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Season 5 - Episode 8

Expansive Yin

30 min - Practice


It is through the wisdom of the body that we access our more profound selves, where we may experience the subtler aspects of being. In this Yin practice, we climb to the top of the chakra ladder into the Crown Chakra, where Jeanne leads us through long holds in Standing Forward Fold, Half- Reclining Hero’s Pose, and Firelog. You will feel peace and oneness with everything in nature.
What You'll Need: Square Bolster, Block

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Apr 02, 2020
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Hello and welcome back. Here we are in our yin practice celebrating the crown chakra, the seventh chakra, right up here. The crown chakra is an expansive expression of the whole being. It is a manifestation of our process of transformation. So in order to nourish and encourage this expression, we need to come back into our bodies and really nourish the whole vessel so that all this energy can flow.

So start down at your feet and just take the soles of your feet in your hands and give your feet a little massage. It's a nice way to ground yourself, to support what's holding you up, and taking your hands and just pressing down onto your calves, a little compression here, encouraging this earth energy to come on up, giving your knees a little massage, palming up the legs, and kind of pressing down on my inner thighs. It feels really nice on the hip flexors, and taking your hands right on your lower back and just giving your lower back a little massage here. Feels good, yeah. Pulling up into the shoulders, circling the shoulders, good.

So we'll do a little bit more in the shoulders in the neck, in the next pose. So come on up and move your blanket off to the side and grab your block. You're going to need a block and potentially a bolster for this, so make sure you have those nearby. Take your block at the lowest setting, and I'm going to just bend my knees here and come into Virasana, hero's pose, resting on the block. If that feels a little bit too spicy, come up to the medium setting.

It's lengthwise, so it supports the hip bones here, and again, just pressing the palms of your hands right in the thighs, just to feel that grounding, that warmth and support. And then come into the shoulders, big shoulder circles, yeah, inviting more breath in the body, and bringing your arms all the way up, pressing down with the hip bones, reaching the hands up, and circle out the wrists, hydrating into the joints. Clasp your hands and bring the palms of the hands up towards the sky and the tailbone down towards the earth, just claiming a little more space in your body. Take a deep breath here, exhale, lengthening between the hips and the ribs by deepening your breath, yeah. Come on down, and if this feels really good, stay right here.

If you want to deepen the pose a little bit by stretching the soles of the feet, lift on up, take your block and bring it in front of you. I'm going to come to the side so you can see my toes curled under here, so if this feels like enough, just resting your hands on the block or on the floor, stretching out the soles of my feet, the fascia on the backs of the legs, the backs of the body. If you want to move a little deeper with me, you can come on up. It's rather spicy, so stay on the sweet side of the edge, make sure you're breathing, soften your jaw, let your body sink down into the earth, and feel those spaces in your body with breath. Notice if you're feeling a different sensation on right and left side.

For me, the left side is rather intense. Give yourself another two or three deep breaths here, good, and slowly bring yourself back up onto, might feel really good to stretch out the toes here. Move your block away from you, and we're going to come on to downward facing dog, so curling the toes under, take a deep breath in, and exhale, downward facing dog from here, just walking your hands back towards your feet, bowing the head towards the earth in Uttanasana. Okay, let's roll up the spine one vertebrae at a time, letting your head come up last. Circle in the shoulders, and meet me in Tadasana, mountain pose, good.

