Yin Yoga for Beginners

Online live Yin Yoga classes, video series, instructions and blogs. Open Awareness Yoga provides this video series for free in hopes of making Yoga more accessible.

Yin yoga is a wonderful component of a healthy physical routine with more than just physical benefits. Yin is best as a part of a varied practice. Below you’ll find a mix of Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga, and Gentle Somatics classes that will guide you into this more passive style of practice. 

Yin Yoga Class 1: Relaxing Leg Stretching

Join me at home on the floor with your couch cushions, quilts, and pillows for a leg stretching session for people who aren’t very flexible. Okay for you flexible people, too. I give options.

 

This is a casually filmed, homey video where I show you a lot of ways to make yourself comfortable in various leg stretches so you can release and relax your quads, groins, hamstrings, outer hips, and deep butt muscles (e.g. your piriformis for those of you with sciatica, sometimes caused by tightness in this muscle.)

 

This is a great place to start, as you’ll see how to use household items as props to support you in your practice. 

 

View Yin Yoga video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSw6XikpE5U

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Yin Yoga Class 2: Stretching for the Hips and Back

Soften into Stillness with Yin Yoga: a practice for a deep release in body & mind.

 

Class is appropriate for everybody and every body, with modifications offered for tight bodies, sore knees, & pregnancy.

 

After a little livestream housekeeping (including prop guidance), we get into the practice at about the 3:25 minute mark. 

 

We start with a rotation of consciousness, a meditation borrowed from the yoga nidra tradition, and then transition into supine butterfly. 

 

There’s plenty of meditation and breathing guidance throughout class, including sama vritti pranayama, to help you focus your mind on practice and the present moment. 

 

I also offer some light anatomy/posture education to help you learn why and how to use your props. Space offered to recuperate and sense your body between each posture.

 

Props:

-2 blankets or bath towels

-1 bolster or firm pillow

-if you’re tight, 2 extra cushions (couch pillows, more towels, etc…)

 

View Yin Yoga video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sonX_g-8BzQ

Yin Yoga Class 3: No Sweat Stretch

Gently stretch your legs, hips, spine, shoulders, and arms. 

 

We explore how your body and range of motion has changed throughout your stretch practice by returning to a baseline series of twists. No sweating necessary.

 

Props:

-1 blanket or bath towel
-1 yoga strap (or dog leash, robe strap, old tie…)

 

View Yin Yoga video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNm0HsXse8o

Gentle & Restorative Yoga Class 4: Super Chill Yoga

This is a super relaxed yoga class with gentle movements and stretches to help the body and mind feel supported and refreshed.

 

We start on our backs for some leg and hip stretches and spinal twists, then head into a long rest in a fully supported child’s pose, great to reduce overwhelm and return to our fundamental state of being. 

 

We then spend some time upside down in a few supported inversions to flip your perspective and dump old stale thoughts right out of your head.

 

Follow your intuition through the hour and finish practice feeling cared for and renewed. 

 

Props:

-1 bolster or firm pillow

-1 blanket or bath towel

-2 blocks or hardback books

-1 strap or alternative (dog leash, robe strap…)

 

Optional Props:

-1 chair (kitchen or dining chair, best with no arms and no wheels)

-wall

 

View Yin Yoga video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSw6XikpE5U

Somatics and Yoga Class 5: Somatics and Yoga Twist Class

This is a very gentle class that explores twisting and revolving through the spine. We practice minimizing effort and feeling our body, rather than pushing ourselves to do things the “right” way. 

 

With somatics, feel your muscles lengthen and release for a greater sense of ease and space within yourself. 

 

This practice will be great to do before bedtime as a way to wind down.

 

Props:

-1 bolster or firm pillow

-1 block or stack of books

-1 blanket or bath towel

 

View Yin Yoga video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAy0YTQDlK

Yin Yoga Class 6: Stretching at the Wall

Clear a space at a wall or door and swing your legs up for this anti-gravity Yin Yoga class. 

 

We’ll stretch the inner legs and hips and twist through the spine in this sequence. 

 

Being upside down like this calms the mind, lowers the heart rate, removes inflammation in the lower body, and can settle you down before bed. 

 

Great for folks with neck and back issues (you may choose to skip the twisting pose). 

 

Props:

-a wall

-1 firm blanket or bolster/pillow

-2 blocks or hardback books (optional)

 

View Yin Yoga video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h19IugTeHaA

Yin Yoga for Women

Yin Yoga and other gentle practices can be just what you need in the times in your cycle or motherhood where you don’t have extra energy to give. Please know that women release hormones during their cycles that make our joints looser than normal, so you may not want to go as deep as you can at these times. I tend to guide my students to use extra props during menstruation and pregnancy. Some women feel the need for this extra support post ovulation. 

Yin Yoga for Women 1: Postnatal Yoga

Today’s class is a Yin mix & a great step back into yoga for postnatal / postpartum mom. It’s a lovely sequence for anyone new to yoga or experienced but needing a mellow, relaxing practice. 

 

If you’ve recently had a baby, make sure you’re cleared by your doctor to practice yoga. 

 

During this hour, we will do gentle but deep ab work; neck, shoulders, and upper back stretches; breathing exercises; and explore your hips and pelvic floor. 

 

Props:

-1 bolster or firm pillow

-1 blanket or bath towel

-1 block or stack of books

-1 yoga strap with buckle (optional)

 

View Yin Yoga video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mk-oaEdZXIY

Yin Yoga Class 2: Yin & Gentle Yoga for Your Period

This class will help relieve belly cramps of any kind, including those from menstruation and digestion issues. 

 

This practice was designed for people currently menstruating, but is of course safe and beneficial for everyone. 

 

During the poses I teach a bit about the yoga philosophy (tapas, svadyaya, Isvara pranidhana) and touch on how practicing this slow and still style can be irritating for Type A folks who go go go. 

 

Trust your yoga to balance you. Your practice will help your body and mind learn to settle, to relax.

 

Props:

-wall

-1 blanket or bath towel

-1 bolster or firm pillow

-1 block or stack of books

-extra cushions and blankets for more comfort, support, and warmth (optional)

 

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR WHEN MENSTRUATING: 

 

Many folks prefer not to invert (hips above heart) while menstruating. At the end of the practice I verbally suggest a bridge pose (not shown), which is an inversion that you may want to avoid if you are actively bleeding. 

 

If any of the poses make you feel worse rather than better, don’t do them! Each cycle may be different.

 

View Yin Yoga video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ja4zlFh-9nk

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