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7 Yin Yoga Poses & Mat pilates exercises to serve you well when you're short of time.

A Little bit of Pilates and Yin Yoga is better than none at all.

When You're short of time it can be all too easy to let your Pilates and Yoga slip a little, then a little bit more until a day becomes a week and a week becomes a month since you last stepped onto your mat.

Pilates and Yoga doesn't have to be all or nothing. What it is about is being consistent, keeping in the habit of doing Pilates and Yoga. This might mean one hour a week spread out over the whole week. It might mean 20 minutes a day or less. The important thing is that you are doing it and then it's a whole lot easier when you do have more time to build it back up again into doing more.

Pilates and Yin Combo.

Did you know you can combine the two? A little bit of Yin to stretch and lengthen, a little bit of pilates to strengthen and get the joints back to their normal state a little bit quicker. One Yin, One Pilates. Or, Pilates and then use the Yin for a really great stretch, Normally we don't heat the body before Yin but it is still very beneficial. Traditionally we don't warm up the body before a Yin Yoga session ( see Yoga page for more info) We rather the muscles be cold because when we move we warm up the muscles which act to protect In Yin Yoga we want to get deep into the tissues that lie beneath the muscles, However it can be useful to do a mix of both together and You can do a yang exercise first and then do Yin afterwards but you would feel it more in the joints and ligaments rather than the tissue but that too is

fine and may be just what you need after a workout.

However it is important to warm up the body thoroughly before a workout as the body is tight and needs heat to help it to relax and become more stretchy and responsive so that you don't damage yourself.

Yin Yoga poses hold for 2 to 3 minutes for each pose

1/ Dangling -Hamstrings, (spine, calfs, lower back)

stand tall with the arms by your side roll your chin to the chest and allow the spine to to roll down so that your head is hovering above the floor. bend your elbows and place your right hand on the left elbow and the left hand on the right elbow and just dangle. when your time is up and you're ready to come out of the pose you can either roll back up to standing or bend the knees and come down into Childs pose. ( feel free to bend the knees if that makes the pose more accessible for you and takes some of the pressure of the hamstrings in the backs of the legs.

2/Yoga Squat- (Hips, lower back)

Feel free to sit on one or two blocks if this makes the pose more accessible for you.

Stand tall with your legs a little wider than shoulder width apart and your feet turned outward, squat down to the floor bring your hands into a prayer position and place your elbows inside your thighs and hold.

3/ Sphinx (spine)

Lay on your front with elbows placed just in front of the elbows, and the l6egs extended directly behind you. Gently push your forearms down on the mat/floor and push gently away from the arms and hold.

4/ Half Butterfly (hips, Hamstrings, spine)

Sit on the floor or a Yoga bolster, block or 1-2 firm cushions if you have difficulty siting up straight. Extend the right leg out in front of you and place the sole of the left foot at the inner thigh, or knee, stretch your arms up to the sky and fold the upper body forward to a place that feels good for you without forcing or trying to over reach. (we are not trying to reach for the toes) Place the arms by the side of the legs with the palms of the hands facing upward. Hold for 2-3 minutes.

5/Half Butterfly with the left leg extended.

6/ Single leg reclining twist to the right

Lay on your back with both legs extended. Bring your left knee into the chest with both hands.Extend the left arm out like a wing and place the right hand on the left knee. Gently bring the right leg (keeping right leg bent) over and across the right thigh, avoiding lifting the left shoulder off the floor. Roll the head to the left tuck the chin in. Hold 2-3 minutes

7/ Single leg reclining twist to the left.


1 Roll downs -(Spine mobility)

Stand tall with the feet and knees hip distance apart and the arms by the side of the body.

engage the abdominals and pelvic floor to 30% .

Roll the head down to the chest and continue rolling the rest of the spine down without over bending the knees.(you're not trying to reach for the toes so don't force your body to try) Keep the chin tucked in and roll up one vertebrae at a time the neck and head being the last thing to come up.

2/The one hundred (core, upper abdominals)

Lay on the back with the spine in a neutral position and arms by the side of the body. Engage abdominals and pelvic floor abring both legs in to a table top position one at a time.Tuck the chin in and peel the head and shoulders off the floor hover both arms above the mat and beat the arms as you inhale and exhale for the count of 5 (10 times). keep the shins parallel to the ceiling and the core engaged throughout the exercise. When you have finished the exercise bring the legs down to the floor one a time.

3/ Shoulder bridge (Glutes, core, spinal mobility, legs) x 6- 8 reps)

Lay on the back and engage the core place the spine in a neutral position place the legs hip width distance apart.

Tilt the pelvis towards you, engage the glutes and begin to roll your lower back off the floor as you lift the hips up towards the ceiling (keep the posterior pelvic tilt) roll the spine off the floor one vertebrae at a time until you reach the shoulders. Bring the arms behind you, then back down to the floor and roll the spine one vertebrae at a time down to the floor. Repeat.for extra strength and challenge use the pilates ring in between the thighs < on the outside of thighs or the pilates ball under the feet.

4/ Double leg stretch Core, lower back strength lower abdominal strength.

Lay on the back, feet and knees hip width distance apart, engage core. Place arms by your side.keep spine in neutral and bring both legs into table top one at a time. Bring feet and knees together . Extend both legs and bring arms to the ears (Keep the head down) bring legs back to table top . You can also do this with the head and shoulder off the floor and use your abdominal and core strength to prevent the head and shoulders leaning back as the arms come back. You can also perform this with an arm circle.

5/ Side kick Right and left (obliques, Outside of upper thigh, Core.

Lay on your right/left side with both legs straight and stacked on top of each other. Engage core and lift the top leg off to hip height and point the toes and extend the leg forwards and back to the foot. Avoid rocking or rolling the body. Repeat x 10

6/ Spine twist- flexibility- Thoracic spine, core.

Sit up with the legs crossed or extended. Place hands in prayer position, cossac, or extend the arms to the side in a straight line from the shoulders and at shoulder height.

Twist upper body to the right If in prayer position keep hands at the chest (keeping hips facing forwards) if arms extended keep arms in peripheral vision.Twist upper body to the right back to centre and twist to the left and back to centre. Repeat

7/ Swimming on all 4's position (variation) _( upper body strengthening, pelvic stability, Core strength

Come onto hands and knees with hands under the shoulders and knees under the hips. Slowly extend your right arms in front of you and your left leg behind you at the same time. Avoid leaning to one side and avoid rounding the shoulders, keep your arms in a straight line to the shoulder and the leg in a straight line to the hip if possible. Repeat with the left arm and right leg. (8-10 reps.

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