Its official, the slow and long days of summer are at the near end marking the arrival of a new beginning. Each season brings along a unique energy providing us the opportunity to reflect, prepare and embrace the new season.
With the fall, we welcome the season of cool and quiet days, the winters. The fall identifies with the metal element, which cultivates the much-needed movement of letting go, to nourish the self and enrich the cooler yin energy to balance the warmer yang period of summer.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), fall is associated with the lungs and large intestine, which represents the respiratory and elimination function of the body. The lungs take in oxygen and discharge carbon dioxide and large intestines eliminate waste matter after absorbing water and nutrients. So, these systems play a symbolic role in the natural cycle of giving and receiving.
The practice of this six Yin yoga poses offer every individual the chance to turn inward, to gain perspective before moving into the passive period of time. Perform each yin yoga pose respecting your physical and mental ability. Hold each yoga pose for a minimum time of 5 minutes. It is an opportunity to observe, to move without any judgment and creates space for growth.
- Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana): Sit on a yoga mat. Make sure your posture is straight. Draw your feet together, allowing your knees to bend wide. Keep the heels close to your pelvic bone. Slowly bend forward and land your head in a comfortable place. Spend 5-10 minutes of stillness in the pose. To release the posture, extend your spine to an upright position and stretch your legs out. Feel the intense sensations in lower back and legs as you come out of the pose.
- Melting Heart Pose (Anahatasana): Start in a table-top position. Lean forward and rest your forehead on the ground. Soften the heart between the shoulders and stack your hips over the knees. Gently, stretch the arms in front and locate the palms beyond the head on the ground. You can also bend the elbows and join the hands in prayer pose. In the pose, elevate the hips upward. The Melting Heart Pose can be intense for the shoulders so please be mindful about the hand movements. To exit the pose, lie flat on the belly, extend the arms and legs and turn your head to another side.
- Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana): Lie on your stomach on the ground. Rotate the thighs inward as it helps lengthen the lower back and sacrum. Place the elbows under the shoulders and set the forearms parallel to the floor. Inhale, lift the torso up and head away to come into a mild backbend. In the pose, bring awareness to your lower stomach and awaken the upper back. Stay in the pose for 5-10 breaths. Exhale, slowly release the head, torso and stomach to the floor.
- Child Pose (Balasana): Sit on the ground with hips on your heels. Breathe and relax your whole body. Lean forward by wrapping your torso over the thighs. Extend your arms behind, palms open and near to your hips. Locate the forehead on the ground and find your comfortable place in the pose. When you are ready to exit the pose, change to the seated pose.
- Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana): This posture involves lying on your back in a straight position. Bend your knees, lift the feet off the floor and hug the knees to your chest. Hold the toes of your feet with your hand. Keep holding your toes and stretch the legs up high. To come out of the pose, release the toes and lay the legs back on the floor.
- Saddle Pose (Supta Virasana): Start in Virasana. Exhale, lower your torso on the floor. First, lean on your hands, then forearms and elbows. When you come onto your elbows, place the hands on the back of your pelvis and finish reclining. Lay your arms on the floor, palms up. Hands should be angled at 45-degrees.
Practice these six poses for balancing the opposites and for essential mind-body grounding necessary for a fall and for embracing a well-rounded personality.
Author Bio: Bipin Baloni is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He provides Yoga Retreat In Nepal. He loves writing and reading books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas.