A Yin Yoga Sequence to Connect You to the Present Moment

Reclined Butterfly Pose or Restorative Supta Baddha Konasana for great relaxation and deep rest

Few practices are quite as grounding as Yin Yoga. There is something truly magical about this style of yoga. The practice almost instantly draws you into the present moment by drawing you deeply into your body and your breath. A good Yin Yoga sequence can make you feel amazing.

Yin practices three basic principles:

  1. Find an appropriate “edge.”
  2. Commit to stillness.
  3. Commit to staying for a length of time.

The simplicity and the basic principles of this practice help to ground you and draw you into the present. Most Yin shapes are held for about two to five minutes or more, which allows you to settle into their grounding magic.

How to Practice a Grounding Yin Yoga Sequence

The following Yin Yoga sequence is a gentle practice that is intended to ground you to the present moment. For this practice, you’ll need two yoga blocks (or thick books), a yoga bolster (or firm pillow or thick, rolled up blanket), and some clear wall space.

Grounding Meditation

Yoga student practicing a grounding meditation creating stability and a sense of connection to the earth.

  1. Start in any comfortable seated position. You may wish to sit onto a block or your bolster.
  2. Root your sit bones down toward the floor and lengthen the crown of your head toward the sky.
  3. Soften your gaze or close your eyes. Rest your hands on your lap or your legs with your palms facing down.
  4. Feel the weight of your legs ground down toward the earth. Visualize yourself growing deep roots to connect you with the earth.
  5. Feel your weight melt downward as you feel more and more grounded.
  6. Become aware of your breath and slow its rhythm. Take long, full, deep inhalations followed by long, full, deep exhalations.
  7. Feel grounded to this moment by connecting deeply with your breath.
  8. Ruminate here for a few minutes.

Half Butterfly Pose (Ardha Baddha Konasana)

Ardha Baddha Konasana or Restorative Half Butterfly Pose a gentle forward fold.

  1. Slowly refocus your gaze or flutter open your eyes.
  2. Stretch your legs forward in front of you. You may wish to place (or keep) any props under your hips or you may wish to sit on the floor.
  3. Bend your right knee and plant your foot on the mat. Open your right knee out wide and draw the sole of your right foot into your inner left thigh. Optional propping: slide a prop under your right knee and/or place a prop under your left knee.
  4. Tent your fingers behind your hips and ground down into your fingertips to elongate your spine. Notice how this simple action will gently tip your pelvis forward into an anterior tilt.
  5. Stay as you are or draw your chin toward your chest and round your whole spine forward as you fold over your left leg. Use props in any way that you’d like to support your weight. You may wish to angle a bolster and rest your forehead over it. You may wish to place your bolster between your leg and your torso. You may wish to rest your head over a block. Play around with your props until you find a really soothing and relaxing position for yourself.
  6. Surrender into stillness in this shape for about 4 minutes. If you’d like to, close your eyes and feel your weight melting down toward the earth.
  7. When you’re ready, slowly release out and take any counterposes that feel appropriate before practicing on the opposite side.

Reclined Butterfly Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Reclined Butterfly Pose or Restorative Supta Baddha Konasana for great relaxation and deep rest.

  1. Place your two blocks at the top of your mat with one on its highest height setting and one on its medium setting directly behind it. Slide your bolster over your blocks so it creates a downward slope facing toward the bottom of your mat.
  2. Come to sit in front of your bolster and draw the back of your pelvis to touch the bolster.
  3. Bend your knees and plant your feet onto the floor and then open your knees out wide toward the sides of your mat so you can draw the soles of your feet to touch. Choose to either slide your feet further away from your pelvis or closer toward it. You can place props underneath your knees for added support if you like.
  4. Place your hands behind your hips and slowly lower the weight of your torso onto your bolster slope behind you. You may wish to roll up a small towel or blanket to support the nape of your neck.
  5. Rest your hands wherever they feel comfortable and, if you’d like, close your eyes.
  6. Surrender the weight of your body to the downward pull of gravity and ground yourself here for about 6 minutes
  7. When you’re ready, slowly draw your knees back together and gently rise up to sit. Clear your mat of props and take any organic movements that your body is craving before moving on to the next shape.

Supported Bridge Pose (Salamba Setu Bandhasana)

Salamba Setu Bandhasana or Supported Bridge Pose is a gentle backbend as part of a well-rounded Restorative Practice.

  1. Lie down on your back with a block nearby.
  2. Bend your knees and plant your feet on the floor roughly hips-distance apart.
  3. Ground down into your shoulders and your feet to lift your hips off the floor. Slide your block under your pelvis on any height setting that you like and then release its weight onto the block. Make sure that the block is widthwise across your sacrum so that the whole sacroiliac (SI) joint is supported.
  4. You can stay as you are or straighten one or both legs out to reach toward the bottom of your mat.
  5. Close your eyes if you like and ground your weight down into your block. Soften your breath and surrender into stillness here for about 5 minutes.
  6. When you’re ready, slowly lift your hips and release the block from underneath you. Take any organic movements that your body is craving to counter the shape.

Wall Dragonfly Pose (Maksikanagasana)

Wall Dragonfly Pose or also known as a Restorative version of Legs-up-the-Wall Pose or Maksikanagasana Pose.

  1. Shimmy your body closer to the wall until you can slide your legs up it. If your pelvis tilts anteriorly when your hips are touching the wall, scoot further back, away from the wall. You can slide a bolster underneath your pelvis, as in Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani) if you like.
  2. Open your legs out wide into a V shape as you allow the weight of your legs to surrender down with gravity.
  3. Melt the weight of your torso and your arms into the mat.
  4. Option to close your eyes as you relax into stillness here for about 8 minutes.
  5. Slowly draw your legs into your chest when you’re ready, and gently roll over onto one side.
  6. Ground down into the earth for a few deep breaths before rising up and moving on with your day.

Ground Yourself With the Simplicity of This Yin Yoga Sequence

The simplicity of Yin Yoga is really where its magic lies. With simple shapes, simple breath, simple stillness, and simply, time, we can use this practice to ground ourselves to the present. Enjoy the simplicity of this Yin Yoga sequence to feel deeply rooted and grounded in the present moment.

Leah Sugerman, E-RYT 500, YACEP, yoga writer

Leah Sugerman is a yoga teacher, writer, and passionate world traveler. An eternally grateful student, she has trained in countless schools and traditions of the practice. She teaches a fusion of the styles she has studied with a strong emphasis on breath, alignment, and anatomical integrity. Leah teaches workshops, retreats, and trainings, both internationally and online. For more information, visit www.leahsugerman.com.

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