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 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.

Why Reclined Pigeon Rocks

Reclined Pigeon pose – also known as Eye of the Needle – is a fantastic post-run and cycling stretch and also a great Pigeon variation that is kinder on the knees than the more traditional version of Pigeon pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana).

As well as particularly targeting the hips, glutes and lower back this is also very helpful for stretching the IT band (illiotibial band), therefore improving your performance.

I found this pose and Legs Up The Wall especially helpful after running the Brighton Half Marathon in February this year. I had no soreness the next day. (NB – Click here for a Legs Up The Wall video where I show you how to get into the pose).

That said, even if you don’t run or cycle this pose can be of help if you spend a lot of time sitting – I imagine that includes most of us! 🙂

Reclined Pigeon can also be good for easing sciatic pain. Speaking from my own experience of sciatic pain due to having spondylolisthesis I have found this pose to be incredibly beneficial.

Aim to hold this stretch for at least 5 breaths but ideally longer. Work up to holding this stretch for 3-5 minutes on each side.

In this short video filmed at evolve, I show you how to get into Reclined Pigeon.

(Thanks to <a href="http://www.urbanlucy.com/" title="www.urbanlucy find more info.com” target=”_blank”>Urban Lucy for the comfy Beyond Yoga outfit I’m wearing in this video!)

How To Ease Tired Legs, Boost Your Mood & More in Just 5 Minutes!

How To Ease Tired Legs, Boost Your Mood & More in Just 5 Minutes!

I share a simple 5-Minute Yoga boost with you in this short video filmed at Evolve Wellness Centre

5-Mintute Rescue: I share a simple 5-Minute Yoga boost with you in this short video filmed at Evolve Wellness Centre - click picture to watch


VIDEO: I call this pose my ‘5-Minute Rescue’ – click here to watch.

Legs Up The Wall (or Viparita Karani) is one of my favourite Restorative Yoga poses because it has multiple benefits including easing tired legs, reducing stress (helps boost your mood!), fatigue, insomnia and more!

In this short video, filmed recently at evolve, I show you how to do it, including a cheeky way to get into the pose if you have tight hamstrings (for you runners and cyclists out there – this pose is great for your weary legs!). I thank the wonderful Judith Hanson Lasater (who I studied Restorative Yoga with) for showing me this alternative way in to the pose.

Want to experience more Restorative poses like this? Join me for Relax & Restore Restorative Yoga classes on Fridays at Embody Wellness 6.45-7.45pm.

If you’ve never been to a Restorative Yoga class and would like to know what to expect, you can read a review of my Relax & Restore class from Carly on her brilliant Project HB blog by clicking here.

VIDEO: I call this my 5-Minute Rescue – CLICK HERE TO WATCH