Supine Twist with Weighted Assists:
Boom! Have you ever been in a yoga class and the teacher adds slight pressure to your pose? Using a weighted pillow, you can get a similar feeling and also add an extra something to the body in an attempt to release muscles and deep tissues.
Starting on your back, shift your hips to the right and then drop your knees to the left. Let the hips, knees and ankles make a 90 degree angle, or mimic the shape of a chair fallen over on its side. Tuck your shoulder blades underneath your body and make sure that bottom bony parts of your hip feels comfy if you are practicing in a non grassy place. Add the pillow to the top leg to increase sensation on the top outer hip. Add the other prop to the arm to increase the sensation in the upper chest and arms. Breath deep into the belly in this shape. Imagine each exhale is ringing you out and cleaning out the things that don’t serve you. Imagine the weight of the props getting heavier and heavier with each exhale, as you sink deep into the earth to remember where you came from and where you will return to.
Supported Butterfly Fold:
In this pose, I love adding a prop under my ankles. It gives softness and the space to shift as the buckwheat contents of the pillow shift. Folding the second pillow in half and using it as a head (or dread) support tends to move the stress and stretch to a different part of the back body. Like all variations in Yin, you can move the heels closer to the pelvis or further away. You can also shift the tilt of the pelvis, which is one of the super important adjustments you can make in a Yin shape. Remember of the excellent mantras. If you are feeling it, you are enduring it! Be aware, breath slowly, and allow your intuition and your body to guide what feels best for you.
This shape is great for the outer hips, the lower back, the inner thighs, the spine and the belly. Like the principles of Yin and interconnected-ness, see if you can feel how subtle adjustments to your limbs and the way you construct this shape change your experience.
Supported Tight Shoelace with a Fold:
This one will take you back to the good stuff in your practice. Take this as a moment to surrender to the beauty of change when we pause the struggle and feel deep gratitude in letting go. Let go of those old stories, unneeded tension and our addiction to keeping it all together. Melt and the face of challenge of deep change.
Use the pillows in different shapes so the body can feel supported and relaxed. Sink into the props as you communicate with all of your tissues, issues, muscles and bones to soften and allow energy to flow into new places. This shape can also be done on your back with the pillows supporting your pelvis as you reach for your ankles, calves, or even grab the back of the thighs. Still not working out? Try this shape on your back, with your feet on the wall and the pillows supporting your pelvis. Hunt for the tightest tension in these shapes by moving the position of the ankles and knees. Be gentle with yourself and listen to your body. Release all of the tension that arises in these hip poses into the earth like anger compost. The earth will consider it a gift, and you get to let it go and seep back to the soil below you!