Yin Yoga: Chest and Thoracic Spine
If you have been sitting too much, hunched over a computer or phone, this Yin Yoga Sequence is for you!
All you need is a mat and a pillow or blanket. I used a thick rectangular pillow, but a bolster, pillow, or rolled up blanket will work.
Before you start, take some time seated or lying on your mat to just breathe. Close your eyes and connect with your senses by noticing sounds, your body in space, and feeling your natural breath. After a few minutes, move into this ~30 minute Yin Sequence starting with pose 1.
1. Banana Pose
Start on your back with legs long and arms overhead. Walk feet over to left bottom corner of your mat and cross your right ankle over your left. Grab right wrist with left hand and draw arms and head over to top left corner of your mat keeping shoulders and hips planted. Relax here and breathe for 3 minutes then switch sides.
2. Side Bend
Roll onto your left side with knees bent. Place pillow under your waist between you and your mat. Support your head with your left arm and reach right arm up and over head with palm down. After 2 minutes switch sides.
3. Pec Stretch
Roll onto your belly to start. Reach left arm out to a (T) with palm facing down. Turn left cheek down with gaze to right. Place right hand next to right shoulder. Bend right knee and open up placing right foot behind left leg. Adjust as needed to be comfortable. Switch sides after 2 minutes.
4. Thread The Needle Pose
Come to hands and knees (Table Top). Reach right arm out to right side and up then thread the right hand under the left arm, reaching out until your right shoulder connects with the ground. Use left hand to support you if the right shoulder does not reach the mat. If the shoulder connects to the ground and you feel stable, reach the left arm long towards the top of the mat. Switch sides after 2 minutes.
5. Supported Bridge
Lie down on your back with knees bent. Lift hips and place your pillow or blanket under your low back and sacrum and then rest back down. reach arms over head or allow them to rest at sides with palms up. Reach legs long. Close your eyes and breathe for 3 minutes.
6. Legs Up The Wall Pose
Bend knees from supported bridge. Start to reach your legs long towards the ceiling. The thicker your pillow or blanket the easier it will be to just let the legs hang above you. Stay for 2 minutes
7. Reclined Butterfly Pose
After placing feet back onto the ground, lift hips and move your pillow or blanket up to your mid back. Bring the soles of your feet together and allow your knees to fall out to butterfly. Reach your arms up and over head and bring elbows down to shoulder level with palms open towards the ceiling (goal post arms). 3 minutes
8. Child's Pose
Move back onto your hands and knees (Table Top). Bring toes together to touch and take knees wide towards the edges of your mat. Sit your hips back onto your heels and reach arms long as you drop your forehead to the mat. Relax your arms. Rest here for 5 minutes.
Enjoy this sequence a few times a week, especially on days that you sit or feel tightness in your upper back and chest.