time!)
Lie down in a comfortable position, using props under your knees or head. Relax fully and let your mind relax. No need to think about anything now, allow the benefits of this practice sink in.
When you are ready to begin moving again, start with a few breaths and then allow yourself to get up slowly. Review your thoughts as you recorded them and make any final notes that you would like, include a note on how you are feeling at the end of your practice.
Enjoy a guided version of this class lead by Nancy