In this short video filmed at Embody Wellness in Vauxhall, I show you how to do one of the poses I found helpful during my training for the Brighton Half Marathon a couple of years ago.
(TIP – Do you have a tendency to hyperextend your knees? I do. To avoid this, you will see here that I am [deliberately] keeping a bend to my knee as I extend my foot upwards. I am actually able to access a deeper stretch into my hamstrings and calf muscles as a result too.) Sliding the belt towards the ball of the foot and gently pointing the heel of the same foot up to the ceiling will target the calf muscles more.
Keeping the sole of my other foot flat to the floor provides more stability for my lower back than extending the leg straight along the ground.
Aim to do each leg for 1-3 minutes if you are a beginner, working up to 3-5 minutes if you are more experienced.
You can find full instructions on this and some of my other favourite yin yoga poses for runners over at the Embody Wellness blog which features the whole sequence I practised after the half marathon with NO soreness the next day: http://embodywellness.co.uk/yin-yoga-…
If you are in London you can join me at Embody every Sunday 6-7.15pm for Flow & Restore – a 75-minute combination of a steadily paced yoga flow followed by floor-based yin yoga postures to leave you feeling rested, uplifted and ready for your week ahead.
This is one of the restorative poses we regularly practice during the second half of SLOW FLOW YOGA – Mondays 6.30-7.30pm reCentre Health in Balham.
In this short video filmed at reCentre I show you how to do this restorative inversion with the aid of a bolster and a yoga belt. Here, the sacrum (directly below the lumbar spine) is supported by a bolster (or you can use cushions or a sturdy yoga block if you don’t have access to a bolster). Just a few of the benefits of Supported Bridge Pose can include:
– Helps to relieve stress and low moods
– Helps to calm the nervous system (activates the parasympathetic nervous system which is in charge of the body’s ‘rest and digest’ activities)
– Can help to reduce fatigue
– Stretches the spine from the shoulders all the way to the tailbone
– Can help to relieve lower back pain
– Stretches and opens the chest
Start by sitting on the bolster and place a looped belt around your lower legs. With knees bent and soles of both feet on the floor, place your hands on the floor behind you, lift your hips and slide them forward so that you can rest your sacrum (the flat bony place just below your lower back curve) onto the bolster. Then using your hands ease yourself back onto the floor so that you are in a Supported Bridge position. Allow your arms and hands to rest where they feel most comfortable – you may wish to rest arms by your side, or rest hands on your lower abdomen or reach arms back to the floor behind you as I am doing in this video.
To transition into Supported Shoulderstand, lift your feet into the air. This can be a nice alternative to Legs Up the Wall if you do not have access to wall space.
Rest here for up to five minutes or for as long as you feel comfortable.
In this short video filmed at Evolve Wellness Centre in South Kensington I show you how to do Wall Eye of the Needle. If you are in London I teach a weekly Yin Yoga class here on Wednesdays 6-7.15pm
This version of Eye of the Needle is great if you have trouble keeping your head and shoulders on the ground in the usual version, if you have any concerns with your knees or find Swan, Shoelace or Square Pose difficult to get in to. Or, simply if you are feeling a lower in energy.
Sit with one hip alongside the wall then swing your legs up the wall.
From here, place your right ankle to the top of your left thigh then slide your left foot down the wall with the lower back and sacrum remaining on the ground (you can slide hips a bit further away from the wall to facilitate this if necessary). This pose can feel quite intense around the hips and glutes in particular. You might also feel a stretch into the lower back or on the inside of the right thigh. Sliding your left foot further up the wall will lessen the intensity, while sliding the left foot further down can increase the intensity, so do adjust the position of your left foot on the wall accordingly.
You also have the option to gently press your right thigh towards the wall with your right hand.
The external rotation of the right hip can help stimulate the gallbladder meridian which runs down the side of the body along the outer hip. The liver meridian which runs along the inside of the leg, through the groin and up into the torso can also be stimulated here.
Aim to stay here for 1-3 mins if you are a beginner or 3-5 mins if you are more experienced. Repeat on the left left side.
You can watch a video where I show you other variations of Eye of the Needle here.