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.

Yin Yoga: Square Pose

Yin Yoga: Square Pose

 

 

{WATCH} Yin YogaSquare Pose.

In this short video, filmed at Evolve Wellness Centre in South Kensington, I show you a couple of propping options to try when practising Square Pose. In this deep hip opening pose, typically, a sensation of intensity / deep stretch is felt around the hips, glutes and lower back, all of which may be accentuated by folding the upper body forward while you are here.

Depending on the tightness of your hips, the size and shape of your femoral heads (the top of the femur/thigh bone) this deep hip opener can seem a bit daunting. (It may be more challenging if you are naturally more internally rotated, meaning that poses Virasana or Saddle might come more easily to you).

If there is any sign of discomfort or pain in the knees do not practise this pose – try Easy Crossed Legs (as shown at the end of this video) as an alternative.

The Liver, Kidney and Gall Bladder meridians are stimulated here. Folding forward in Square Pose can stimulate the Urinary Bladder meridian too.

Find more short yoga videos on my YouTube channel here.

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.

Yin Yoga for Runners: Reclining Leg Stretch

Yin Yoga for Runners: Reclining Leg Stretch

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.

Wall Yin: Eye of the Needle

Wall Yin: Eye of the Needle

 

 

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.