Late November, early December is an interesting time of year, especially in Northern Alberta. On the one hand, it can be frigid.. on the other hand, it can be above zero, sunny and warm. I like to call it the time of year where Mother Nature is confused from one day to the next.

While yin yoga is a beautiful practice for any time of year, it’s especially lovely in the colder months as the body’s natural tendency is to curl inwards.

This is a practice for late fall / early winter, and focuses on the Lung & Kidney/Bladder meridians.

The Lung meridian, when out of balance, can leave us with feelings of grief and sadness. Sometimes, our tendencies to go inwards, to hibernate and to stay warm, can leave us emulating sadness even if we don’t necessarily feel that specific emotion. On the other hand, when in balance, there is joy, dignity and integrity.

The Kidneys transport and balance fluids within the body, and house jing, the essential life energy. When out of balance, we can experience fear. When in balance, there is willpower and wisdom.

“Between the stimulus and the response there is a space and in that space lies our power and our freedom.” ~Victor Frankl

This sequence takes anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes.

Butterfly:

Bring the soles of the feet together and drop the knees open. Feet can be any distance that’s comfortable for you from your perineum. If needed, bring blocks under the knees for support. Lengthen through your spine and shift your hips forward. Fold to whatever depth works for your body.
Hold for: 4-6 minutes

Tipsy Frog:

From your belly, draw your right knee along the ground to come to a 90 degree angle on the floor. If it’s too intense you can lessen the angle or bring your foot closer to your opposite leg. If you need more, you can extend your leg out. Bring the elbows slightly in front of the shoulders.
Hold for: 3-5 minutes per side

Half Melting Heart with Option for Gate Legs:

Come to hands and knees. Keep your hips stacked above your knees and bring your right hand farther in front of you and bring the left forearm to the ground so you can rest your forehead upon it. Begin to melt the heart down to the ground allowing the head to your forearm. If it feels available, extend the right leg out to the side with the toes pointing forward.
Hold for: 3-5 minutes per side

Bananasana:

From the back, bring your legs along the ground to the right, and cross one foot over the other if you need help holding it in place. Keep your hips and shoulders where they are, and consider bringing your arms over to the right. Perhaps hold your left wrist with your right hand.
Hold for: 3-5 minutes per side

Supported Bridge:

From the back, using a block or a bolster, lift the hips and slide under the sacrum / hips. Make sure the prop is under the boney part of the hips and not under the fleshy muscles! Relax your sacrum onto the block. Feet are roughly hip distance apart. If you want a deeper stretch of chest and armpits, you can extend your arms overhead.
Hold for: 5 minutes

Supported Fish OR Happy Baby

Supported Fish: Bring a bolster under your shoulder blades. Knees can stay bent or be straight. Arms go over the bolster.

Happy Baby: Hold onto the feet and let the knees drop open.

Hold for: 3-4 minutes.

Disclaimer: Please check with your health practitioner before starting any new practice. Please listen to your body, and work with a yoga teacher to ensure you are adhering to alignment and safety.

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