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Yin Yoga for Building Immunity

As this winter season just begins to turn chilly, many of us are succumbing to illness and fatigue, myself included, I'm already finding the sunshine wherever I can, if only for a moment of natural warmth. For me, one of the most therapeutic practices when I am out of balance is yin yoga, combined with the complimentary benefits of acupressure.

When working in a more yin way, we are slowing down and creating space. This space may be felt in the joints, and our mobility, but also in our capacity to sit with whatever arises, be it joy or discomfort.

‘If we want to come home to our bodies, we have to take up residence in every corner of ourselves, no matter how sick, injured, decrepit, or immobile we are. Each Yin pose is an opportunity to crawl into ourselves and stay awhile. While remaining still, we allow ourselves to breathe into our feeling tones without the burden of expecting to feel a particular way or create a particular result.’ –Sarah Powers, Insight Yoga

As we linger in various shapes and poses, we are putting pressure on specific meridians, or energy channels in the body. Different meridians affect certain organs of the body, as related to Traditional Chinese Medicine. The organs associated with the winter season are the Kidneys and Urinary Bladder. The kidneys are said to be linked to our sense of vitality.

Below is a sequence that focuses on this organ pairing, as well as the Lung/Heart/Intestine channels. This is useful when we’re prone or exposed to respiratory illness, and can help to let go of sorrow and awaken some joy in this chilly vortex of ours!

If you can’t make it to one of my classes (weekly classes listed on Ananda Yoga hub Facebook page), or feel you need an extra boost over the next month, maybe incorporate a home practice. If you are new to a yin practice, begin with shorter holds. Listen to your body, and explore these shapes with the guidance of a teacher when you can.

- Butterfly Pose: 3-5 minutes

- Half Gecko : 3-5 minutes (both sides)

- Crocodile : 1 minute

- Child’s Pose: 2-3 minutes

- Heart-melting variation: 3-5 minutes

- Child’s Pose: 2-3 minutes

- Caterpillar (Full forward fold): 3-5 minutes

- Lateral dragonfly pose: 3-5 minutes (both sides)

- Twisted Roots (Reclined Spinal Twist): 3-5 minutes each side

- Stirrup (Happy Baby): 1-3 minutes

- Starfish: 5-10 minutes

Light & Love : Amanda

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