Express yin yoga for lower body

You know that dull achy feeling in your hips at the end of a long work day? I know that feeling all too well.

The impact or repercussions from driving for long hours, or sitting at a work desk can be harmful to our overall wellbeing. These are unfortunately some of the downsides to our modern lives. The upside though, is that this can be easily managed with just discipline and commitment to incorporating daily movements in our lives. 

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This short practice is only 25 minutes in duration and is tailored to get into the common complaint areas caused from our (unfortunately) modern lifestyles. Our hips do not lie when they get tight – they need to move!

You can also use this practice to also cultivate a practice of time-out for ourselves. 

It is a time to go inwards – within – and taking this time to start nourishing ourselves.

I personally like to include a rebound pose after every pose. There is no right or wrong time to include a rebound however if you choose to include a rebound pose after each yin yoga pose, feel free to choose from a child’s pose, lying on your back or belly, sitting comfortably cross-legged or kneeling on the mat.

Butterfly pose - Yin Yoga in Adelaide

Butterfly pose

Target area: Groin, hip flexors
Length of pose: 5 minutes

With bent knees bring both feet together touching. Clasp your hands around the soles of your feet. Think of forming a long diamond-shape with your legs. Holding onto your feet, lean forward into a forward bend.

Support your head and neck by using a block or bolster (as shown in the picture). You can also use blocks beneath your thighs or knees for ease and support for your hips.

Upright dragon pose - Yin Yoga in Adelaide

Upright dragon pose

Target area: Hip flexor, ankle, lower back
Length of pose: 4 minutes each side (8 minutes in total)

From kneeling or a downward dog position, step your right foot forward into a runner’s lunge. You may need to slowly inch your foot forward until the right knee is above the heel. Slide or shimmy the back knee backward as far as you can. You can rest your hands on your right thigh. Place a towel or blanket under your left kneecap to reduce the pressure on the knee.

Upright dragon can be a strong pose, depending on how open your hips, hip flexors, and quadriceps are. Go slow, respect and honour yourself by meeting your edge where it is. Resist the temptation to push yourself into the pose. Rest your forearms on the ground in-between your legs for a deeper variation.

Shoelace pose - Yin Yoga in Adelaide

Shoelace

Target area: Glutes, hips
Length of pose: 3 minutes each side (6 minutes in total)

Begin from a tabletop position. Place one knee behind the other, and walk your hands backwards towards your body until you sit back between your heels. Try not to sit on your feet so slide them as far forward as you are able to. Anchor your sitting bones to the ground. If you experience knee issues, you can do this pose lying down on your back, then crossing one knee over the other, with your hands holding onto your shins or ankles.

Shoelace pose can be confronting for some (me!) so remember to go slow and breathe deeply. If your hips are tight, sitting on a folded blanket to tilt hips forward can support the accessibility of the pose.

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