Springtime Yin pt. 2

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Springtime Yin is back with a second installment. You can do this sequence as a stand alone or add it on to our sequence from last month which you should also check out if you're new to Yin, as it gives you a brief overview of Yin principles and how to practice it.

Like last month, this sequence also works into the liver and gallbladder meridian lines (again you can find out more about these here)

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1. Butterfly

Meridians targeted

  • Gall Bladder on the outside of the leg
  • Urinary Bladder in the lower back (lines running alongside the spine)
  • Kidney and Liver if a stretch is felt in the inner thighs

Physical Focus

  • Stretches the lower back, inner thighs and groin
  • Good for the kidneys and prostrate
  • Can help to regulate periods
  • Joints: Hips and Lower Spine

Hold for

3-5 mins

Make it work for you

  • Try a folded blanket or two under the sit bones if the hips or lower back are particularly tight or if you suffer from sciatica (this is to encourage the hips to rotate forwards rather than back)
  • Sometimes it’s nice to have bricks under the knees or thighs to offer a little bit of support for the legs. Experiment with different heights and positions.
  • If you have neck injury or if the posture hurts your neck then don’t drop the head. You could stand a bolster on its end and rest the forehead on it to support the head and neck
  • If this causes pain in the lower back then don’t round the spine, and let the focus just be on the hips and legs.

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2. Sleeping Swan

Meridians targeted

  • Liver and Kidney in the inner groin
  • Gall Bladder line on outer part of the front leg

Physical Focus

  • Strong stretch for the hips
  • Stretch for the quads and hip flexor of the back leg

Hold for

3-5 mins on each side

Make it work for you

  • Keep the front foot flexed to protect the front knee
  • Support the chest with a bolster (lengthwise) if the floor feels really far away!
  • If you are very flexible then you may need to pull the front foot forward a little bit and widen the bent knee to the side.

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3. Square

Meridians targeted

  • Gall Bladder on outer leg
  • Liver and Kidney in inner groin
  • Urinary Bladder if folding forwards

Physical Focus

  • Strong stretch for the hips
  • Stretch for the lower back

Hold for

3-5 mins

Make it work for you

  • If stacking the ankle on top of the knee is too intense then try just with the legs crossed- but with the knees narrower than normal and the feet a bit further away than normal
  • Experiment with folding forwards to intensify the stress in the hips.
  • If the knees hurt- back off!

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4. Bananasana

Meridians targeted

  •  Gall Bladder along the side of the body
  • Heart and Lung along the inner arm

Physical Focus

  • Delicious side stretch
  • Lateral Flexion of of the spine
  • Stretches the obliques and intercostal muscles

Hold for

 3-5mins on each side

Make it work for you

  • If you get tingling in the arms then you may want to put a prop under the arm or bring the arms down by the sides
  • If the lower back is sensitive- don’t go too deep in the pose

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5. Reclined Twist

Meridians targeted

  • Urinary Bladder along the spine
  • Gall Bladder through the rib cage

Physical Focus

  • Nurtures the shoulder and upper spinal joints
  • Massages the internal organs
  • Stretches the belly and the back

Hold for

3-5 mins on each side

Make it work for you

  • You don’t have to hold the bottom foot, you can keep the leg extended if that’s better
  • You could use a prop under your top knee if the floor feels far away

Tips for all postures

  • We are looking for sensation- not pain. If you feel pain at any point then please come out of the pose and either try again with props to alleviate the pain, or if the pain persists then skip the pose altogether
  • Soften what doesn’t need to be engaged- including the jaw and face
  • Keep the mind focused on the breath
  • Try not to fidget unnecessarily and marinate in the stillness.
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Join Jasmine for a weekend of Hatha and Yin Yoga in Nature. Dorset, June 22nd-24th 2018 from £265. Book this week with a friend and get 10% off each.

Jasmine Pradhan is the editor and co-founder of Balance Garden, and is also a London based yoga teacher you can find her on instagram @stretchandthecity or on her website www.stretchandthecity.co.uk