Thrive Program | Summer 2017

Good afternoon my friends!

It’s the best time of year to consider cleansing and renewal. Fresh produce, the warmth and joy of the sunshine,  and the turning of the seasons all support the detoxification process body, mind, and spirit. In the Thrive Program, we will embark on a journey that includes yoga classes, a cleanse, journaling, and accountability. This program allows you the time and permission to truly hit the “reset button” on your wellbeing! This summer session will be held at Inspire Yoga – Highland Village.



FRI JULY 7 | 6:00 – 8:00PM | Kickoff Meeting
SUN JULY 9 | 2:00PM – 3:00PM | Weekly Meeting
SUN JULY 16 | 2:00PM – 3:00PM | Weekly Meeting
SUN JULY 23 | 2:00PM – 3:00PM | Weekly Meeting
SUN JULY 30 | 2:00PM – 3:00PM | Weekly Meeting
FRI AUG 4 | 6:00 – 8:00PM | Celebration & Yoga Class

Are you an Inspire Yoga member? Save $50 on registration!

Interested in learning some of the specifics? Join me for a free info session held at Inspire Yoga Highland Village on Wednesday, June 14th at 5:15PM or email me at

SPACE IS LIMITED. Sign up today!

Inspire Yoga Members | $150

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Non-members | $200

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If you follow my blog and are not local to the DFW area, I’m working on formatting this program into an online version. For those of you who have already expressed interest – I have your name and email saved and will contact you as soon as it’s ready! I considered leading the online version this summer but am postponing until I can get a few more kinks worked out. So those of you who are so patiently awaiting that exciting opportunity – I’ll let you know as soon as I have information!

Alternatively if you would like to offer this workshop at your home studio, condensed into a weekend, contact me about details and scheduling.


Be still.


Good afternoon, yogis!

I hope your day is going well and that you are taking some yin-like moments for yourself. I’m getting geared up to lead my first weekend workshop immersion on “Understanding + Teaching Yin Yoga” in June. It’s going to be fabulous! If you are near to or would like to hop a flight to attend we have just a few more spots available: SIGN UP HERE

If you’d like to host me at your local studio to lead this workshop, you can contact me directly for pricing and availability.

The more I teach yoga, the more I have realized that it is extremely important to be a well-rounded instructor in the practice of yoga. There’s so much of the practice that is focused on the yang side of things, especially with the increase in popularity of the pretzel-like “how’d you even do that?!” type of poses you see spread across the internet. And though I love vinyasa and the feeling of strength and complicated poses, my body and mind crave the balance and the simplicity that the yin practice offers. Yin has even infused itself into HOW I approach my flow practice and has allowed me insight on how to “Be Still” even when the practice is chaotic. It’s from my yin practice that has helped me tap into my ability to BE STILL with myself so that I can truly look inward and to BE STILL before God so that I can truly look upward.

I wanted to share with you that I designed this shirt as a way to raise scholarship money for students to be able to attend my workshop that are in a tough financial spot. If you’d like a tank/tee and to support a future attendee of Understanding + Teaching Yin Yoga, email me your preferred style (tank/tee) and size and I will send you an invoice. The items are both $25 plus shipping costs or free local pick-up.

Yin Yoga | Four Agreements: Don’t Make Assumptions

“It is wiser to find out than to suppose.” -Mark Twain

Good afternoon, yin friends!

It’s been a couple of crazy weeks so I’m just now getting around to sharing my third sequence based on The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. This week’s topic and the 3rd Agreement: Don’t make assumptions. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, if you’re anything like me – this concept is a continuous struggle. The author of the book gives ample reason for us to fight this struggle and to seek out the truth. In the book, he states that “the problem with assumptions is that we believe they are the truth.” By making assumptions, we invite in something that may or may not be true and then react according to that “truth”. He goes on to discuss how this habit is a sort of protective mechanism that allows us to avoid the tough and uncomfortable pursuit of the Truth of the situation. AKA, making assumptions is a way we manifest our “control” over a circumstance (which is ultimately an illusion). So this week, I want to encourage you to ask the hard questions and seek out the Truth even if it isn’t the answer you want to hear, at least you can react according to something that is real and not fabricated. In my journey into making less assumptions and uncovering Truth instead, I have  found that when I actually choose to find out what is over what is not, I’m able to approach the situation with more peace and love toward myself and others involved. Yes, it’s vulnerable – but it’s worth it. The more we practice this, the more we establish a steady foundation of Truth to live from.

