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.

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.

Pain in the Neck? Try this

Pain in the Neck? Try this

{WATCH} SEATED NECK RELEASE

Do you suffer with a tight or sore neck? We can often hold tension in the neck (as well as the shoulders and upper back) due to stress and the dreaded ‘computer/mobile phone posture’, among other activities.
In this short video, filmed at reCentre Health in Balham, I show you how to do a simple neck release to help ease tightness in some of the muscles in this area. This simple lateral neck stretch (which can also be practised easily at your work desk) is one of my favourites for targeting the sternocleidomastoid. Some of the other muscles targeted in this stretch are the trapezius and the scalenes.

Take slow deep breaths while your ear is moving towards your shoulder and aim to be here for 5-8 breaths on each side.

TIP – Tucking the chin slightly in towards the chest (as I show in the video) may intensify the stretch.

This neck release is one of the poses we regularly practise during in SLOW FLOW YOGA class, Mondays 6.30-7.30pm at reCentre Health. Join us for a mix of flowing postures and restorative yoga to release tension and unwind from your day.

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.