Yin Yoga Practice Video : Wall Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga Practice Video : Wall Yin Yoga

Using the wall is a great way to support the body if you’re feeling fatigued, or if you’re looking for a very gentle practice. Using the wall is also helpful if you or your students have some physical barriers that limit mobility in seated yin yoga poses.

Parts of this practice could be considered more “restorative” due to the very supported nature of the poses. But if you’re feeling a “stretch”, or feeling gentle pressure in the body, that means you’re still activating the connective tissues which is a central tenant in the yin yoga style of practice.

In any case, you can use this practice to slow down and calm the nervous system, or to support tired legs and feet. Check out the video to practice along:

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Yoga Posture Basics :: Legs up the Wall / Viparita Karani

Yoga Posture Basics :: Legs up the Wall / Viparita Karani

Viparita Karani or "legs up the wall" can be used in an active yoga practice, in a yin yoga or restorative yoga practice. It's a deeply nourishing pose that is very revitalizing for the lower body. It's also very calming for the nervous system.

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Yin Yoga Sphinx Pose and Yin Yoga Seal Pose with modifications

Yin Yoga Sphinx Pose and Yin Yoga Seal Pose with modifications

Sphinx pose is a backbend that helps to open the front of the body and compresses the lower spine, sacrum, and the region of the kidneys and the adrenal glands. It also activates the Kidney meridian, and the ligaments along the spine. This is a particularly important due to its connection with the reserve of Qi held in this area.

Seal pose is a deeper back bend and may not be available for everyone. Take your time. This posture not only pressurizes the spine and kidney meridian it also opens up the upper chest, strengthens the arm bones, and provides a stretch into the front of the body which is where the Spleen and Stomach meridian run. This variation is also safe to practice while pregnant.

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Yin Yoga Half Butterfly and Yin Yoga Half Dragonfly with Modifications

Yin Yoga Half Butterfly  and Yin Yoga Half Dragonfly with Modifications

Half butterfly pose and half dragonfly are forward folds with one leg bent and the sole of the foot placed along the inner thigh of the opposite extended leg. The names of these poses are oftentimes used interchangeably so I included them together for today’s video.

Both of these forward folds help to open the back, hips, and inner leg which correlates with the Kidney, Liver, Gall Bladder and Urinary Bladder meridians. 

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Yoga Posture Basics :: Childs Pose / Balasana with modifications

Yoga Posture Basics :: Childs Pose / Balasana with modifications

Child's pose, like all forward folds, is a very cooling and calming posture. It can calm the mind, relieve stress, stretch the spine, open the lower back and sacrum, and help to compress the lower digestive system. 

Childs pose targets the Spleen, Kidney and Urinary Bladder meridians as well as the Liver meridian if the knees are wide and the Stomach meridian if there is pressure on the thighs and low belly.

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Strengthen Your Core

Strengthen Your Core

Over the last couple of months I've been exploring Thomas Myer's book Anatomy Trains, and the teachings of Tias Little, in a series of posts related to the "myo-fascial" lines, planes, or sheaths of the body.

These planes are a wonderful way to understand how movement, including asana (yoga postures), affect the physical structure of the body. In addition, the planes provide a helpful map in understanding how to use body mechanics and movement, therapeutically, to address specific imbalances.  

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Building Intelligence and Strength in the Feet and Legs for Stability and Grounding

Building Intelligence and Strength in the Feet and Legs for Stability and Grounding

The feet are the foundation of the body. The 33 joints and the 26 bones in the foot are constantly moving and making small articulations based on the forces the body is bearing. Ultimately any incongruence in our posture or alignment (day to day and in our asana practice) will show up in the feet. The opposite is also true; as we re-align and strengthen the feet and legs greater postural integrity will enter the whole body affecting seemingly unrelated issues. 

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The most important thing to use during your yoga practice

The most important thing to use during your yoga practice

Connections between how we feel and the state of our breath have been demonstrated for thousands of years within yogic teachings and the ancient medical systems of Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine. Today there are endless western medical studies that further prove the positive effects of smooth and unrestricted breathing on physical and psychological health.  Breathing affects respiratory, immune, nervous, and hormonal systems. It alters digestion, moods, energy levels, and sleep. It can cause us to explode in reactive behavior or help us remain calm and centered under pressure.

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