Within our yin yoga practice we can practice sequences of poses that directly target a specific area of the body. While each pose affects many areas of the body at the same time, we can combine the poses in a sequence to emphasize a specific action.
Yin Yoga for the Back
This yin yoga sequence works with the four main movements of the spine. The spine is designed to move into flexion (forward bending), extension (back bending), lateral extension (side bending) and rotation (twisting).
The spinal column is made up of gently curving stacked bony vertebrae. Between each of the vertebra are discs made up of a fibrous outer layer and a jelly like centre. These disks hold the vertebrae together and help the spine absorb shock. The spines naturally curved shape, and the shock absorbing qualities of the discs, provide buoyancy to our body and our movements.
The spine is the midline of the body and its meant to move. Movement encourages circulation and ensures hydration in the discs. Without movement, the spine and surrounding tissue can start to break down, weaken, or become fixated.
In yin yoga, we enter a posture until we feel some pressure on the area of the body we’re targeting. We hold the posture in a mostly passive way in order to strengthen and hydrate the tissue over time. When we release the pose, the body responds by re-energizing the area with blood, fluid, and Prana/Qi.
When working with movements in the spine it’s especially important you pay attention to sensation. Anything that feels electrical, or a sensation that shoots out or radiates, is usually a sign that you need to come out of the pose and find a different variation appropriate for your body.
Yin Yoga Sequence for the Back:
** Hold poses between 3-5 min. depending on your ability
Dragonfly Pose (full forward fold, then side bend, then dragonfly forward fold with twist both sides)
Reclined Twist, then hug knees into chest
I hope you enjoy the sequence! Let me know in the comments if you tried it out and what you discovered :)