A gentle and relaxing yin yoga practice for beginners or anyone looking to calm the nervous system. No props are needed in this sequence which includes a …
Hi, this is Devi and welcome to today's yin yoga practice where we'll do a series of wall postures to begin and
Then some nice easy forward bending and then a little exploration of cattail pose or a modified cat tail pose
This is a really gentle practice for anyone who wants to bring some calm to the nervous system some
Relaxation a good choice for beginners as well
So we will get started and legs up the wall pose and no props are needed for today's practice. See you there in a second
And go ahead and spread the arms out in a T
And notice how your breath is
Feeling the breath expand and deflate in the belly in the ribs
In the lower back
If the stretch in the legs here is intense if you're
More limited in your range of motion here
You might feel a lot of intensity
Then I'll encourage you to scoot away from the wall a bit so that you don't have so much intensity
So you can just soften here
And let the muscles of your face be soft and relaxed
And release any tension in your hands
Relax the jaw and the tongue
And feel the soles of your feet relaxing the soles of the feet
Feel the backs of your legs and maybe a gentle stretch back there in the backs of the legs
And notice what you feel in the lower back which might also be experiencing some stretching here
And from the lower back feeling up to the middle back
And the upper back
And up into the neck
And now taking the next deep breath right into the heart center
Expanding into the chest expanding into the heart and the shoulders and the whole upper torso
and as you exhale from the heart feel the energy expand out the
Arms out all the way to the hands and the fingers and spread them out
So get a little bit of energy here spreading out through the hands
You can lift your hands off the ground a couple inches, and now also flex the feet
So you're pressing up through the soles of your feet to the ceiling?
And everything is reaching spreading out
Inhale here
And as you exhale bend your knees and hug them into your chest or just use the wall or the furniture. Whatever you're against here
to feel the back of your
torso lengthen
Keep on breathing into the back body
All right, so from here
Come into your choice of a groin stretching pose at the wall
three choices are
number one butterfly
And you'll notice for me the feet open up for most people the feet open up to some degree and please let that happen
If you need to to get the groin stretch here, so don't press the soles together if it takes the groin stretch away
Choice number two is frog at the wall
With the soles of the feet on the wall and the position of the feet can vary greatly
Some people will be up here. Some people's toes will point out. Some people will be way out here
Some people like to have the legs somewhat straight not not really at these like right angles
totally up to you toes can angle outward or upwards or anywhere in between
and for
a lot of people scooting
Scooting away from the wall helps a lot
With getting the right stretch again the inner thigh inner groin
So the third choice is dragonfly
You can be all the way up to the wall
Which is more common, but some people like to have distance from the wall. So three minutes
and dragonfly or something between dragonfly and frog
Could be your option
The arms can be wherever they feel right they could rest on the ground out in a t or up over your head
or if the
extra weight of the hands and
Arms inside of the legs helps you go ahead and use it there if it feels good
And you might still be shimmying around like I am just to get just the right distance from the wall and that's important it's
Something you should take the time to do so that you get
Just the right angles for your body
Notice the rhythm of your breath
And that's three minutes so carefully
Slowly bring your legs back in
Knees bending
And the knees coming in toward the chest once again
And now this time real slow lift your head up toward your knees
And then bring the head back down to the ground
Taking some windshield wipers at the wall
So your feet will come to shoulder width or a little wider
You can play around with the exact distance as you spread your arms out
And then just let the knees come within your range of motion one side to the other
And if you want to scoot farther away from the wall to make this more doable, please do your body will tell you
A few more times start to turn the head the opposite way of your knees knees go to the right head left
and then knees left, head right
Good bring it back to the center now and
figure four pose at the wall
So find the distance from the wall that feels best to you
some people like to be very close to the wall, which
Brings your knees into more flexion brings your hips into more flexion
Some people like to be a little farther myself included to where the knees might be
At more of a 90 degree angle against the wall
Or anywhere in between and we're going to have the right ankle over the left knee to begin
Minutes on each side for this luscious figure four at the wall pose
As always you can play around with the angles crossing the knees closer to each other or farther away
The foot on the wall doesn't have to protrude straight out from the wall, it could be at some kind of angle or higher up
Your target area the stretch you're trying to feel with all these choices with all these angles is the buttocks on the right side
the right glutes
Staying connected to your body and to what you're feeling in your body
Where is the sensation?
And it might be more than just the glutes there might be some lower back sensation there might be some inner thigh sensation
and of course the
sensation of just being here having a foot on the wall or the furniture and
Having the back of your body resting on this earth
The clothes against your skin
The air touching the parts of the skin that are exposed
And that's three minutes slowly
Change to the other side take your time with the transition notice what you feel along the way
And three minutes beginning now second side
Bringing full awareness to your physical experience
What's stretching what's touching the ground?
