Sequence for the meridian of the Lung, Heart and Intestine. Emotionally those meridians are connected with sadness and courage as well as hate and love.
Yin is a really gentle practice which makes it ideal for beginners and a perfect equalizer for any kind of Yang (active) practice. Here you have less variety of poses but a longer duration to hold them ( at least 3 to 5 minutes). This kind of practice targets the deeper parts of the body as ligaments and tendons. Since connective tissue is not that flexible compared to muscle tissue it needs longer to get stretched. While you are in a pose, let gravity do the work instead of pushing yourself all the way to your edge! Let the breath lead your practice!
Butterfly or Laying butterfly pose. Come into a seated position, with your spine upright. Start bending your knees and bring the soles of your feet together until your legs form a diamond shape. Let your knees drop out to the side like butterfly wings while your weight shifts to the front edge of your sitting bones. With your hands in front start bending forward from your hips until you feel an appropriate amount of stretch on the outer side of your hip. Let your head rest on your feet or support it with a pillow if needed.
>> Adjustments: Elevate your hips if necessary which helps to lift your spine and the forward bend feels easier.
!! Caution: Don`t reach to far in front if you are suffering from disc displacement, sciatica or have strained your lumbar region. Choose lying butterfly pose instead. Here you are resting on your back, with your legs bent and your feet touching. I you have a weak or injured knee or hip, place a cushion underneath that area to provide it with enough assistance.
Seal pose. Slowly come on to your belly with your hands laid out in front of you and your legs hip wide apart. Your toes are relaxed and rest on the ground. With your next inhale, start engaging your back muscles while walking your hands closer towards your front body. Your arms are straight and a bit further away then your shoulders. Slightly rotate your hands towards the outside, drop your shoulders, create space between your neck and ears and keep your head in one line with your spine. Your navel is up from the floor and the weight on your hands is equally balanced.
>> Adjustments: If you are hyper flexible, micro bend your elbows a bit. If your knees start to hurt quickly when they press against the ground, place a thin blanket underneath.
!! Caution: If you experience any sharp pain in your lower back region or fell not comfortable at all in this pose, choose Sphinx instead. Here you bring your lower arms down until your navel rests on the ground. Your elbows are touching the floor and are in one line with your shoulders, your palms are together. You can move your elbows further forward so that your ribs also carry some of the weight. When you engage your inner thighs it will allow your back to maintain a very gentle arch without straining your limited range of motion.
>> Further Adjustments: If you would like to stay in Seals pose but want to have less sensation and more support, please a pillow underneath your pubic bones. You feel ashiness in your shoulders? Support your elbows on a pillow to create a softer surface. Still not comfortable? Lower your whole upper body down. Cross your arms and rest your head on top like in a belly laying Savasana.
Childs pose. Sit on your heels with your back straight. Move your hips back while your upper body moves in front until your forehead rests on your mat. Let your shoulders drop to the ground and let your hands rest beside your body.
>> Adjustments: f you can’t fully sit on your heels, place a cushion between your butt and feet. If the top of your feet are starting to hurt place a towel between your feet and the floor. Your head can either rest on the ground, on your folded hands or on a any prop of your choice. Do whatever feels comfortable for you!
Quarter dog pose. From child’s pose come forward into table top. Bend your left arm, bring it to the floor and rest your head on top while extending your right arm straight in front of you. Keep your hips square and back in one line with your knees hip wide apart. Allow your back to arch and your belly to soften while your underarms drop towards the ground.
>> Adjustments: If you suffer from sensitivity in your shoulders, place a cushion underneath your head.
Full forward bend. Start bending forward from your hips and allowing your spine to curve. Find your appropriate edge and rest your head either on your legs, on your hands or on a pillow stacked on top of your legs. Choose your variation!
>> Adjustments: Place a blanket underneath your sitting bones which helps to elevate your spine. If you hamstrings feel tight and its hard to straighten your knees, protect them while putting something underneath. Remember the contraindications in forward bends (see Butterfly pose!)
Corpse pose. More known under Savasana and definitely everyones favorite! As you lie on your back, drop your shoulder blades while your legs rest in front of you. Have your hands either on your abdomen or besides your body with your palms open. Move your head gently from side to side and evenly balance the weight on your whole body. Imagine you are creating more and more space every time you inhale while you let yourself sink into the floor on each exhale. Stay there for about 5- 10 minutes.
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