By Kimaya Singh
Yin Yoga poses are a practice that employ more restorative versions of traditional asanas. The focus of Yin Yoga has classically been to prepare a Yogi or Yogini for meditation. Because of this emphasis on the flexibility of the joints and surrounding connective tissues, Yin Yoga poses are a great way to release deeply-held patterns of tension, anxiety and unremitting sadness.
Often a feeling a sadness is accompanied by tension in the heart, throat and shoulder areas of the body. Yin Yoga poses that open up these areas help to increase the flow of chi into the Heart Chakra area by releasing muscular contraction and increasing the circulation of prana or life-force energy. The increase of prana in the Anahata Chakra will relieve sadness and uplift the Yoga practitioner’s spirit.
Practicing Reclining Twist will help to stimulate the digestive organs, relieve sciatica and open up the throat, shoulder and chest areas. To practice the Reclining Twist, lie on your Yoga mat. Start by bringing both of your knees to your chest for a little warm-up stretch. Hold for ten seconds.
As you exhale, cross one knee over the other and perpendicular to the end of your Yoga mat. Place the opposite hand on the top knee and gently increase the pressure until you feel a nice stretch. Stay in this position for five to ten breaths. To come out of the pose, slowly place your bent leg back down on the mat with your next exhale. Extend both legs straight out on your mat. Repeat on the other side.
Supported Goddess Pose or Supta Baddha Konasana with a Bolster
This is a very relaxing and deeply-opening Yin Yoga asana that opens up both the heart and pelvic areas. By releasing tension in both of these areas, you will be invited to let go of painful emotional experiences and memories that are no longer serving you as your body relaxes. To practice Supported Goddess Pose you will need a Yoga bolster or a couple of thick blankets to roll up in order to approximate the size and shape of a Yoga Bolster.
Place the bolster length-wise on your Yoga mat and drape your torso over it so that the bolster supports your entire head, neck and back. Place the soles of your feet together by forming a triangular shape with your legs. Let your arms rest comfortably by your sides with your palms facing up. Breath deeply and rest in Supported Goddess Pose for five to ten minutes. To come out of the asana, roll off the bolster to your right and gently push yourself up to sitting.
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