Updated: Jun 24, 2020
These 5 beginner friendly Yin poses are suitable for all levels and will help you increase your flexibility through the hips. This short floor-based sequence is designed for Yin Yoga session which means you will hold the poses for a much longer period than you would in other style practices. In Yin Yoga you can hold the poses anywhere from 2 - 6 mins depending on your flexibility or how often you practice. If you are new to Yin I would suggest you try these poses for around 2 minutes to begin with and you can increase the time as you further your practice.
If you have some props to hand get yourself a bolster, or you can use a pillow if you don't have a bolster, and also a couple of blocks and a blanket.
1. Wide Knee Child's Pose - Start by sitting in the middle of your mat, come to sit on your heels, taking your big toes to touch. Take the knees out wide to the edges of the mat and begin to fold the torso onto the mat - bringing the forehead down to rest on top of the mat or onto a block. Depending on how intense you want the stretch to be, you can take the knees out really wide, which will give you a deeper stretch into the hips, or leave it slightly more relaxed by bringing the knees a little closer together. Bring the fingers to touch, creating a diamond shape with the arms as you allow the shoulders to release. Connect to the breath. Begin to settle into the pose and stay here for a few minutes. To exit bring the knees together and pause here taking a few breaths into the lower back.
2. Dragon pose - Make your way onto all fours and step the right foot to the top of the mat taking it out wide past the edge of the mat. The left knee can be on the mat or raised off the mat if you want to give yourself an extra challenge. Allow the hips to be heavy. Place your hand on the mat to the inside of your foot resting on some blocks or on the mat. Stay here for a few minutes. Press into the hands as you slowly release the left foot come back to all fours and repeat on the other side.
3. Butterfly - Make your way back to a seated position. Bring your legs around in front of you and bring the soles of the feet to touch, having the feet a short distance in front of you creating a diamond shape with the legs. Fold over the legs bringing the forehead down towards the heels. You can rest your head onto a block or use a bolster or a pillow to fold over onto.
4. Half shoelace - Straighten the legs out in front of you, bending the right knee towards you, step it to the outside of the left knee, and gently slide the heel back towards the outer left hip, bringing the knees to touch. If you have a big gap between the knees, you may want to pad the area with a blanket. Gently fold over the legs stay here for a few minutes before repeating on the other side.
5. Happy Baby - Come to lie on the mat. Bring the knees into the chest. Take the hands in between the legs, taking hold of the ankles, or the outer edges of the feet and then press the feet away taking the soles of the feet towards the ceiling. As you feel the lower back release gently bring the knees down towards the mat. After a few minutes release the feet, hug the knees into the chest and then make your way to lay on your back in Corpse Pose for Savasana.