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I love my Yin Yoga practice! my Hatha practice gets the heart pumping and is my gift to my health. My Yin practice is my gift to me....the most relaxing part of my week!


Pamela - The pain in your ankles and legs could be a number of things. Have you tried adjusting the position of your feet and knees to try to alleviate some of the pain? Knees can be out or in, and same with the feet. The knees do not have to point straight out in front of you, as this is very difficult for certain body types. It could also be that you have very tight muscles in your feet, and putting moderate amounts of stress on your feet might be what is needed to stretch those muscles. But you could also try putting a blanket under your feet and under your knees to give those joints a little more space if the pain is due to compression. The best way to figure out what is best for your body is to experiment with the numerous variations of the pose and find what is least painful and most beneficial to your body. Every person will have a different saddle pose if they are being true to their body.
Lizzie – if your lower back is too compressed, either try coming out of the pose a little so the back isn't so arched or you could try gently engaging the gluteal muscles. I've worked with Paul Grilley and this is a variation he gave us for seal and sphinx and I find that it works for me when the lumbar feels too compressed.
Aubree – if you're not used to a yin practice and holding poses for longer periods of time, you will most likely experience at least moderate discomfort. Some discomfort isn't bad, but if you can't hold the pose in a relaxed way you should be finding a different variation or using a prop like a bolster to keep you from going too deep. It sounds like your lumbar spine wasn't used to it and was letting you know. Be gentle and don't go so deep next time. Allow your practice to deepen over time as your body is ready.
Virginia – You can overstretch in any kind of yoga, including yin yoga. That doesn't necessarily mean that it's bad for you. I have to disagree with those teachers you spoke to in general. If you activated the muscles and tried to do these poses you'd invariably get hurt. Our connective tissue was meant to stretch like this, but the majority of Westerners haven't stretched like this since childhood, if ever, so it must be done in a conscientious way. The majority of Americans have some sort of lower back pain because they don't put a healthy amount of stress on their lower back to decompress the lumbar spine and sacrum from the act of sitting, which puts 4X more stress on the back than standing. As Paul says, lower back pain is a western phenomenon. Cultures that squat instead of sit in chairs for hours a day are already doing a yin type of action. They are putting stress on their hip and knee joints and lumbar spine in a relaxed way for long periods of time. And these people don't have the epidemic of lower back pain that we have in modernized cultures.
If anyone is interested, look on Youtube for some of Paul Grilley's anatomy lectures. Or better yet, get his Anatomy of Yin Yoga. It's so valuable for any type of yoga, not just yin. His knowledge of the human body and how movement affects it is amazing and his anatomy teacher training has changed how I teach yoga in many ways.


i have never did yoga but when i tried to get up i was stuck


I am having a cold and a bit congested nose. Can I still do meditation with yoga breathing?


When doing poses like saddle amd child's pose (generally any pose that requires my legs to be tucked under me) I experience pain in my ankles and legs. I am frustrated with that because it hinders my practice. Anyone experiencing/have experienced this? Any tips?


I havent practiced yoga for almost a year and when I did this, it felt great up until corpse, where I felt the same thing Aubree explained, except my abdomen didnt really clench much.


Dear Aubree

You have to use your leg muscles and not your back to come forward. All the work is in the leg. You are not yet ready to do these forward bends


I love all of these except I recently found out I have a bulging disc in my very lower back so I'm not supposed to do forward bends anymore :-(


Is there another variation for saddle pose for people who cannot even sit in vrasana that would give similar benefit?


I am completely new to yoga and just finished my first practice sequence with this. I have to say it was pretty intense and relaxing all that the same time. My only problem was when I came to the last pose, while trying to just rest my lower back hurt so bad that my abdomen would clench to stop the pain. Eventually I had to just sit up. What did I do wrong?

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