Carrying on from the last blog, following is Sequence Two of the Yin Yoga for Cyclists Series. This sequence focuses on the hips, hamstrings, quads and upper back. Once again I have designed the sequence so that you can easily practice the poses in the comfort of your own home with minimal props, and although the series has been designed with cyclists in mind, everyone will benefit from them.
As always enjoy and please contact me if you have any queries or concerns about the sequence via email, Skype or What's App.
Private consultations and individual sequences tailored to your specific needs are also available.
Yin Yoga Sequence for Cyclists - Sequence Two
Seated Cross Leg Forward Fold – gentle hip opener.
From a seated position, cross your right let in front of your left leg, try to get your shins parallel to the front of your mat if you can. Don’t worry if you can’t though. Gently fold forward, place your forearms or hands on the mat. Relax your arms/hands and hold for 5 minutes. If you have trouble folding forward, place a block, pillow or folded blanket/towel under your sit bones (the bones in your bottom) to elevate your hips slightly higher than your knees.
To come out of the pose, SLOWLY roll up through the spine one vertebrae at a time, keeping your head down and your eyes downcast or closed. GENTLY make your way onto your back, straighten both legs, place your hands on the mat beside your hips. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute then SLOWLY make your way into the position on opposite side and repeat.
Reclining Half Saddle Pose – opens up the quads and releases the lower back.
From a seated position bend your right knee and place your right foot beside your right outer hip. Gently lower yourself down as far as comfortable. This might not be very far at all, or you may be flat on your back. If you need extra support, place a bolster if you have one, or a pillow/s under your elbows. Close your eyes and relax as best as you can. Hold for 3 to 5 minutes.
To come out of the pose, SLOWLY make your way back to a seated position, keeping your eyes downcast or closed. Straighten the leg and GENTLY make your way onto your back with both legs straight, place your hands on the mat beside your hips. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute then SLOWLY make your way into the position on opposite side, and repeat.
Over time you will find you might be able to lower yourself all the way to the mat. Don’t force it though, and if you feel any shooting pain in your knees, come straight out of it!
Half Butterfly Pose – targets the hamstrings and lower back.
From a seated position place the sole of your right foot next to the upper inner thigh of your left leg, keeping your left leg extended directly out in front of you. Your legs should make an ‘L’ shape. Gently fold forward as far as you can without forcing it, allow the back to round. Place your hands either side of your leg, close your eyes and relax. Hold for 5 minutes.
To come out of the pose, SLOWLY roll up through the spine one vertebrae at a time, keeping your head down and your eyes downcast or closed. GENTLY make your way onto your back, straighten both legs, place your hands on the mat beside your hips. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute then SLOWLY make your way into the position on opposite side, and repeat.
Supported Butterfly Pose – opens up the heart, lungs, shoulders, thoracic spine and adductors.
Place a form roller or block on your mat (a tightly rolled up beach towel or blanket will suffice) then lie back onto the prop of your choice, positioning it at the bottom of your shoulder blades – the top edge of the prop should be in line with the bottom or your shoulder blades, or thereabouts. You might need to move it around to find the best position for you. Make sure your chest is up higher than your stomach. Bring the soles of your fit together and take your knees wide, straighten your arms out to opposite sides, or make a cactus shape, or take your arms over your head if your shoulders allow. Relax, close your eyes and hold for 5 to 7 minutes.
To come out of the pose, SLOWLY bring your knees together, keeping your eyes downcast or closed. GENTLY roll to one side. Remove the prop then slowly make your way back onto your back with both legs straight, place your hands on the mat beside your hips.
Take your feet to the edges of your mat and your arms out away from your hips, palms facing up. Let your feet flop to the side and your fingers curl up. Relax your breath, relax your whole body and find deep rest. Hold for 5 minutes minimum, up to 10 minutes if time allows.