A mantra you can incorporate into your practice today to put this agreement into action:

Inhale: ACCEPTANCE (allow in what is true/present)

Exhale: EXPECTATION (assuming what you know the pose/moment will be like)


Wide Leg Childs Pose (3 min) – Begin in childs pose and if it’s comfortable take the knees wide allowing the belly to melt between the thighs, supporting it on a block if you’d like. Take a few minutes here to mentally and physically land on your mat. Allowing gravity to begin to take over the “effort” portion of your practice. Practice deep ocean-like breaths here and perhaps begin to incorporate the above mantra or set your intention.

+ Side Stretch (3 min) – In your childs pose, take your hands over to the top left corner of the mat and breathe deeply into the right side body. Nothing forced, just allow your breath to carry you deep into the pose.

+ X arms (2 min) – From your side stretch, come to center and thread the left arm under the right and then cross the right in front. Allow your upper body to hang heavy into this counter stretch into the tops of the shoulder joints.

+ Eagle arms (1 min) – Keeping the arms crossed, begin to sit up onto the heels and bring the knees close. Cross your arms into your favorite eagle arm option and elevate the elbows off the chest for about a minute, breathing into the upper back and let the chin slightly drop toward the chest.

+ Neck release (2 min) – Drop your left arm out to the side and release your right hand behind the low back. Take an inhale with the head lifted tall and use your exhale to drop the right ear to the right shoulder. Relax and stretch out your jaw here as you breathe deeply. After this, repeat your childs pose side stretch through the neck release on the other side.

Puppy w/hands on blocks (5 min) – Make your way to table top so the hips are above the knees. Begin to walk the hands forward to the top of the mat and melt your chest low. You can support yourself with a block under the chest/head if needed. If you’re looking for a deeper variation, take the hands to two blocks to intensify the release through the backs of the arms. The higher the blocks, the more intense. So be mindful and only focus on smaller sensations a little bit at a time.

Shoulder Release (3 min) – From puppy, release your hands back to table top and then bring your shoulders down to the two blocks, letting your arms rest at your sides. Your head and chest melt in here. Again, the higher the block, the more the intensity.

(Cat/Cow) – Take a minute or two to move the spine through some flexion and extension or any other movements that sound nice today.

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

Leg Stretch (2 min) – From your table top, take the left leg to the back of the mat and hang heavy into the heel. Breathe into the release you feel from the heel all the way up into the belly of the hamstring.

(open to) Half Butterfly (5 min) – Drop your hips back and open out into a half butterfly position with the right foot plugged into the left inner thigh. Fold forward in a slow yin-like manner, utilizing your breath to guide the depth. Use your props to support your head and relax your shoulders and upper back completely. Especially when it comes to the hamstrings, practice acceptance over assumption!

Deer OR Double Pigeon (5 min) – From your half butterfly, lift up and begin to bend the left knee. You can come into deer pose with the left leg at the top of the mat or stack the legs for double pigeon. You can always support your knees/ankles with props so this feels level in your hips. Fold forward until you find your sweet spot and then stay for a while!

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence


::repeat Leg Stretch through Deer/Double Pigeon on other side::

Frog (5 min) – Everyone’s favorite pose 😉  Come back to table top and gently begin to widen the knees and feet away from one another allowing the hips/groin to drop down toward the earth. Try to keep your hips centered (rather than pushing forward/back) and support yourself as needed (I use a block under my chest or a bolster under the torso often). If this pose is too much at any point, back off and come into a wide legged childs pose again.

Supine Twist (3 min each side) – Make your way to your back and rest for a moment, observing the release in the hips. Draw the left knee into the chest and begin to drop it over to the right side as you come onto the right side body. Keeping your left shoulder grounded, allow the foot/knee to land to a prop so you feel grounded here. Breathe into the twist, perhaps turning your gaze to the left to complete the twist in the cervical spine. After 3 minutes, repeat this on the other side.

