“A hard physical challenge must be met with an equally intense recovery. That’s one of the most profound lessons that yoga taught me. You can’t just do the hard.” -Commander Mark Divine, former Navy Seal
If you haven’t tried Yin or Restorative yoga yet, it might be just what you’re looking for. It’s a style that requires no previous yoga experience and is ideal for:
- speeding up athletic recovery
- increasing flexibility
- loosening up tight joints
- easing aches and pains
- relaxing the body
- calming the mind
With Yin, unlike Vinyāsa or flow yoga, we hold each pose for three minutes or more. I’ve taught this class now to hundreds of surfers and here I’ve selected the 10 poses I’ve found to be most effective for stretching out your tightest spots.
I’ll give you some pointers for each of the poses and you can head to my site: www.yoga15.com for more detailed instructions and video tutorials.
Here are a few tips to get the most out of the routine
1. Use a timer. Start by holding each pose for 3 minutes on each side. If your aim is to improve your flexibility, increase the time by 5-10 seconds each session. You can hold most of the poses for 10 minutes or more.
2. Breathe in and out through your nose throughout the sequence. As you inhale, breathe deep into your belly, inflating it like a balloon. On every exhalation, squeeze all the air out as slowly as you can, drawing your belly button back to your spine.
3. As with all training, consistency is the key. This sequence will help you to relax if you do it every now and again but the real benefits are only going to come if you are consistent. You can do the full sequence a couple of times a week or break it up into poses and do 15 minutes, 3-5 days a week.
4. The aim of Yin yoga is to completely let go of tension as you settle into each pose. When your muscles are relaxed, they are much more receptive to stretching. Prop yourself up on as many cushions as you need to feel comfortable and relaxed.
5. The best time to do this sequence is at the end of the day and I don’t recommend doing it before vigorous exercise.
6. Be careful not to put your body in any position that causes you pain.
Click through the photo gallery above and follow the steps in each caption. And remember, restorative yoga is about training yourself to get better at dropping into a state of peace and stillness. Use it as an opportunity to fully relax and focus on yourself, without distractions. #metime