Here I would like to show you some Yin Yoga exercises whose mental effects are said to promote the ability to be patient.
I will tell you what is important in Yin Yoga and what you should pay attention to in the performance as a general rule and in each individual asana (posture).
Be patient with yourself
General Information about Yin Yoga
Yoga is not a competition. Especially not Yin Yoga. The focus in yoga – and in these exercises in particular – is on being mindful and patient with your own body and mind.
The mobility of the body is defined by the flexibility and the stretching ability. Due to the anatomy of the skeleton, there is nothing that can really be done about the flexibility. The ability to stretch, however, can be increased through specific exercises. For example, with asanas from Yin Yoga.
Through compression and stretching, Yin Yoga stimulates the deeper-lying connective tissue (such as fascia, ligaments and tendons). This increases the range of movement in the body – and thus also the range of movement in the mind.
Basic Rules for practising Yin Yoga
☾ Go into the posture very gently and at your own tempo.
☾ The stretch felt should be about 80% of your possible stretch. As the poses in Yin Yoga are held for a long time, there is room for your body to stretch further into the pose.
☾ You can find the recommended holding time under the respective asana. Feel into yourself. If you want to stay longer – do it. If you feel a sharp pain, correct the posture by using other support.
☾ Use as many supports as possible. These can be cushions, blankets or yoga blocks, for example. They help to relax in the position and make different poses more accessible.
☾ If you feel an unpleasant pain despite the use of equipment, then do not practise the asana. But feel free to try again at another time, because the body feels and practices differently every day.
☾ Just as you came into the posture, you also leave it again – gently and at your own tempo.
Asanas for more Patience
In the following I would like to introduce you to a series of forward bends from Yin Yoga.
You can practice these exercises to stretch your body and strengthen your mind.
Forward bends in yoga all stand for patience, humility and surrender. The bending from the hip joint, which is not easy for many people, requires the ability to let go.
Dangling stretches the backs of the legs and the whole spine. Especially the lower back receives a gentle relaxation impulse. The abdominal organs are massaged and the diaphragm strengthened.
Holding time: 1 – 5 minutes
Support: Build a tower of cushions on which you can rest your head. To reduce the pressure on your back, you can also place your hands on a chair or table.
Performance: Begin in a standing position. The feet are ideally closed. If you are a beginner or if you want it to be more comfortable, you can of course also open your feet, maximum shoulder width. Your stance is straight, but avoid extending the knees backwards.
Inhaling stretch both arms far upwards. Exhaling bend forward very gently from the hips. Alternatively, you can roll down vertebra by vertebra. See what feels good for you.
Once you have reached your maximum flexion, clasp your elbows with your hands. Alternatively, rest your head on a cushion tower or place your hands on a chair or similar.
To release the pose, relax your hands, bend your knees and roll up very slowly and mindfully.
In this pose the lower back is pleasantly lengthened. If your feet are close to your hips, the adductors are stretched. If the feet are further away from the hips, the extension in the back of the thighs intensifies.
Holding time: 3 – 5 minutes
Support: Rest your upper body on cushions that you have positioned in front of you. Alternatively, place your elbows on the cushions and support your head with your hands.
If you are rather immobile in the hips, knees or back of the thighs, place a folded blanket or cushion under your hips.
You can also put cushions under your knees.
Performance: From a seated position place the soles of your feet together in front of you. Play with the distance between your feet and your hips. See what feels comfortable to you. The feet are allowed to sink slightly outwards and it may look as if the soles of your feet are an open book.
Inhaling now stretch both arms far upwards. Exhaling bend forward very gently from the hips. Perhaps your face will land on the soles of your feet. If not, use as many props as you need.
Alternatively, you can slowly and gently walk forward with your hands and come into the forward bend. See what feels good for you.
If you want to leave the pose, go back bit by bit with your hands, roll up gently and straighten your legs.
The Caterpillar stretches the ligaments of the spine and especially the backs of the legs. Due to the pressure and stimulation of the abdominal organs, this posture also improves digestion.
Holding time: 3 – 5 minutes
Support: Rest your upper body on pillows that you can place on your legs. You can also rest your elbows and support your head with your hands or arms.
If your lower back feels stiff, try sitting on a cushion or spreading your legs a little.
If you cannot straighten your legs, place two cushions under your bent knees.
Performance: Begin in a seated position. The legs are closed or open to a maximum hip-width. The feet are relaxed.
Inhaling raise your arms upwards and make yourself very long. Exhaling bend your upper body and pull your hands towards your ankles. Your back should become round here. Feel free to place your arms beside your body or support your head. With each exhalation, you may bend forward even more devotedly.
To return from the Asana to the sitting position, roll up slowly, vertebra by vertebra.
In the Dragonfly Pose you open your hips, stretch the adductors and the back of the thighs.
Holding time: 3 – 5 minutes
Support: Prepare as many cushions as you need to rest your upper body. Otherwise, use your elbows to support your head with your hands.
You may also put a folded blanket or pillow under your hips.
If you cannot straighten your legs in this position, place a cushion under each bent knee.
Performance: From the seated position, open your legs as wide as possible. It is important that the knees and feet continue to point upwards.
Inhale and outstretch your arms far upwards. With the exhalation bend forward long from the hips and let the arms and head sink (if necessary onto a pillow). You can also slowly and gently walk forward with your hands. Again, see what feels good for you.
After your hold, walk back with your hands, straighten up and bring your legs back together.
In the snail you experience a deep stretch of the entire spine. The inverted posture also improves the blood circulation in the head.
Holding time: 3 – 5 minutes
Support: Feel free to prop up your feet with cushions if you cannot reach the floor with your toes.
Performance: From the supine position lift your closed legs upwards and place them behind your head until your toes touch the floor or your cushions. You can either keep your hands on the floor or support your back. To do this, place your hands as low as possible on your back.
To release the posture, return your hands to the floor if you have them on your back. Then bend your knees and slowly roll back onto the mat.
Patience & Devotion – My Song Tips
You can find the songs – I have put together for my patience and devotion focused Yin Yoga class – here.
The playlist contains wonderful songs. Not only for practising Yin Yoga, but also for any situation in life where you need a little more patience.
Of course, a good yin yoga class includes other elements besides the forward bends. If you would like to try this quiet meditative style of yoga, then come and join me in an online class. You can find all the information here (currently only available in German language).
A variety of other Yin Yoga exercises can be found under the menu EXERCISES (navigate above with the arrow).
And if you would like to know more about Yin Yoga, then take a look here.
I hope we read, hear or see each other again soon. Until then, I wish you many patient, devoted and relaxed moments.
ॐ Namasté ॐ