How does the breath feel as it enters and exits this body
Release the poles
And roll slowly onto one side and pause on that side curled up into a ball
Rest here
And feel your breath
And feel into your body after doing the sequence of wall postures
Slowly come up with a rounded spine and climb into child's pose
Which might feel very nice after having the legs up the wall for a while
Feel free to put fists under your forehead or a block under your forehead
If that makes it more comfortable
You can feel your breath here and child's pose feel the breath spreading into the back
from shoulder to shoulder
from hip to hip
Into the sides and back of the ribs
Good and now coming up to elbows and knees
And you could
Do what we're going to do on hands and knees but there are enough of us
with wrist stuff going on these days and
i'm, one of them I just
Always like to drop onto my elbows for these kinds of things
To circle the spine is what we're going to do. So the
Shoulders and hips go to the right and then they come back toward the heels
And they both go over to the left and forward and so keep on circling in this one direction
and you could turn the head toward the direction you're
or away or just experiment with having some
mobility in the head here and some
mobility in the spine
So that rather than a stiff spine moving around it's a fluid spine that arcs and curves out to one side
And then arcs and curves back to the other side. We're going to go in this direction one more time
And then once you get to the front change the direction of your circles
Hands can be like mine clasped or palms down or whatever you like
Circling nice and slow getting this lateral stretching of the spine
From the tailbone all the way up to the neck
One more circle in this direction
And come back to a neutral spine and now wagging the tail slow wag to the right and to the left
And now back to the right and turn the right ear toward the tail you're wagging and then the other side
So you're tilting the head you're creating a c curve of the spine?
a banana shape side to side left
And right
And you can experiment here with if it's more of a looking over the shoulder at your tail. Maybe that feels good on your neck
Or if it's more of a tilt where it's like the ear
And the nose continues to point toward the ground side to side two more times on each side like this
Great and bringing it back to the center
And now come to a sitting position
For modified cattail pose or for some cattail cattail pose. So the right leg
Is bent under you and the left leg?
comes forward so the left knee dips toward the earth and see
About if you bring your right hand on the ground, can you?
grab a hold of this
Left foot and once you're here, it starts to get confusing right and left but the leg that's on the bottom
That's the foot you want to try and grab behind you
and this might be
Enough sensation for you as we go for this stretch of the quads the front of the thigh on the right leg
and if this is too much for you, if the foot
And hand do not want to meet each other then
a strap
A belt whatever you've got around the foot to help that to happen
Some of you will enjoy this more coming down onto an elbow
And some of you will enjoy it more lying all the way on the ground
And from here you can begin to in this knee if you want more sensation, so if you have enough sensation stay where you are
with your body propped on the elbow if you need to or whatever works or you can move it toward a
twist, if you want more sensation by tucking this right shoulder under
Keeping the left shoulder moving back toward the ground
And now this foot that's behind me
being held in my hand or
in a strap
can start to
Come farther back
Which I don't want to do so much with a kicking motion because I want to keep my muscles relaxed in a yin way
So i'm going to do it instead with this sort of shimmy of my hip
Coming back. I actually have to point my belly toward the
Ground for a moment just to get that leg farther back where I want it
And now you might have your knee or foot or both
Suspended in the air like mine
You might want to put a pillow or two under them if that's uncomfortable for you
or if you know if you just feel like you're teetering between which is
What happens to me? You can't get both the shoulder and the knee down?
It's okay, if they're not on if they're not touching the floor
But if you just feel like it would feel better to have support then use your pillows
As you wish and we're already into our three minutes here
for some version of cattail pose
Support under the head can make quite the difference here
As well a pillow or a block
if you're going for that twist, sometimes the body can be and
Mostly doing the pose, but the head can be hanging out in space
in an uncomfortable way
So the prop can be under the head under the knee or under the foot or both
Or if you're lucky enough to be near a bed or a sofa this foot or knee can be supported on the furniture
Or the wall for that matter
So the first phase of the pose
On the side is for the quads and then if you open it back
into the twist then
your second
Additional target area is the spine. So there's two
Two things going on here
Stay connected to your breath
Slowly releasing come back to the center and pause at the center
on your back
with your knees resting against each other and your feet
Wider than your hips. So if you're on a mat, maybe as wide as your mat
Spread your arms out
And feel into the spine feel into the quads on the right side
Feel the movement of energy inside as a result of that posture
And moving it on to the second side
so you might stay on your back and flip the right knee over to come into that cat tail or if you're doing the
More upright position and not getting into the twist so much then start here
Leaning on your left hand with your right knee on the ground in front of your left
So this is where folks can get confused. It's not like this. It's this way
So your bottom leg your left leg is the one you want to be holding right hand to left foot
And you might be here
You might have the strap around the foot
Which i'll show you in case you couldn't see it very well on the other side. It just looks something like that
You might be down on the elbow
Or resting on your side like so a pillow under the head or this arm under the head
And finally maybe coming into the twist in some sort of a fashion
I will show you my preferred fully propped version which is
Pillow under the head and one under the knee and one under the foot
So I called it a dual purpose pose
To stretch the front of the thigh and to twist the spine, but there's actually a third purpose
As well, which is a backbend. So this is a back bending
And it's an interesting energy in this pose it's not the most like
Drop in deep to relaxation
kind of thing to be in a
back bending twist right and that that can be
said of many back bends
It's a little more of a open aware energy and even a little bit of cautious energy in back bends
which can be due to the sensation of compression versus the sensation of
tension where
Working with bones and joints more directly than we are
with uh with our forward bends
So what's going on with your energy whatever it is in this pose be present with it
And know that when we get to the rebound after the pose there might be quite a rush of
Relaxation that moves into the space you create
Good slowly come out onto your back and now for a one minute rebound
Any comfortable position on your back?