Bridge (5 min) – Bend your knees and press into the feet to slide a block under your hips for supported bridge pose. Rest here for several minutes breathing into the front of your body.

Savasana (7-10 min) – When ready, make your way to a final resting pose where you can soak up the deep release and awareness of what is that you’ve created with your practice. Bask in the present moment and allow your breath to turn back to its natural pace/rhythm.

Yin Yoga | Four Agreements: Don’t take anything personally.

Good afternoon, yin friends!

I hope you are having a wonderful week. Today I wanted to continue in The Four Agreements series with a yin sequence themed for the second agreement…

Don’t take anything personally.

This one is a lost art in our society. With the age of technology, we have become quick to assume, to think, and to act. We are offended by views and behaviors that differ from our own. We say we are “tolerant” when we still continue to be put off when someone disagrees with us. In the book The Four Agreements, the author discusses how each person is the main character in the story of their life, therefore what other people say and do is almost always going to be a reflection of what is happening within their own lives. So whether you receive a compliment from a friend or slander from a co-worker – don’t take it personally. What we speak to others is a reflection of what’s happening on the inside. That, of course, is not always a bad thing – but it’s important that we don’t take things personally so nothing but the Truth can effect our sense of worthiness and acceptance. People change and opinions shift – if we lean on others for our worth we will be very confused when it comes to our identity. You determine how you react and you decide what you believe and therefore who you are. This week in my classes, I have focused on this quote from Wayne Dyer as a sort of mantra to help us bring this agreement to life –

The way you feel about yourself is totally up to you. The way you move on from a hurtful comment is up to you. You can take it personally and carry it with you. Or you can remember the TRUTH about who you are. No one can change that (except you) and you can move on without the weight of that burden. In a different light, if you let compliments become a part of your identity and soak them into your ego, you will walk around loving only yourself, rather than sharing love with others (which is the only way true love works – in community). Today as you practice, we will be moving through poses that stimulate the solar plexus chakra (located in the navel area). This is the part of our body that is foundational in our reactions. When you are taking something personally, it often hits you in the form of an anxious feeling in your gut before it takes up residence in your mind. As you feel space and openness being created in that region, allow yourself to come back to the truth about you. Cultivate thoughts and beliefs about yourself based on what is true, not what other people say or do.

My Playlist

Belly (5 min) – We will start our practice a little less conventionally today on the belly. Make your way to your stomach if it’s comfortable for you. You can place your head onto stacked hands or rest your arms at the side and turn the head one way for the first couple minutes and the other way the last couple. Alternatively, if you need to modify – come to a childs pose.

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

Rest here for a few moments allowing your mind to arrive into the space you’re in. Notice the air, the sounds, the feeling of being grounded and secure – connected to the core of your body as your belly expands and presses into the floor. Consider in this first pose an intention. Maybe coming back to the simple mantra – “I am in control of what’s happening inside”

Half Frog (2 min) – Turn your gaze to the left and draw your left knee up the floor toward the elbow. Breathe for a couple of minutes here and focus your attention on the low back/hip as well as the space your belly has to expand into. Noticing that openness in the left side of the torso now with it being slightly elevated.

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

Supine Twist (5 min) – Stretch your right arm overhead and begin to press into your left hand so you can come onto the side body with the left knee still out in front of you. Transition your chest open toward the ceiling slowly on an exhale, moving into a spinal twist.

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

Counter Pose: Criss Cross Arm Release – Come back to the belly and thread the left arm behind the right resting your head toward the floor for a few moments. Take about a minute here to release into that space in the shoulder and chest.

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

repeat half frog – criss cross arms on other side

Sphinx (3 min) – From your twist, roll onto your belly and face the front of the mat once more. Take a moment on the belly to observe and relax and then begin to make your way to the forearms coming into sphinx pose. The elbows will be underneath or just beyond the shoulders as for alignment. You shouldn’t feel like you’re going to face plant, so allow yourself to find a place where you can lengthen the spine. Your head can stay lifted and active or relax it down to a block or to hang mid-air. Relax the glutes and breathe here.

