Wall Yin: Squat

Wall Yin: Squat

{WATCH} In this short video filmed at Evolve Wellness Centre in South Kensington I show you how to do a yin Wall Squat.

This is one of my favourites for stretching the hips and easing lower back tightness. If sitting in a squat feels tricky for you, give this version a try.

– Start by taking your legs up the wall. If you got find there is a gap between your hips/backs of the thighs and the wall (e.g. if your hamstrings are tight) that’s okay.

– Bend both knees and slide your feet down the wall, keeping your feet apart – about hip distance, but if you’d prefer to take the feet and knees wider than hip distance (similar to a ‘Happy Baby Pose’ shape) this will deepen the stretch into the hips.

– If you find at this stage that your hips have lifted off the floor and you don’t want this or are concerned about any stress on the sacrum, then slide back away from wall slightly to allow the sacrum to stay resting on the ground.

– Rest your arms where feels most comfortable.

This pose can stimulate several meridians – Liver and Kidney in particular, but also the Urinary, Gallbladder, Spleen and Stomach meridians.

Aim to be here for 2-3 minutes if you are a beginner. Or 3-5 minutes if you are a more experienced practitioner.

Resting in Legs up the Wall for several rounds of breath after coming out of this pose is a lovely transition.

I teach Yin Yoga here at Evolve on Wednesdays 6-7.15pm. Come along for some mid-week restoration. Click here to see my weekly class schedule.

NB – Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, speak to your doctor before practising yoga.

Getting to know Paula Hines from U Can Yoga – Yogamatters Interview

Getting to know Paula Hines from U Can Yoga – Yogamatters Interview

“Because yoga can help you feel so good, sometimes there is a tendency to present it all as positivity, love and light, heart-opening and unicorns. But in truth, it’s not all fluffy. When you practise yoga (not just asana) for a while, you find that it can make you more aware of the not so good too and teach you a lot about yourself (if you’re ready and willing to listen). So, I don’t expect myself or others to be perfect – after all, we are all in this together! It is all an on-going, life-long practice.”

I was recently interviewed by Yogamatters – just a few of the topics we touched on include:

  • the importance of self-care
  • why representation and visibility of diversity in yoga matters
  • how my own experience of stress and injury has influenced my yoga practice and teaching

And much more. You can read the interview in full over at the Yogamatters blog by clicking here.

Thanks so much to Yogamatters for the interview feature 🙏🏾  🙏🏾  🙏🏾

Yin Yoga: Dragonfly Pose

Yin Yoga: Dragonfly Pose

{WATCH} In this short video filmed at Embody Wellness I show you a few propping options and suggestions for Dragonfly pose.

Yin yoga provides us with the opportunity to let go of striving so bear in mind that we are not striving for an end goal of uber-flexibility. Instead, aim for the variation of the pose that is most comfortable for you and allows you to stay here happily. This is where props can be especially helpful.

If sitting upright in the pose is difficult you could try this version at the wall – {WATCH} Wall Yin: Dragonfly.

Dragonfly can provide a pleasing stretch along the back side of the body and stimulates the Liver, Kidney, Urinary Bladder and Spleen meridians.

While you are in this pose you may feel an intensity or sense of a deep stretch in the hamstrings in particular. NB – Intensity is okay but pain is not.

Aim to be here for 1-3 minutes if you are a beginner or 3-5 minutes if you are more experienced.

Dragonfly is one of the poses we regularly practise in my Flow & Release class here at Embody on Sundays 6-7.15pm. Find more details at http://embodywellness.co.uk/

NB – Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, speak to your doctor before practising yoga.

Weighting: Savasana – Restorative Yoga for Anxiety

Weighting: Savasana – Restorative Yoga for Anxiety

{WATCH} RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION – WEIGHTING THE BODY

Did you know that weighting poses has the capacity to be soothing for people with depression or lethargy, while for those with anxiety it can feel grounding? I first came across this during my first training with Judith Hanson Lasater in 2012. I have found weighting helpful as a tool for addressing my own anxiety.

In this video, filmed at Embody Wellness, I am using a bolster on my torso for weighting. If you have access to sandbags you can use those, but this can also practised this with the aid of blankets.

To practice this version of Savasana it is helpful to have extra support. Here I am using blankets and bolsters but this can also be practised with cushions and pillows if you do not have access to yoga bolsters. (TIP – two bed pillows wrapped up in a sturdy blanket into a sausage shape will create a similar depth to a bolster.)

Comfort is of the utmost importance, so it can be helpful to have support under the head, under the backs of the thighs or knees and under the Achilles – play around with the props you have to hand and see what works best for you.

Here I am also using an eye pillow to cover my eyes and block out the light. The gentle weight of the eye pillow is quite soothing too. You may also want to cover yourself with a blanket for extra warmth.

Aim to remain in your Savasana for 5 to 30 minutes – as long as feels comfortable.

This is one of the poses we practised in my recent Restorative Yoga for Anxiety workshop here at Embody Wellness. I will be teaching this workshop again later in 2017 with some different pose variations. If you are interested in coming along keep an eye on my ‘Events & News’ page or visit http://www.embodywellness.co.uk/works… for more details when they become available. You can also keep up to date on all my workshops and classes by subscribing to my monthly newsletter on my homepage at http://www.ucanyoga.co.uk/

NB – Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, speak to your doctor before practising yoga.