Yin Yoga › Andrea Kwiatkowski
Yin yoga is a floor-based yoga practice in which poses are held passively for a length of time, often a few minutes. Holding poses for a longer period of time works into the connective tissues (ligaments, joints, bones and fascia) rather than the muscles, it can also help prepare the body to sit for periods of time in meditation. Energetically, it taps into our ‘chi’ and helps improve the flow of energy round the body. The practice of yin yoga gives you space to turn inwards and tune the mind and body to physical sensations, often playing with your ‘edge’ and dropping deeper into your practice. We also recommend you try out some energising and dynamic practises to strengthen the body, perhaps Vinyasa, or even Pilates or Barre for a well-rounded daily practise.
Yin Yoga: Quickly Find Calm
The practice of tuning in to go outwards in the world is crucial to the practice of yoga. This very simple Yin yoga class helps you to move inward to then move outward into the world with clarity and calm. You do not need lots of time or effort to go inwards in order to feel the effect in a potent way. You will need a block and a blanket.
Yin Yoga to Breathe Easy
This simple Yin yoga class features breath work (pranayama) and poses to target the lung meridian to relax the body, mind and breath. The lung meridian, when out of balance, may result in headaches, colds and asthma and when in balance brings us to a place of acceptance. This class also includes a beautiful sun and moon visualisation throughout; Buddha taught to trust the sun, the moon and the truth. You will need blocks, a blanket and a strap.
Yin for Ankles, Knees and Hips
The perfect yin yoga class for those of us who spend a lot of time in shoes, standing up or sitting at a desk. It is equally great after a long day's hiking! Use this class to regain mobility in your feet and ankles and nourish your knees and hips. Yin yoga involves long holding of the poses; stay so long as you are comfortable but, as ever, if you feel any discomfort, do come out of the pose. You will need a block.
Fire Log Pose Tutorial
A short tutorial to help you find the Fire Log pose - Agni Stambhasana - a Yin yoga pose. Often folks struggle with their hips and knees, and it is easy to injure the knees if this pose is not done correctly, so it's worth taking time to get to know how to practice safely. Andrea also discusses modifications of this asana to make things really simple. You will need a block and a blanket.
Start Your Day The Yin Way
We often associate Yin Yoga with the afternoon or evenings, but it’s also a wonderful practice to start the day. This is a short Kidney meridian focused yin yoga class with just three Yin yoga poses and is a great bookend to a more yang class, or a prelude to morning meditation, and is great way to start the day when you’re short on time. You will need a bolster.
Calm Abiding Yin
Settle your energy, settle your focus in this very grounded Yin class which is focused around the Hara, your energy centre. This class is wonderful if you want to tune in to your intuition, your deep-seated centre. This is a heart and lung Yin yoga class. This class is great for overcoming sadness and grief, and is wonderful for clearing that which no longer serves you.
Pick Me Up Energy Enhancer
Yin Yoga Toolkit
Yin Yoga is an amazing energy enhancer. Work with your inner energy, gently, to experience the joy of Yin Yoga. This toolkit is a great daily Yin Yoga practice. Andrea focuses on one pose for each of the organs. Re-discover lost energy gently. A perfect break for anytime in the day to re-set and prevent feelings of stress or overwhelm.
Resolving To Be Still
Finding Equanimity: Animal Yin Yoga
Many yoga positions are inspired by animals. This class includes Yin poses, some of which are a bit more fierce, a little less gentle, thank you may be used to in a Yin class. The class focus is equanimity, found from working through themes of nature and animals, who will show us aspects of ourselves, both on and off the mat. Starting from the transformative butterfly through to the sometimes less than good-natured camel, through to the caterpiller which transforms back to the butterfly. Expect to be deeply moved and transformed, as well as finding stillness through Yin. You will need a bolster and/or cushions.
Your Yin 5 A Day
Just as important as the right nutrition, is the right movement. These very simple five yin yoga poses, each held for 3 minutes will transform your body and your life. If you have a very active life and yoga practice, are an athlete or sit at a desk or in a car for long periods of time, this class, as a daily practice, will quietly and gently open your body. You may need a cushion or a bolster.
Rest and Digest
A Yin Yoga class to calm and aid the digestive system at the end of the day. This class is perfect for after a stressful day at work, after travelling (especially long-haul flights) and if you want to detox to aid your digestive system. This is not suitable for pregnancy or if you have an existing stomach condition.
Hamstring and Lower Back Stretch
Relax and Soothe into the Evening
This yin yoga class is entirely at the wall. This means that the wall will aid you to relax and deepen your positions, you can relax into the wall so that tension melts away. This class is the perfect antidote for after a busy day at work. Using a wall changes the bloodflow and improves circulation. You will need a bolster.
Deep Tissue Stretch
This yin class is perfect for releasing the deep fascia, or connective tissue underneath the muscle, which is really resistent to stretching and often can only be really released by a deep tissue massage or a very deep fascia stretch. All athletes, cyclists, runners and type A personalities will benefit from this class and it's an ideal class to take after a vigourous vinyasa yoga class.
A Restful End to the Day
This yin practice will sooth the nervous system after a busy day, or one spent at a desk. With great postures for relieving a tired back, tight hamstrings, this is also a great practice for during menstruation. This class is fantastic for de-stressing the adrenals focuses on releasing stress and fatigue. You will need a bolster and a block.