Yin Yoga Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 5

Buddha Dragon Yin Sequence

35 min - Practice


Alana guides us in a Buddha Dragon Yin sequence to flush the leg channels and to create more freedom in our shoulders. You will feel a sweet sense of relief and awakening in the body.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block

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Welcome back to this Buddha dragon yin sequence. Today we will be awakening and kind of flushing the leg channels and creating a bit more freedom through our shoulders. So for this practice you'll want to block and we'll begin on our back in a reclining dragon lunge shape. So follow me on your back and start by bending your knees as if you were coming into a bridge pose and with your block nearby press through the feet lift your pelvis up and bring your block at that first kind of lowest setting just beneath your your pelvis so it's supporting your sacrum area and if it feels like it's jamming into your back it is so you'll want to just lower it down so it's supporting the lower part of your sacrum and then from here we'll draw our left knee into our chest interlacing the fingers around the top of the knee and then stretching that right leg out on the floor so coming into a reclining lunge dragon shape. Now right away if you're wanting more a bit more sensation if you need more sensation through the right hip there and hip flexor you might choose to come back into your supported bridge press for the feet lift your pelvis up and bring the block on that second side so it's a bit higher beneath your pelvis if you're on that first side and it feels perfect and stay where you are and then drawing your left knee into your chest extending through the right leg and we're gonna start with a bit of movement here before we release so as you inhale lift your right foot up off the floor and extend it up to the sky flexing the foot so you feel all the muscles engaging in the legs the hamstring stretching and then just slow lower and lengthen through the calf the heel letting that right foot hover and we'll find we'll find five more so inhale reach the right leg up keeping the left knee into the chest and then exhale lower extend and inhale reaching the right leg up exhale slow feel that extension lower and three more inhale reaching up exhale lower softening through the eyes and jaw inhale reach up exhale lower and last one inhale reach the right leg up to the sky flex the foot and feeling all the muscles working here in the legs and then just slowly release and as you release begin to relax the effort through the legs through the muscles and entering into a more passive stretch here for a few minutes and as you arrive here in this in a passive shape notice the quality of your breath let's see any areas you can soften through the eyes and the jaw it might feel nice from here with that left knee into the chest to circle your left ankle out in one direction and circling the ankle in the other direction now depending on your left hip you might keep your knee right where it is you might choose to come into a half frog like shape so the left hand cradles the outer left knee and from your hip letting that left knee open out to the side and then finding some grounding instability through the right hip through that right part of the pelvis nice again softening through the eyes of the mouth and allowing your attention to stay tethered to the breath and you might keep the right hand on the hip to kind of anchor the body you might stretch your right arm out to the side if your left knee is out to the side as you're ready no rush inhale draw that left knee back into the midline and then interlace the fingers around the knee or maybe it's the back of the leg there as you soften the shoulders down the back in the last minute or so here just allowing for that passive stretch and release through the right side through the thigh the hip flexor so as this might feel a little bit more cooling and supportive than the upright kind of fiery dragon that we might be used to in practice and then as you're ready slow bend that right knee release the left and lower that left foot down to the earth coming into that supported bridge shape and you might reorganize your pelvis for a moment here you might choose to stretch both legs out on the floor if that feels okay on your low back and let's allow for a clearing breath inhale and exhale okay as you're ready we'll draw the right knee into the chest and then just stretch that left leg out on the floor and take a few moments to just acclimate here check in with how it feels in your right hip your left leg and then we'll start with some movement so lifting your left foot up off the floor as you inhale stretch your left leg up to the sky and flex the foot and then slow lower and extend so feeling that stretch perhaps through your hamstrings your calf your heel and five more inhale stretch the left leg up and exhale lower down inhale up exhale extend and reach from the center and three more inhale left leg reaches to the sky exhale slow extend inhale up exhale lower and then last one together inhale reach that left leg up to the sky and then slow exhale lower all the way to the earth let that left heel land and then begin to relax the effort through your left leg through your hip and coming into a more passive yin like stretch from here with a right knee into the chest it might feel nice to circle out that right ankle and moving in one direction and then the other direction and on this side you're welcome to keep the right knee right where it is you might choose to cradle the right knee with your right hand and then from your right hip joint begin to open out to the right right any amount here coming into that half frog like shape you might stabilize your left hip with your hand or maybe release the left arm out relaxing the shoulders down the back and feeling the back of the neck just continue to lengthen checking in with the eyes the jaw the face breathing into an edge of sensation I'm allowing for that full exhalation as you soften into it and the play here is really beginning to feel and find that that quality of inner ease within the effort in this passive approach the last minute or so here relaxing through the left thigh muscles and hip flexor so as you might keep the right knee open the right hip open or draw it back into the midline and hands might find the top of the near the back of the thigh and the reclining dragon and then slow as you're ready you can bend the left knee bring us all the foot on the floor right foot on the floor and take a few moments to reorganize the pelvis in that shape of supported bridge or stretch the legs out on the floor we'll find a clearing breath generous exhale and from here it might feel nice to drop both knees into your chest now and stretch both legs up to the sky for a few moments coming into that kind of Viparita Karani shape stretching the legs up towards the sky and you might lengthen the arms down alongside the body finding a bit more space across your chest collarbones notice the effort that's required here and then just slow as you're ready bend the knees bring the feet to the earth and then press for the feet lift your pelvis up off of the block and then just slow lower the spine down feeling the upper middle lower back releasing to the earth we'll stretch the arms overhead for windshield wipers toe heel the feet wide on your mat inhale exhale at the knees fall over to the left inhale the knees back up to center and over to the right and a few more rounds side to side it's your own pace your own breathing pattern feels so nice after the reclining lunge with the block just finding a bit more space and fluid movement through the hips the pelvis the spine and your head might roll this time away from the knees as you inhale back up to center exhale away from the knees nice few more rounds here side to side nice and then inhale the knees back up to center toe heel the feet just underneath the hips and we'll find a bit more opening through the shoulders before we come up so stretch your arms up to the sky and let the palms face each other spread the fingers wide and you're gonna leave your head on the floor as you inhale and just lift your shoulder blades your scapula up off the floor and reach reach reach you might feel the head drop back a little bit and then exhale release the shoulder blades down to the floor and it's that simple we'll do it a few times just inhale lift the shoulder blades up the head might drop and then exhale at the shoulder blades release down let's do about three more reaching up lifting exhale slow melting the shoulder blades to the earth and inhale reaching up exhale lowering keeping the head relaxed last one inhale reach up and then melting the upper back down to the earth hug the knees into the chest and rock yourself side to side nice it's from here we're gonna roll on to our right side for a lounging Buddha here's where the Buddha comes into place and then take a moment you might prop your head up with your hand and let your