At this time of year we start to transition from yang to yin. We are called to begin again to nourish and repair ourselves. The summer months are full of heat, activity and yang energy. If unchecked this can turn into obsessive worry and frustration, frenetic mental energy.
In Yin Yoga at this time of year we start to work on the nourishing organs – the stomach and spleen. We also balance the heart, which may have been over-worked in the Summer months. Wide knee child pose is a wonderful way to slow down, activate the spleen meridian, draw blood to the stomach and heart, and activate our parasympathetic nervous system.
Sit on your heels, and then draw your knees as wide as you can. Fold forward and rest your forehead on the floor – if your forehead doesn’t rest here comfortably support it with a cushion or some yoga blocks. If your knees are uncomfortable, place a blanket or pillow between your thighs and calves. You can also pad under the shins to ease pressure on the feet. Bring the palms of your hands together and rest the hands on the mat in front of your head (little finger side rests on the mat). Breathe light, slow and deep, Soften the spine, neck and head. With each exhale breath sink closer to the floor. Allow yourself to become quiet, effortless, supported by the Earth. Soften the centre of the chest and connect to the energy of your heart. Feel gratitude, feel love, let a warmth develop. This is a pose of safety that moves us into relaxation and restoration. Remain here for 5 minutes with an awareness of the forehead touching the floor. Come up slowly, bring your knees together, and sit back on your heels for a minute or two.
This pose can be replicated in a seated position. Sit on a chair without arms in front of a table. Take your knees as wide as you can. Your feet should be comfortably flat on the floor – use some books or a block if they don’t reach. Using a yoga bolster, a rolled up yoga mat or similar, rest the bolster or mat on the chair between your legs and lean it onto the table. Fold forward and rest your torso against the mat or bolster (use a pillow to support the head if you like). Move the chair away from the table to deepen the pose. Soften and breathe light for 5 minutes. Then sit back, bring your knees together and relax for a moment.
My Yin class is online Thursday 18.30-19.30 – it’s super relaxing and really accessible. Check it out here.