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Mindful Yin Yoga Stepping out of Autopilot

General Class sequence

1.INTRODUCTION (5 minutes)

  • Welcome and Check in
  • Theme of the class
  • Arriving in the body short practice to ground for example 3 Step Breathing Space
  • Bringing awareness to our intention for today’s class by resting in our hearts
    • Reconnecting with what we most wish for ourselves, it may be well-being, happiness, peace of mind, health or whatever intention arises
    • Inviting us all to remember that intention lies in our heart, we just need to listen
    • Committing ourselves to connecting with the intention during the practice, in order to align our actions both on and off the mat

2.INITIAL PRACTICES (15 minutes)

  • MBSR Meditation or Body Scan in Seated pose, Supported Reclining Pose or Supported Savasana
  • Pranayamas & Mudras to suit the group (Deep Tummy breathing to activate the Parasympathetic Nervous system, Nadhi Shodana perhaps Orbiting Energy, always finish with Ocean Breath to lead into the practice)

3.COMING HOME TO THE BODY – (10 minutes)

Bringing the 8 Attitudinals into the practice with enquiry style guiding, invite the students to ease into their bodies to prepare for the deeper postures to come with

  • Mindful Seated series – opens the joints and meridians, relaxes the muscles and promotes general health OR Makka Ho Meridian Balancing series

    • Frame the practice with the 3 principles of Mindfulness –
      • Intention –An intention of being open, friendly, curious and kind to what is on the mat with you today. What would it feel like to invite your heart into the practice?
      • Attention – Becoming aware of how it feels to be in your Mindful Yin pose as you come home and befriend the body in stillness. Exploring sensations with wise attention, watching the breath roll in and roll out, seeing thoughts come and go. If emotions arrive, where can you feel them in the body?
      • Attitude – Kindness and gentleness is the key in befriending the body. As best you can, opening to accepting what is there, and where you are. Allowing gravity to do its thing. Remember the essence of Yin is letting go!

    Choice of Mindful Yin Yoga postures to suit the group and theme include instructions to –

      • As we practice, tune into the body, making any adjustments to find the ‘just right’ posture for you today.
      • Setting the intention to rest in stillness, giving yourself permission to let go as you move from doing to simply being
      • Breath freely and fully - ride the waves of your breath perhaps with the Ocean Breath, any time you notice that the breathe is ragged, short or stopped then come a little (or a lot) out of the posture
      • Gently turning towards and bringing a kindly breath into any areas of intensity, dwelling there with wise attention and awareness of your appropriate edges in this moment, perhaps the body will ask you to go deeper, or come a little (or a lot) out of the pose, listening and honoring the messages from your body
      • Choosing when to come out guided by sensitivity to the body in each moment
      • Pause after each pose to feel the effects before moving to the next
      • When moving into and out of each pose, using the transition as part of the practice, inviting awareness of the whole body and experience of moving
      • Nothing to do, nowhere to go, just being with your moment to moment experience
      • Perhaps include pranayamas, mudras or additional meridian massage points (see manual) into the postures –
        • Ocean Breath
        • Heart breath (inhaling kindness into the heart, exhaling sending this kindness from the heart to every cell of the body)

    5.INTEGRATION (15 minutes)

    • Mindful Yin Savasana or variation to absorb the benefits of your practice (recommended time 5%-8% of total time in Yin asanas including Coming Home to the Body, use your judgment here, how much do the students need today? Adjust the earlier timings to suit)
    • Poem if appropriate
    • 3-5 minutes of silence
    • Coming back to settle the strands of the session –
      • Scanning through the body to feel the effects of the practice, just noticing any differences, no need to judge if your practice was ‘good’ or ‘bad’ just let it be
      • Kindly breath with the Heart Breath, inhaling kindness into the heart, exhaling sending kindness to every cell in the body
      • Starting to move and stretch in any way that feels good today
      • Listening to the sounds in the room (pause) sounds outside the room
      • Push up to a seated posture
    • Nadhi Shodana pranayama to balance the energies
    • Pause for a moment and give the opportunity to link back to their intention for today’s class and to appreciate their commitment to stepping out of Autopilot and into their body
    • Finish with the wellness phrases if appropriate -
      • May I be happy and joyful
      • May I be as healthy and well as I can be
      • May I live with kindness in the light of my heart
      • May I be at peace with myself and the world around me
    • Closing Bell