12 minute practice: Daily Yin

Earlier posts in this series:
Monday, hip-opening poses

Tuesday, vini yoga

Wednesday, flow yoga
Thursday & Friday,  Sivananda

My friend left for her party, leaving me to babysit her daughter. There was white wine and chocolate in the fridge. And a fitness schedule, sweatpants and a yogamat in my bag. Scraping together every crumb of discipline, I postponed the wine, postponed the chocolate (promising myself I could have even more after the workout), and started my practice. After 30 minutes I lied down on my mat, dripping with sweat. Now thinking even more about that bottle of chilled wine, I started a stretching routine I call The Daily Six, that I had been practicing far from daily the last few months.
The first pose, an easy lying twist, calmed my breath. The second, a hamstring stretch, I kept only briefly. My sore fitness muscles were not making a meal out of that one. In the third pose, called Saddle, I fully surrendered and realized I didn’t want wine. Fourth, fifth, sixth pose – I didn’t want wine, I didn’t want chocolate. I got up and had grapes, Turkish yoghurt, cornflakes, and a fresh mint tea.

The sequence

Yin yoga was invented by  Paul Grilley and focusses on the meridians (or nadis); energy channels that run through the body’s connective tissue. In order to open up these channels, and thereby letting energy flow freely through the body, poses are held with all muscles relaxed.  In both forward- and backbends you relax your back, reaching the tissue between the vertebrae. In hipopeners you relax your legs, reaching the tissue around the hipbones. You surrender, and in the process your mind too becomes Yin; queit, calm, empty. The Yang mind, connected to the use of muscles, relaxes, just like the muscles.

Daily six is a yin yoga sequence that you can do after sports, before bedtime, or as a routine for every day of the week.

And feel free to have a piece of chocolate after.

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