So to remind you about what our Yin journey is all about, I would like to share with you a very fitting quote by the great Mahatma Gandhi and our accompanying Yin asana for this month:
“Good travels at a snail’s pace. Those who want to do good are not selfish, they are not in a hurry, they know that to impregnate people with good requires a long time.”
This month I would like to share with you the Yin snail and remind you to be forgiving, be patient and to persevere when working on doing good to yourself, before we can help others, we must first help and heal ourselves.
Although our progress may be slower that we like, good is being done. The snail is a great reminder that although the journey may be slow, you can keep going moving.
The Yin snail is also an amazing posture to lively up the main highway of our body… the spine. Often we take the spine for granted and expect it to just keep, keeping us upright, but imagine if it didn’t just keep us standing and upright, imagine if it actually moved freely!
Look no further than the slow-paced but high achieving Yin snail to bring these awesome benefits to your life:
• A deep release and stretch for the whole spine
• A nice relax for the heart
• Great internal organ massage
• Increases blood flow to the head
• A good drain of the lungs
• Relives the urinary tract
• A nice release of the neck and shoulders
Although this asana can seem daunting. There are a few steps you can follow to progress and staying mindful and patient, with a steady breathe, is the key.
1 - Start by lying of your back with your knees on your chest.
2 - For beginners or those of you with glaucoma, neck issues or very high blood pressure, follow photo one. By extending your hands above your head and keeping the back round, catching the feet, the ankles or the calves and bringing your feet above your head.
3 - To progress onto the full snail, take an out-breathe and support your lower back with your hands as your back lifts off the floor.
4 - In-breathe as you extend your legs over your head, keeping the knees bent.
5- Aim to have your knees touch your forehead and both feet touch the mat behind your head.
6 - Once you feel comfortable with your feet and knee placement, place your palms down beside your hips and breath steadily with a longer out-breathe to your in breathe. See photo two.
7 - Hold this asana for 1-3 minutes.
8 - Slowly roll your back down onto the mat on completion and rest in this lying position for another 30 seconds to one minute. Don’t be surprised if you feel some tingly or warm sensations as you are resting, this is normal for this posture as we were all just inverted, things have to settle back.
Happy stretching. Metta, Kim oxo.
Kim White is the owner of Sala Samadhi. she offers authentic Hatha yoga instruction for private and group sessions. Visit: mindbodyyogasystem.com or call 086 276 9174.