Childs Pose (3 min) – Drop the hips back to the heels and allow the chest to rest onto the thighs. You can stretch the arms overhead or just keep them at the sides toward the feet. Take a few moments here to observe any shift in your body and mind from the first few postures. (I have a block under my chest here for extra support).

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin SequenceFour Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

Cat/Cow (1 min) – Come into a table top position and begin to move through a few rounds of cat and cow. Inhales bringing your gaze forward, tailbone high and exhales allowing you to round the spine toward the ceiling and relax the weight of the head. Continue to wiggle through these and any other shapes that are calling out to you.

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

Side Body Stretch w/Leg Back (2 min) – From a neutral table top position, stretch your left leg to the back of the mat and over to the right so you feel a stretch in the outer left hip. You can also walk the hands to the right to deepen the stretch in the side body. Press into the heel here and relax your head.

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

Lizard (4 min) – From your leg stretch, bring your left foot to the outer left hand and slowly begin to relax your hips down and forward. Take this pose very slowly and avoid rushing deeper quickly. The slower you can move into the posture, the more benefits you will find. (photo above)

Pigeon (5 min) – From lizard, begin to walk to left foot over to the right side of the mat and set the shin down. You can tuck the heel of the foot in closer to the hips to alleviate the intensity here. Utilize your props as necessary (perhaps a blanket under the right hip if there’s space there). Stretch the right leg back and let the front of the right hip sink into the floor/prop. Alternatively, you can take your deer pose (2nd photo) by drawing the right knee up toward the left foot. The right hip will stay slightly elevated in this variation. Allow your body to begin to melt forward, but take your time. Pause in the intensity and breathe. When the sensations quiet down a bit, then go deeper. You have time here – so utilize it and do not rush.

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin SequenceFour Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin SequenceCounter pose: Modified Wild Thing – From pigeon come back to the extended leg stretch and take the bent knee’s foot over to the right as well. Pressing into your right hand, lift your left arm and open the chest up. Take a few breaths here.

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

repeat side body stretch – pigeon on other side

Forward Fold (5 min) – Transition to a seated position with legs straight out in front of you, locate a firm seat (using a blanket under the hips if your low back is strained in any way). Breathe a few breaths into the spine from an upright position and then take a few breaths to lower you forward. I like to use a bolster under my chest or block under my head (sometimes both!), so get creative with props and find a place to land here.

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

Block Down Spine (9 min) – Breathe deeply and consistently while in these variations to create space between the vertebrae. There should be no sharp pain so if you need to keep the blocks at the lowest level or use a blanket to alleviate pain – do so! Whatever leg variation you prefer is fine here. I feel best when my knees are supported so that’s what I did. You can also keep the knees bent with feet to the earth, legs extended straight, butterfly, etc.

  • 3 min – Upper back w/block vertically placed between shoulder blades
  • 3 min – Middle back with block horizontally placed at tips of shoulder blades
  • 3 min – Low back (sacrum)/Supported Bridge Pose

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin SequenceFour Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin SequenceFour Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

Savasana (7 min) – Find a place where you can simply rest into the new space you’ve created in your body. Rest here for several minutes and then close by gentle coming back to a seated position, and thank yourself for the practice you took the time to explore in your body and mind!

Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally Yin Sequence

Yin Yoga | Four Agreements: Be Impeccable With Your Word

Yin Yoga – Throat Chakra – Four Agreements – Be Impeccable With Your Word

“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt,  to harm, to humiliate and to humble.”

-Yehuda Berg

Hey there, yinsters –

I hope you are having a wonderful week so far and are enjoying the spring-like weather wherever you are located! I love the springtime and the sense of “newness” that accompanies it. My garden is popping up new buds. Each little spurt of color is a reminder that cold and darkness are just seasons that we face. There is always change occurring in one form or another.

The next 4 weeks in my classes, I’m discussing The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I told my students yesterday, that though I do not align with every word in this book – I deeply appreciate the wisdom it offers on how to best relate to and interact with ourselves and others.

