Yin yoga square pose helps to open the hips through external rotation. If folding forward it also creates flexion in the spine.
Yin yoga square pose activates the Liver and Gallbladder meridians and if you fold forward the Kidney and Urinary Bladder meridians are targeted.
Begin by sitting on your mat and cross one shin on top of the other. Draw your feet out so that they are stacked on top of your knees. You may need to place padding under your hips so that you create a forward tilt in the pelvis (anterior tilt). From this position, you can fold forward or stay upright.
If folding forward, you can round the spine keeping openness in the diaphragm or keep the spine long. You can also support the head with a block, your hands, or a bolster.
Yin Yoga Square Pose modifications and variations
Remember to modify the pose to suit your body and be careful you don't put too much pressure on the knees. If one knee or leg is lifted, place a folded blanket under the knee.
If you find it difficult to sit upright, use height under your hips such as a blanket or bolster.
A few more accessible variations to consider are seated "sukhasana" (crossing one shin in front of the other and folding forward), sukhasana laying on your back, or eye of the needle pose.
Some yogis will find they prefer to practice yin yoga shoelace pose.
If you have knee or low back issues you may want to stay seated upright instead of folding forward.
To release, slowly use your hands to guide your legs out in front of you and rest back on your hands. You can also take a counter movement by gentling twisting or doing "windshield wipers".