Yin Yoga: Half Saddle Pose

Yin Yoga: Half Saddle Pose

If the full version of Saddle Pose feels too much then give Half Saddle a try. Like the full version, Half Saddle can also be a satisfying stretch for the quads and hip flexors. This pose also provides a gentle opening of the front body, a release for the upper back as well as extension in the lower back – a lovely counter to sitting for long periods with a rounded back.

In this short video filmed at Embody Wellness I show you some propping options for this pose. On an energetic level, this pose stimulates the Kidney, Urinary, Spleen and Stomach meridian lines.

NB – Proceed with caution if you have knee or back injuries. If any numbness is felt while here then carefully come out of the pose. (Numbness can be a sign that you are putting pressure on your nerves.) Also, if your knee lifts off the ground, then ease yourself out of the pose until your knee is touching the ground again.

Aim to remain in your Half Saddle Pose for 1-3 minutes on each side if you are a beginner or 3-5 minutes if you are an experienced practitioner.

Enjoy your yoga practice.

You can join me here at Embody Wellness every week for Sunday Flow & Release (yoga flow + yin yoga) and Friday Flow & Restore (yoga flow + restorative yoga + yoga nidra) 6-7.15pm.

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

Winter Yin Yoga: Saddle Pose

Winter Yin Yoga: Saddle Pose

In this short video filmed at Embody Wellness in Vauxhall I am showing you Saddle Pose.

On an energetic level this yin posture stimulates the Kidney and Urinary Bladder meridiansassociated with the Winter season – and also the Spleen and Stomach lines. Here I’m using a bolster propped up on two blocks to provide extra support.

Aim to stay in your Saddle Pose for 1-3 minutes.

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

You can join me here at Embody Wellness every week for Sunday Flow & Release (yoga flow + yin yoga) and Friday Flow & Restore (yoga flow + restorative yoga + yoga nidra) 6-7.15pm

Not able to make it to a class? Find more of my yoga videos here.

Autumn Yin to Rebalance

Autumn Yin to Rebalance

In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Autumn represents the Metal element, which is related to the Lung and Large Intestine Meridians (located in the upper body, shoulders, arms, torso).

Imbalanced Metal Chi or Qi (energy) in the lungs and large intestine can manifest as allergies, colds, low immunity and an inability to express emotions, particularly sadness. Puffiness in the eyes is said to be a sign of poor function of the lung meridian.

When Metal Qi is balanced we can feel more present and optimistic and more able to meet life’s ups and downs with acceptance and courage.

We will be practising a short lung and large intestine sequence at our Yin, Yoga Nidra & Gong workshop at Embody Wellness on 14th October.

We’ll also being doing some lung and large intestine practices in my Flow & Release classes on Sundays 6-7.15pm at Embody Wellness and Yin Yoga on Wednesdays 6-7.15pm at Evolve in South Kensington.

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.

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.

Want to Improve Hamstring and Adductor Flexibility? Try this

Want to Improve Hamstring and Adductor Flexibility? Try this

 

{WATCH} In this short video filmed at Create Pilates in Wimbledon, I show you how to do Prasarita Padottonasana (A).

When practised with care and consideration this pose is strengthening for the legs and feet – it can improve hamstring and adductor flexibility and can also help develop awareness of how to protect your lower back when you bend forward in day-to-day life. So, the aim is not to get your head to the ground (or to flop forward) – instead, think about stability in the legs and spine throughout.

– As you come into the forward fold, hinge from the hips and keep the length through the spine so that you can target the hamstrings without placing strain on the lumbar spine. If your hamstrings are particularly tight or your back is rounding you can place blocks under the hands to bring the floor up to you. (Also, it’s no good having your head on the floor if your neck is all scrunched up. If that happens, shorten your stance. You don’t want the feet to be so wide apart that you feel unstable).

– Press down through the feet to allow the legs to work more strongly. Notice where the weight is in your feet – if it’s gone back into your heels then bring some weight forward towards the balls of your feet and avoid leaning back into your knees.

– Have hands about shoulder distance apart and lift shoulders up and away from the ears. If your hands are on the floor, walk your fingertips back so that they are in line with the toes and elbows hugging inwards.

Stay here for 5-10 breaths.

TIPS – If you have sciatic issues (as I do) try keeping the feet parallel rather than pigeon-toeing. For back or hamstring issues try bending the knees (I am actually bending my knees slightly here and consequently achieving a deeper stretch into the hamstrings). And for groin issues try shortening the stance.

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

Join me for Hatha Yoga at Create Pilates in Wimbledon on Wednesdays from 11.45am-1pm and Fridays 10.15-11.30am. Click here to see my current weekly class schedule.