Updated: Jan 15
If you don't know about Yin Yoga yet, then it's time you learn about one of the best ways to build more intentional body awareness within yourself.
Yin yoga has 3 principles:
- Come into the pose at an appropriate depth
- Resolve to remain still
- Hold the pose for time
Through those 3 principles, you can cultivate an intention of understanding your body on a deeper level. The way to do this by asking yourself some important questions as you practice:
- Where is my edge?
- What does it feel like to stay there and breathe?
- Where do I feel this pose?
- What do the sensations feel like?
- How does my breath affect those sensations?
- What feels out of balance?
- What feels amazing?
- What can I let go of?
- What can I invite in?
The beauty of the three principles of Yin Yoga is that they open up so many places of inquiry during the entire experience. That cultivates a greater understanding of yourself in the process. Physically AND mentally.
Do some BADASS YIN with me this week and get some much needed love into your body. Yin targets the areas mainly between the navel and knees, although the intention of the practice can be applied to the entire body.
TWISTED DRAGON is one of my favourite ways to work into the hips and spine and a great way to add a bit of a challenge to a Yin Yoga practice.
Get yourself familiarized with TWISTED DRAGON and then practice with me to the BADASS YIN: TWIST SEQUENCE either Live this Thursday or on demand in the FREE VIDEO LIBRARY after the class airs live.
BADASS YOGA is live every Thursday at 8pm ET on Zoom for 15 minutes!
ASANA LAB: DRAGONS - TWISTED DRAGON
Deep hip and groin opener that gets right into the joint
Stretches the back leg’s hip flexors and quadriceps
Many variations to help work deeply into hip socket
Can help with sciatica
Can be uncomfortable for the kneecap or ankle. If you are stiff, the back thigh will be at a 90 degree angle to the front thigh, putting a lot of weight on the kneecap. Support the back knee with a blanket, or place a bolster under the shin, allowing the back knee to be off the floor
Getting Into the Pose:
Begin either on hands and knees or in Down Dog
Step one foot between the hands. Walk the front foot forward until the knee is right above the heel
Slide the back knee backward as far as you can
Keep the hands on either side of the front foot
Alternatives & Options:
If the back knee is uncomfortable, place a blanket under it, rest the shin on a bolster, or tuck the toes under and lift the leg off the floor
If the ankle is uncomfortable, place a blanket underneath or raise the knee by putting a bolster under the shin
Press top of foot down firmly, emphasizing the little toe
The first alternative pose is a simple low lunge called Baby Dragon. If you like, you can rest your hands on blocks
The next option is to rest the arms or hands on the front thigh and lift the chest, increasing the weight over the hips. This is called Dragon Flying High
A deeper option, Dragon Flying Low, is to place both hands inside the front foot and walk hands forward, lowering the hips. For more depth, come down on the elbows or rest them on a bolster or block
In Twisted Dragon, one hand pushes the front knee to the side, while the chest rotates to the sky
In Winged Dragon, with hands on the floor, wing out the knee a few times, rolling onto the outside edge of that foot and then stay there with the knee low. You could come down on the elbows or rest them on a block or bolster
Overstepping Dragon exercises the ankle. From Baby Dragon, allow the front knee to come far forward and/or slide the heel backward, until the heel is just about to lift off the ground
Dragon Splits offers the deepest stretch for hip flexors. Straighten both legs into the splits. Support the front hip with a bolster under the buttock for balance and to release weight; this relaxes the muscles. Sit up tall or fold forward for different sensations
For Fire-Breathing Dragon, in any of the above variations, tuck the back toe under and lift the knee up, lengthening the leg. This puts more weight into the hips, increasing the stretch
Coming Out of the Pose:
Move your paws to Down Dog position, move the back knee forward a bit, tuck the back toes under, and with a nice groan, step back to Down Dog
A short Down Dog is delicious. Bend one knee, lifting that heel and pushing the opposite heel down, and then switch sides repeatedly
Child’s Pose feels really good after Down Dog and before switching to the other side of the Dragon
Meridians & Organs Affected:
Stomach, Spleen, Liver, Gall Bladder, and Kidneys (and even the Urinary Bladder in the Dragon Flying High or the Dragon Splits High)
Hips and ankles
Lower back in the backbend options
Recommended Hold Times:
Hold each variation for one minute and cycle through all of them
Hold just one variation for three to five minutes
Similar Yang Asanas:
Low lunge (Anjaneyasana)
You may not feel anything in the outer hip joint. If your hip flexors or quadriceps are tight, that area will take all the stress. This is still a good pose, but to work your hips, other poses will be needed
BADASS YIN: TWIST SEQUENCE
Practice this sequence with me LIVE on Thursday January 13th at 8pm ET
Butterfly - 3 minutes
Seated Butterfly Twist right side - 1 minute
Seated Butterfly Twist left side - 1 minute
Twisted Dragon right side - 2 minutes
Twisted Dragon left side - 2 minutes
Wide Knee Child's Pose - 1 minute
Check out my FREE VIDEO LIBRARY for more BADASS Yin Yoga classes!
BADASS YOGA is live every Thursday at 8pm ET on Zoom and uploaded to my website video library afterward!