Yin yoga is a type of yoga that emphasizes holding poses for long periods of time. It is a slower-paced practice that is beneficial for both the mind and the body. Some of the benefits of yin yoga include increased flexibility, improved joint health, and reduced stress levels. Yin yoga is also said to improve the flow of energy in the body and to help balance the yin and yang energies.
This is a great yin yoga posture that can help to open up the back and legs.
By hanging forward over the legs is also helps to decompress the spine especially if you have had a long day of standing or sitting and the upper back feels stiff.
From standing, lets the knees bend or stay straight, your choice, and then fold the upper body down over the legs. You may want to widen the feet or have a bolster under the hands for more support.
Sometimes a light sway from side to side can be a nice way to begin.
You could stay in dangling pose anywhere from 1 – 5 minutes depending on your comfort, and then find a relaxing position of the floor to let the body rebound.
This is a great yin posture to stretch out the toes and soles of the feet.
Note: It can be very intense, and may not be suitable for all people. Have a try and see how your body responds.
From a position of being on all fours on the floor, bring the knees together, tuck the toes and slowly walk yourself backward either with your hands resting on your thighs, or explore sitting all the way back on your heels (the bones in some people feet and ankles don’t always allow for this movement, so be sure to move slowly and mindfully as you listen to what is right for you.)
Many people feel that 1 minute in toe squat feels like an hour. And some other people could stay here for a really long time.
You could be in this pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes, and then find a comfortable resting position to let your feet and ankles rebound.
This is a great yin posture to open up the side of the body and stretch out the side waist. Many people find it quite relaxing, as you are laying on the floor during this pose.
Lay down on the floor on your back, and then raise the arms up over head. They can fall to the floor, or you can interlace the hands together and tuck them under the head.
Then walk the feet over to one side of the floor/mat, and then shuffle your upper body over to that same side (you are essentially doing a side bend laying on the floor).
Some people enjoying crossing the feet together, so try that and see if your body agrees with the feeling.
You can stay in banana anywhere from 3 – 6 minutes, and then release the shape and spend some time in a restful rebound position.
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Karina Smith is a Melbourne based Doctor of Chinese Medicine and Yin Yoga Teacher, Teacher Trainer & Educator. With a passion for women's health, through Yin and Chinese Medicine Karina aims to improve the health of her students, patients and clients.After years of dancing and its emphasis on performance, yoga was an unexpected beacon of self-care and restoration for Karina, where her relationship to movement shifted to something that was there to nourish her mind and body.
A year after commencing practice at the Australian Yoga Academy (AYA), Karina knew she wanted to do the yoga teacher training on offer there - and from thereon it has been a deep-dive into the rich offerings of this ancient practice.
Karina has now studied and taught yoga extensively - including two 350hr Teacher Trainings (AYA and Shantarasa Institute, India), studies under the renowned Bernie Clark and Paul Grilley, over a decade of teaching at numerous studios in her home town of Melbourne, and lecturing for The Australian Yoga Academy.
In 2018, Karina launched her own 50 Hour Yin & Functional Anatomy Teacher Training and continues to run this course. Karina’s love of Yin Yoga revealed a deeper fascination for human anatomy and led her to pursue Chinese Medicine. After graduating in 2019, she now runs her own clinic offering acupuncture, herbal therapies, moxibustion and cupping treatments.