This week we are focusing on the first agreement: Be Impeccable With Your Word.

The way that we speak matters. And it starts with you. The thoughts you allow to take up residence in your mind are the ones that will shape your lifestyle, viewpoint and interactions with others. So the unhelpful thoughts you think, can truly impact the way that you live your life and the way that you decide to articulate your speech. This is HUGE!

As you practice this sequence which targets the “communication” portion of your body (specifically the throat and surrounding areas), my hope is that you utilize this time to pay attention to the internal dialogue. Yoga offers us time to close our mouths and go inward – listening to what’s beneath the surface (physically, mentally and even spiritually). However, sometimes we still remain in our normal mind during yoga practice. We allow many already-engrained negative and unhelpful thought patterns to stay active while we practice yoga. In the following poses what might happen if you were to identify and begin to change these habits? As you breathe and create space in the body and mind with the time/postures, perhaps invite in more helpful and positive thoughts to replace the old ones.

Disclaimer…It’s requires discipline and practice to transition the mind toward something more positive (just as you practiced memorizing negative thoughts by allowing them in over and over again) – but eventually you can change what feels and is most true of you. Devote yourself to reworking your thoughts until you have a more loving and positive outlook and watch your external world begin to transition as well.

My Playlist

CHILDS POSE (5 min) – Begin your practice by dropping the hips back to the heels and allowing the chest to rest onto the thighs. You can stretch the arms overhead or just keep them at the sides toward the feet. Take a few moments here to focus in on the moment at hand. Allow your breath and attention to expand into the throat, chest and upper back – notice where there is resistance here and extend grace to yourself from the start. We must face what is holding on in order to actually let go.







After 3 minutes here, you can remain with the forehead down or you can begin to gently bring your chin to a block or the earth to open up the front of the throat. This should not be painful at all. If you feel sharp pain, back out of this immediately and bring the neck back to neutral.







PUPPY POSE (3 min) – From a neutral table top position, take a deep inhale and as you exhale begin to walk the hands forward until you reach a stopping point and melt the heart toward the earth. You can support your chest or forehead with a block if it helps you. If you want to increase sensation, you can bend your elbows 90 degrees bringing the palms together above your head and then reach the thumbs toward the base of the neck. You can also do this with two blocks under the triceps (bottom photo) for additional release.












CAT/COW (1 min) – Come into a table top position and begin to move through a few rounds of cat and cow. Inhales bringing your gaze forward, tailbone high and exhales allowing you to round the spine toward the ceiling and relax the weight of the head. Continue to wiggle through these and any other shapes that are calling out to you. Perhaps observe more freedom and openness in the upper back/neck from when you first landed on the mat.








HERO/SUKHASANA (whatever seat is most comfortable) (3 min) – Move through the following neck releases.

  • Sides of the neck: Sit up tall to settle into the spine. As you take an exhale, drop the right ear to the right shoulder. Stay here or add the weight of one hand to the opposite side of the head. 30-40 seconds then switch to stretch other side.
  • Back of the neck: Interlace the fingers and place the palms to the back of the head. Begin to drop the chin toward the chest and let the elbows hang heavy. 30 seconds here

















THREADED NEEDLE (3 min) – From table top, extend the left arm to the sky and begin to twist toward the right by threading the arm across the mat and through to the other side. Allow your head and shoulder to relax to the floor or a prop. Alternatively, you can drop your hips back toward the heels and do this pose in a childs pose variation. After you complete the first side, switch over to the other slowly and mindfully.







Optional: If you want to try a new arm variation, these are nice options for our purposes today…












HERO Reclined or Supported BRIDGE (5 min) – Find a position that is comfortable for you to open the front body. If reclining back with your legs in hero is too much on the ankle/knee joints or the low back, feel free to drop to supported bridge pose instead. Find a position where you can really hang heavy and breathe into the front of the hips, belly, chest and neck.






















Stretch out in table top or down dog for a moment to move into that newly created space in the front body.