left arm drape over the legs from here we'll move into a thigh stretch and opening so similar to a half saddle shape so bend your top knee and your hand may or may not find the top of the ankle or top of the foot you might use a strap here as well can be useful and then we're gonna just begin to lengthen through the thigh coming into a passive stretch here feeling this opening through your left shoulder through the left thigh and you want to customize the shape not only for your knee but for your neck so it might feel nice to have your head propped up with your hand you might bring a bolster or a blanket underneath your head or let it rest on your bottom arm notice here in the shape if there's any compression happening through your lower back and see in turn of the internally if you can feel and find that length of the tailbone down towards the heel just allowing the low back to lengthen a bit and breathing into where you feel sensation and this requires a bit of balance and attention right to stay on the side as well as to hold on to the foot so the play here is to find a quality of ease here within the effort and allowing for a more kind of passive stretch rather than a more active and dynamic or rhythmic one allowing the mind to stay awake aware alert as the body becomes more and more settled here perhaps in the shape again the breath is just one of the techniques to help tether the mind into the body was one of the main teachings of Buddha is to invite this quality of mindfulness or awareness really centered in the body finding equanimity and ease okay and then slow release the top leg will transition onto our belly prone so just finding your way there and it might feel nice to let the elbows go wide and let the forehead rest on the top of the hands and your legs and feet might go wide here and you might shimmy the hips a little side to side so then as you're ready second side will roll onto our left side now you can see from behind again you might prop your head up with your hand or a bolster or a blanket and letting that top right arm release onto the leg and then as you're ready bend the top right knee and then grab a hold of what you can so maybe it's top of the foot the ankle if you loop your strap around the foot and then lengthening through the thigh bones you feel that opening through the right shoulder and you might find one side is a bit more wobbly one side is a bit more stable as you balance here again check in with your lower back and you might offer a bit of kind of length through the lower back as you let the tailbone draw towards the heel I'm breathing into where you feel the sensation this side might feel a little or a lot different depending on you know your leg your knee your shoulder and gradually we're offering ourselves to stillness few moments here and saw through the eyes and the mouth these in yoga shapes are relatively simple yet not so easy right to be with what is arising and emerging within the stillness within the quiet space within the sensation and then slowly release your foot slowly it's not like a slingshot and then transition onto your belly then we'll find a neutral shape let the elbows go wide legs might be wide and forehead resting on the top of the hands where you might shimmy your hips again a little side to side we'll transition as you're ready into a tabletop so pressing your way up and coming on to your hands and your knees here and then you might tuck a blanket under your knees for some extra support and padding and we'll allow for some movement and cat cow the movement can feel so nice and juicy after these on a long static holds inhale finding your length and extension and cow and then with your exhale let your back and spine round a lot you might press the earth away into a more active child's with the toes tucked under stretching and getting into the mid-low back area and then inhale moving into your extension finding that length and space and then exhale rounding let's do that one more time inhale to lengthen and exhale curl and round beautiful as you come into neutral we're gonna move into a thread the needle for the shoulder just to find a bit more space and stretch so as you're ready thread your right arm all the way through and from here you might come on to the side of your head here that right part and then pressing the hand that left hand into the earth you want to make sure that the head is comfortable the neck is comfortable so if bringing a blanket underneath would feel good you might do that or change the position if you need to feel more sensation usually pressing the top of that right hand down into the floor can kind of wake up that shoulder that right shoulder area shoulder blade outer lat nice get it might be useful to press your left hand into the floor a bit and kind of twisting or evolving the the ribs the ribcage and lungs towards the sky softening through the mouth through the eyes there's different variations here to explore you might stay here in this static hold you might investigate by reaching the arm up maybe wrapping the top left arm around that right thigh and letting that left shoulder open nice and notice the quality of your breathing it might feel a little constrained or shallow here in the twist nice last few moments here and then slow press your left hand into the floor keep the head heavy as you come back up whoo and then cat-cow washing that through the spine make sure everything's happy and feeling fluid and juicy after holding for a while nice rounding the spine and lengthening nice let's find one more cat-cow beautiful and then as you're ready we'll thread thread thread that left arm all the way through reaching and then you might press the right hand into the floor to kind of help facilitate the twist right feeling the rib cage the torso the lungs kind of revolving up towards the sky and you want to take care of your neck make sure it feels comfortable and notice what you choose to do with your feet so right now my toes are tucked under but having your the tops of your feet on the floor might feel better so for me and my knees usually tucking the toes just feels a little bit more supportive here again you might stay right where you are you might explore reaching the right arm up rolling the shoulder forward and maybe wrapping the top right hand around that left thigh and then find a place where the neck feels easy and relaxed breathing into this kind of awkward shape noticing where you can soften any layers of gripping or tension or holding the last few moments here then carefully freeing that right arm if it's wrapped pressing it into the earth keep the head heavy as you come back up into tabletop who and we'll cat cow just washing that through the spine inhale lengthening and exhale curling inhale arching exhale round this time we'll press back into a wide child's pose just finding a neutral shape for a few moments softening the hips towards the heels you forehead resting towards the earth take your time as you're ready we'll roll on to our back so find your way there yeah nice we're gonna cross we're gonna reach the legs up to the sky we're gonna cross the right ankle on top of the left and then bend the knees right so you might find the knees it's like you're sitting in a sukhasana cross leg position you might if available reach up and grab your big toes or maybe the outer edges of the feet oh and then rock from side to side ah this feels nice relaxing can do the face our nervous system loves the rocking and swaying and swaddling and bouncing it's just very soothing and then we'll stretch the legs up to the sky you might shake them out a little bit shake shake shake and then we'll bring the left ankle on top of the right bend the knees again you might just grab a hold of your knees you might find your big toes with the feet crossed or you might even find you reach up the outer to the outer edges of the feet like you're sitting like you were sitting cross leg and someone tipped you over on your back and you're rocking side to side kind of massaging the muscles in the back body around the spine low back sacrum might feel nice to let your head sway beautiful and then stretching your legs back up to the sky shake shake shake shake shake good and then release the legs out on the floor for Shavasana I'm still allowing yourself to take up space here feel the back of the neck nice and long and lengthening shoulder blades softening down the back legs wide arms wide nice full exhale it's allowing the earth to have all of you without moving begin to turn your awareness towards your breath might begin to gradually kind of flutter the eyes open feeling the light come into your space and then gradually when you feel ready begin to invite movement back in you might stretch the arms overhead wiggle and lengthen bending your knees then roll to your side curling up for a moment take your time to press your way up into a comfortable and supported seat let's take a few moments to let everything settle in the base of the skull wide face off joining the hands together apart with gratitude namaste thank you for your practice


