While our yang (think, vinyasa styles) practice creates heat and builds strength, our yin practice actually cools our body and allows for length and space. Sometimes during the warmer months, especially here in Australia, we have to do everything we can to help our bodies and our minds stay cool and calm down during summer.
Yin is the perfect solution to this. Whether you’ve got time for a handful of poses, or have the time to dive into a full hour practice, yin is a quick way to balance out the energies in the body. Here are a few poses, which help to balance the heat that can build up in the body. We recommend holding these shapes for around three to five minutes.
Supported Sudha Baddha Konasana
Lie down over a big long cushion or a bolster that is running along the length of the spine. Then bring the soles of your feet together and let the knees fall out wide. This shape allows the entire front body to open, allows the chest and heart space to open, and also allows the hips and inner thighs to soften.
Sphinx and Seal Pose
Lying on your stomach, place the forearms onto the mat. Start with your elbows under the shoulders. We are allowing a compression to build into the low back. If you need less or the sensations are too much, walk the elbows forward. If you need more of a stretch, you can straighten your arms and bring your hands as wide as your mat. This pose is a beautiful restorative backbend that actually gives energy back to the body.
This shoulder stretch is very calming on the system. Lying on your stomach, take your right arm out to the right side, straight and in line with your right shoulder (making a T shape). Then place your left hand under your left shoulder and press into the mat to roll yourself over so you begin to lie over your right arm. It opens the chest and gets deeply into the shoulders.
Supported Bridge Pose
Another beautiful backbend, supported bridge pose gives us a lot of the benefits of our regular bridge pose, without the same amount of effort. Lying on your back, place a block or a bolster underneath your sacrum (the firm part between your glutes and your low back). Start with the soles of the feet on the mat. If you need more opening through the spine and hip flexors, straighten the legs out in front of you. Another shape that helps us to open the whole front line of the body.