Make your way to the belly…

1/2 FROG (2 min) – Cactus the arms turning the gaze to the right, draw the right knee up toward the right elbow and breathe several moments here in this nice release for the low back. Try not to overthink this shape, it’s supposed to be more restorative than “intense”.






SUPINE TWIST (2 min) – From frog, thread your left arm across the chest over to the right side and begin to open your chest toward the ceiling dropping the right arm behind you. Align your right hip on top of the left and add any favorite variations to the twist here.











LOW LUNGE (4 min) – Press back to table top and step the right foot to the top of the mat. The first two minutes, plant your hands to the floor or blocks on either side of the foot or bring them both to the inside of the foot (pictured). Your head can hang here if you’d like. Allow your hips to settle down and forward. After two minutes, you can go deeper if you wish. Don’t rush this depth. Give your body time to release and rest into each burst of intensity.






A note on transitioning deeply into the hips, we find a lot of sensation and release. This is an area of the body we tend to hold emotional stress from our current state and from past seasons. As sensations arise here, breathe and trust the release to create space within you so you can start this new season with a renewed perspective.






COW FACE Fold (3 min) – Begin to rise up from your lunge and walk your hands over to the right. Gently transitioning to the long edge of the mat and crossing the legs into cow face pose. You can draw the left leg straight if you’d prefer to do that over bending the bottom knee. If the knees are both bent, walk the heels away from the hips until you find a good amount of sensation. If it’s too much to sit evenly on the hips, adjust as needed.






















Repeat 1/2 Frog to Cow Face on the other side.

FORWARD Fold or SNAIL (5 min) – Transition to a seated position with legs straight out in front of you, locate a firm seat (using a blanket under the hips if your low back is strained in any way). Breathe a few breaths into the spine from an upright position and then take a few breaths to lower you forward. I like to use a bolster under my chest or block under my head (sometimes both!), so get creative with props and find a place to land here.







If you’d like to try your “Snail” pose, please do so mindfully. This pose does compress the neck quite a bit so if you have disc issues in the cervical spine or if there is any pain, back off and come to your forward fold. To do snail, prop your shoulders up on 2 blankets or one folded up (pictured). From your back begin to make your way through supported bridge placing your hands under the spine. Gently begin to lift the legs up and then drop them back behind the head. You can keep the legs straight or bent here. Ensure that you can breathe steadily and completely through the lungs.












Reclined FISH POSE (2 min) – Especially if you practiced snail pose, give yourself a moment with the upper back elevated to a blanket or block. Take a moment to balance out in this shape.




SAVASANA (option for Legs up the Wall) (10 min) – Find a wall and sit with it at one side of you. Begin to lay back onto your spine and then swing the legs up the wall. Allow all of the goodness of your practice and the release in the legs to begin to settle in and through you as you rest here for several minutes letting everything relax. If you’d prefer, you can take traditional corpse pose lying on your back.


NEW WORKSHOP! Understanding + Teaching Yin Yoga

Hey yinsters!

I’m thrilled to announce my newest workshop “Understanding + Teaching Yin Yoga” is officially open for sign ups. This 2 day event is an 8-hour workshop that will delve into the history and purpose of yin yoga, how to practice yin, asanas of yin, sequencing techniques, and understanding the energy body. It’s going to be a jam-packed weekend that will hopefully help you feel more equipped and mindful as you practice as well as teach yin yoga.

Oftentimes, our culture dwells on the yang side of the practice, but the yin side is just as valuable.


DATES: June 10-11, 2017 at Inspire Yoga: Highland Village,TX

Yoga instructors and yin yoga practitioners are welcome to attend.

DAY 1:
– History of yin yoga
– Purpose of yin yoga
– How to practice yin yoga
– Energy Body

DAY 2:
– Overview of yin yoga postures
– Class Structure & Sequencing
– Breathing techniques

Full Training | $180 / $185*
*Yoga Alliance certificate available upon request at checkout (choose the option that includes a certificate)

One Day only | $95
(Day one is recommended for practitioners looking to learn more about the practice and purpose of yin yoga)

Instructor Nancy Nelson is a Yoga Alliance registered Continuing Education Provider (YACEP) certified at the E200/500 hour level. Yoga Teachers may qualify for up to 8 hours of Yoga Alliance continuing education credits with successful completion of this course.