sprawl out if you like keep the knees bent if you like close the eyes and
Let the body be still as you feel
Completely and deeply into what's happening
Inside as a result of the posture
The front of the thigh the front of the hip
the spine after twisting side to side
in a back bending twist
And slowly bring the knees into the chest, please
Hug the arms around the legs gently rock side to side
And roll over to your right side, please come into a sitting position
for half butterfly pose with your right leg forward
left leg
Bent so we're stretching now into the hamstrings
this pose this is the
Typical way to do it with the knee bent like this, but i'll show you on the other side some people
really enjoy this pose a lot better with the leg turned this way or even crossed over like this in the
Half shoelace position it's called so it's for this leg for the hamstrings. The one that's extended choose your
weapon, so to speak choose your favorite pose
and come forward if you haven't tried those other variations today, I will encourage you to
Try them out this one. It presses the thigh down in a way that can be a more satisfying
hamstring stretch for some people
And this one?
Tilts the pelvis in a way that also can be a more satisfying hamstring stretch
And i've been i've been playing around with this one myself more lately, and I didn't used to like it
Or think it did much for me but partly it's because I don't actually go very far I feel kind of stuck
Because i'm used to coming a certain amount down to my leg which satisfies my
Ego I guess my yogi ego and I had to realize i'm not actually stuck in my bones
I feel quite a good hamstring stretch here
And um, it's just that
I have to get used to mentally not coming as close to the leg as i'm used to so i've been working with this one
And I can also get a more satisfying experience here on some days
with a pillow
Under the thigh
I mean under the hips
So this variation is called the half shoelace
Something that can happen for some people in this variation
Is that the knee starts to bend backward too much the knee of your straight leg?
So something under that a rolled piece of clothing or a rolled towel or blanket can help or just another pillow?
And slowly come up release the pose change sides
And again, i'm just demonstrating it using this variation today, but when I say we're stretching into the hamstrings it's up to you
This variation called half frog this variation called half butterfly
Or this one called have shoelace any of them are all fair game, and it's not about achieving this and some of you
Your knees your hips are never going to do this because of your bones
a lot of people have that in their hips and
So if that's you don't force it, especially if you're not getting that hamstring stretch
However, if you happen to do something that maybe looks like this the knee is in the air
And you come forward and it's like feels good and you're getting the hamstring stretch then then do it
It doesn't it's not about this knee. It's not about what this leg is doing. It's about what you're feeling in this leg
And slowly releasing the pose coming onto your back now
Resting on the back
Making your way into a final relaxation
Position so any comforts that you would like to have a bolster under the knees
a blanket on top of you
Extra clothes
Something soft under your head
And spread yourself out taking up as much room as you'd like
So that the energy can flow through your hips and your shoulders and your spine
And for one more minute continue to rest in stillness
With the breath
as it moves inside, so the stillness is
contrasted by this expansion and deflation
of the breath of all of the parts of the body involved in
inhaling and exhaling
And following that process following each inhale and each exhale
And all the parts of the body that move with the inhale and the exhale following with your mind the movement of your ribs
Your diaphragm at the base of your ribs
The belly as it expands to make space for the diaphragm
The way the spine moves with each inhale and each exhale
And the breath might be quite refined quite subtle
This is not about deep breathing as much as bringing your full attention to the breath as it is
in this relaxed
Calm state at the close of your yin practice
And now taking a deeper breath into your belly and into your heart
And as you exhale
Gently expand out into your fingers and your toes stretch out into your arms and legs
Maybe the arms up over the head and a big
yawning kind of inhale
and exhale
Go ahead and bend the knees and roll over to one side
And pressing up and make your way into a comfortable seat support yourself how you'd like to
And take a few moments
to find an upright spine and to sit
In a position where you can feel the energy that's happening inside of your body
After this practice
Notice the space inside
Notice what's happening everywhere between the tailbone and the crown of the head
And now take your hands to your belly
Enchanting alm three times from the belly and then the heart and then the third eye so first from the belly
You can open your eyes to watch this gesture that i'm going to make which is just opening as we own
And closing for the last part of the home. So here we go
And now the heart so palms together in front of the heart
Same thing opening out. So we inhale first
And now the third eye so lift the hands up inhale oh
And that's our practice namaste
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Yoga video. I hope this practice has left you feeling more calm and more spacious
If you have any questions or comments for me, please leave them in the comments below. Thank you so much. I'll see you next time

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