Jenny S
1 person likes this.
So lovely as usual Alana ❤️ My hip flexors and quads feeling quite alive now!
Alana Mitnick
Jenny! So happy you're here! Love, Alana
Joan J
1 person likes this.
Alana I was waiting and hoping for another Yin practice. This is wonderful, I get such good stretches in my calves when stretching the leg straight up in dragon. Such a heavenly session. I look forwards to more Yin practices from you, it is the most peaceful, inward, meditative yoga for me🌾💮🌾
Alana Mitnick
Wonderful to hear, Joan! You are such a dedicated yogini. I really admire your commitment to practicing. So glad you're enjoying these Yin practices. xoA
Joan J
1 person likes this.
I hope you have more Yin sessions coming
Alana Mitnick
HI Joan - Yes, I believe there are three more Yin practices coming! With Love, Alana
2 people like this.
This is a splendid practice, and your instructions are so clear and easy to listen to and follow. This class is almost like being in your live class. :) Thank you.
Alana Mitnick
Thank you, Lori. So happy to hear that this practice "spoke" to you. Communication is such a mystery and a miracle! With Love, Alana
Leah K
1 person likes this.
Thank you Alana! I needed something cooling and low to the ground today and this was the ticket. 
Alana Mitnick
Hi Leah! Oh I'm happy to hear from you. Yes, staying low and close to the earth is such a sweet way to ground the energy and unwind. Lovely to be practicing together. Love, Alana
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