Yin Sequence: Relief for Shoulders, Neck, & Back

Good afternoon, yin friends!

I’m excited to share this sequence with you. As we near the last bit of winter – our bodies are really starting to feel the impact of being curled up under a blanket for the last few months. I hope that this sequence brings a sense of awakening and renewal to your shoulders, neck and back.

My Playlist


Supported Bridge Pose (5 min) – First, let’s work to release the lower/lumbar spine. Starting with knees bent on your back, begin to lift the hips and place a block under the sacrum (flat space at the base of your back. Stay with the knees bent or allow the legs to stretch toward straight. Allow the full weight of your body to release into this shape and begin to pay attention to the steadiness of your breath and the consistency of your heartbeat.

Press into the feet to remove the block. Allow your self to rest for a moment on a flat back as you settle into the new space in your lower back.

Supported Bridge Pose

Block to Middle Back (5 min) –  Moving into the middle/thoracic spine – begin to rise up to seated for a moment as you place the block just beneath your shoulder blades. The higher the block, the more intense the backbend. Feel free to bring an additional prop under the back of your head if it causes any pain to allow your head to drop back as pictured. Take care of that neck!

Block to Middle Back

Childs Pose @ Couch/Chair etc (3 min) – Situate yourself now in a childs pose position with your hands elevated to something a little higher than the shoulders. I used a couch here, but a chair would work nicely too. Allow your head to hang heavy here.

Childs Pose @ Couch

Wrist/Neck Stretch (2 min each) – Sitting back to the heels (or any comfortable seated position) begin to stretch the arms a little forward and turn the palms up, so the backs of the hands are on the floor. Spend a couple of minutes stretching out the top of the wrist. If needed, gently pulse in and out of the depth of this pose. After your time is up, flip the hands and stretch the opposite side of the wrists, with the palms facing down on the ground.

On an inhale, take the arms overhead and interlace the fingers. Place the palms to the back of the head and gently release the chin to the chest on an exhale. Breathe here and slowly turn the head side to side exploring tension in the back/sides of the neck.

Wrist/Neck Stretch

Cow Face Legs + Neck/Side Body Release – Come to seated and situate your left leg on top of the right. You can take the right leg to straight if that enables you to sit evenly on the floor. Sitting up tall, begin to take the left hand to the low back and the other hand on the top knee. Take an inhale to lengthen the neck, then on your exhale drop the right ear to the right shoulder. Hold 1 minute and then switch the arms and drop the opposite ear down for another 1 minute.

Fold forward with the left leg on top.

Neck Stretch

Switch the legs and place a block on the highest level to the right side. Drop your elbow to the block and rest your head into the right hand. Left hand can stay in your lap or stretch and rest overhead. Hold 1 minute. Switch block to the other side and stretch for 1 minute.

Fold forward with the right leg on top.

Side Body Stretch

Threaded Arm/Half Cow Face Stretch (4 min) – Come to your belly and begin to thread the left arm across the chest. You can thread the right arm in front of the left or rest the right arm at your side to add on in a moment. After the first minute, if you’d like to add on, begin to take the right hand to the low back. You can stay here or walk the hand toward the middle back and then reach your left hand over the right shoulder to connect the fingers (or use a strap). Release into the tissues that line your deltoid and outer arm in this pose.

Half Cow Face Arms Stretch

Cat Pulling Its Tail/Supine Twist (4 min) – If your right arm is bound with the left release it to the right side once more. Keeping your left arm threaded, slowly begin to roll onto your left side body and take the right arm out to the right side letting the shoulder release toward the floor. You can add on by binding the left hand with the right calf/foot and the right with the left ankle (bending the left knee). If your neck is okay with stretching further, consider taking the gaze over to the right to intensity the depth.*

Cat Pulling its Tail / Spinal Twist

*Repeat threaded arm and spinal twist on the other side.

Savasana (5-7 min) – Allow yourself to settle into a final resting pose. Wherever you land, allow every muscle and bone to hang heavy and release any last bit of tension as you take rest.