So from here, we're going to roll in and out of Tadasana and Uttanasana, so mountain pose, two forward fold, three times with the breath, inhale here, exhale, head first, rolling down the spine all the way down to the earth, inhale, rolling up, head comes up last, exhale, just circle your shoulders, nice, take an inhale, exhale down, inhale, you can bend your knees for this forward fold, keep the legs really soft, exhale, one more time, inhale, exhale, coming all the way down, meet me in Uttanasana, either bent knees or straight legs will stay here, be here for a moment, and again, if your hamstrings are feeling a little cranky, keep your knees bent, you might want to just get a little wobble right and left, circles in the head, relax the neck, rock forward and back, just finding those edges and nudge up against them with your breath, staying here with the hands or bringing a little bit deeper stretch by crossing your elbows, crown of the head melting down towards the earth, bowing into the wisdom, the support, the grounding from the earth, let's take one more deep breath here, exhale, side out, and as you inhale, roll all the way back up, circle in the shoulders with the exhale, beautiful work, good, so coming down, back down to a seat, join me here and just a little rock right and left, nice way to warm up the areas that we're going to stretch here in fire log, outer thighs, hips, so stacking knee on top of ankle and ankle on top of knee, so my right hip is a little cranky today, I'm going to be really sweet with it, yeah, so if this does not come down to here, that's okay, flex both your ankles to kind of protect your knee joints here, staying right here if this feels really good, just enough for you, feels enough for me for the moment, and as things soften, perhaps bowing your head down, inviting the weight of the head to traction out, whole back body, nice deep breath, stabilizing this pose by pressing your hands down if that feels comforting, just a little rock with the head releases any tension in the neck and the shoulders, the brown jaw, sometimes this pose can bring up spicier sensations or thoughts or emotions, so just continue to cool and calm your whole being, with deep, slow, easy breaths, and let's take another breath or two, let's take another breath or two, and let's take another breath or two, keep the breath really deep as you walk your hands back, so everything stays very soft and open, and I like to lean back and give my knees and my hips a lot of space, a little shimmy, maybe a little massage for the knees, taking your fingers right in the kneecaps and circling kneecaps around, encouraging that synovial fluid before we go to the other side, massaging out the hip flexors, good, okay, you ready? So right knee on the bottom, left ankle on top, ankle to knee, knee to ankle, my left hip's a little cranky today too, ease in, yeah, staying up here if this feels really good, staying really soft in the face, perhaps walking slightly forward, perhaps bowing your head down, bowing the crown chakra into the wisdom of the body and how our bodies communicate through sensations and emotions and imagery, staying curious, impatient, you might feel a little warming or buzzing or tingling, it's normal, just energy moving, resetting the nervous system by resting in shapes, that may not be the most comfortable or familiar, but we're willing to stay here and explore and soften, and as our bodies soften, our hearts soften, our gaze softens, let's take one more deep breath in and slowly, gently bring yourself back up, straighten your legs out, a little wobble here, a little massage, good, I like to take my hands and just squeeze the outer leg line, the iliotibial band of fascia that connects the hips down to the knees to encourage circulation, into the low back, just warmth of the hands, good, so one more pose, coming back to your backs for a moment of a transition, knees into your chest, little circle around, slow bicycling the legs, knees into the chest again, then rolling over onto your side, let's come up to a seat and we'll set up for half reclining heroes pose, so grab your bolster and bring it straight behind you alongside the spine, I like to have about a fist distance between my low back and the bolster, let's start with the left knee bent behind you, so pulling the flesh of the calf out away so you have a lot of space here, the foot is right alongside your leg, and let's take a nice deep breath sitting up, if this feels just enough for you, stay right here, it's a beautiful stretch for the front of the thigh, this feels really good, if you are desiring to deepen the stretch, come on back, so again about a fist distance here, come all the way back, oh that's nice, and nudging the shoulders underneath you wide across the collarbone, hands in cactus or out to the side or above your head, they feel really good here for me, a little nod, head side to side to relax the neck, settle in, this is a beautiful shape to open the front of the body, and the fascia along the front of the legs, up along the abdominals, the chest, the throat, the brow, up into the crown, so as you continue to soften your gaze, deepen your breath, invite this energy that's opening up to move up to the top of your head to the crown chakra, to the portal of expansion and transformation, with the ability to feel and hear and see and sense what is beyond the physical sensations expanding into our higher selves, let's take another breath or two or three, easing yourself back in, coming out of this, I like to press my palm straight down and using the strength of my hands to come straight up, be careful of your knee, we want to come straight up here, rock over onto the left leg to straighten that right leg out and just take a moment before we go to the other side, maybe a little shimmy, a little rock here, if your knee's feeling a little tender you can give yourself that little knee massage, feels really good, yeah, you ready? Let's come to the other side, so over on the right hip, pulling the flesh of the calf on the left side out, make sure you're on both sit bones evenly, the bolster is still supporting you, come all the way down, again this side might be different if you want to stay up, so he's tuned into what your body needs, I'm shimmying my shoulders underneath, so I have a lot of space here, so see if that feels okay for you, arms in cactus, staying curious, this side has a completely different story to tell, and different channels to open, staying with a beginner's mind, a patient heart, and soft eyes, perhaps widening your gaze, noticing your whole body, notice where the energy is moving, how it's manifesting, maybe buzzing or tingling imagery, emotions opening up, stay curious, let's take another two or three deep breaths, bringing your palms of your hands straight down, to encourage a straight movement sitting up, being careful of your knee, and rocking over onto that right hip, straightening your left leg out, massaging your knees one more time, and setting up for shavasana, you might want to spring your bolster right underneath your knees, you should feel pretty good by now, let's open the legs up wide, let yourself settle down, settle in, maybe one last little wobble of the whole body, and slowly finding that outer stillness, turning the gaze to the inner, direction, deep breaths, Let's continue letting go. Let's continue letting go. Let's continue letting go. Just expand your vision, taking in your whole body, your mind, your heart, all of the sensations and information, breathing space and light into your whole being.

And inviting the wisdom, the alchemy that crystallizes from our awareness to move up into the crown chakra, propelling our continued transformation. Not too deep in your breath, staying in shavasana as long as feels good for you. If you're ready to come out, find those little movements, little wiggle wobbles, circling, rotting, gently bringing your knees in towards your chest, little rocks side to side, rolling over onto your side. Coming up once again, head comes up last, finding that comfortable seat. Just take this last moment to notice with so much gratitude, thank you, namaste.


Nonie R
Awesome.  Just what my tight hips needed.  I feel it all the way down to my feet.
Jenny S
2 people like this.
This beautiful yin managed to get me out of my head full of racing thoughts and into a delicious meditative state...your gentle demeanor is the perfect tonic for these stressful times 🎋
Tracy S
1 person likes this.
My hips thank you! It was so peaceful and calming to my whole body. Thank you for guiding me into a place of peace. Namaste!
Hi Nonie, Wonderful to hear!  I'm so glad you enjoyed this practice!
2 people like this.
Thank you Jenny!  Yes, our Yoga practice has that energetic quality doesn't it!  Out of the head and into the body, yes a much needed calm during these times.  So glad you enjoyed! 
Hi Tracy, what sweet insights, Thankyou! So glad the practice brought you peace, Namaste!
Leigh T
Couldn’t do the last pose, my knees wouldn’t let me go back, be good to get a variation as this is level one. Loved the hip opening pose, simple but so effective.
3 people like this.
Hi Leigh, Thankyou for reaching out with this question, yes there are some good alternatives  for the last pose; reclining half Hero's pose, which is a great stretch for the front of the leg, up into the  abdomen and torso.
I find this below reclining lunge  is a good alternative.  Explore how this feels for you and keep me posted!  We can explore additional variations as well.
Thanks again:)
Jessie G
Yay Yin!  So sweet! Thank you! 
Jessie  EnJ0Y! keep me posted!
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