Yin Yoga for stress relief

Make time for this 30-minute Yin Yoga practice to relieve stress. Find the video on the OM app and website. By Kino MacGregor

Do you need to relax your tense muscles and calm your busy mind? This short Yin Yoga practice is just what you’re looking for. In about 30 minutes, you’ll move through a series of soothing poses that will melt away your stress. When you’re done, you’ll feel grounded, centred, and truly relaxed. So, grab your mat, yoga blocks, and a bolster, and let’s get started.

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1. Gentle Seated Side Stretch/Neck Stretches

Sit on your mat with your legs crossed in front of you. If you need to sit on a bolster or block to feel more comfortable do so.

Inhale deeply to calm the nervous system. As you exhale, drop your left ear toward your left shoulder, stretching through the side of the neck. Place your right fingers on the ground. Now roll your neck gently forward and back to stretch multiple aspects of the muscles on the right side of your neck. Place your left hand on your head to act as a gentle weight and increase the stretch.

Breathe deeply feeling any tension stored in your neck releasing each time you exhale. Imagine your muscles softening and elongating.

Stay here for a few deep conscious breaths. Repeat on the opposite side.

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2. Child’s Pose with Bolster

Start on your hands and knees. Spread your knees wide with your feet close together and sink your weight back so you’re resting on your heels. Place a bolster or some pillows between your legs. Bend forward, resting the front of your body on the bolster. Find a comfortable position where you can relax all of your body weight onto the bolster.

You don’t want to feel any tension in your muscles. Close your eyes and breathe deeply letting your body relax completely. When you come out of this pose, do so slowly and purposefully.

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3. Wide-Legged Forward Fold with Bolster

Sit on your mat and spread your legs in front of you. Don’t try to spread them too far apart. This practice is meant to be relaxing, so you don’t want to overdo it. Place a bolster or pillows between your legs so they make contact with your body. Point your toes. Inhale and lift from the centre of your chest. Exhale and fold, resting your elbows on the bolster. Inhale and then exhale again and rest your hands on the bolster and your head on your hands.  

You can add more bolsters or pillows if you need the extra height to be able to rest comfortably. You should feel a light stretch in this pose.  

Stay here breathing deeply and observing how your body feels.

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4. Puppy Pose

Come up onto your hands and knees. Walk your hands forward with your arms straight. Exhale and place your forehead on the ground. Your hips are elevated and your arms are straight out in front of you. If you want to you can come up onto your fingertips. You can stay here or move deeper into the pose by placing your chest on the ground. Keep the shoulders and pelvic floor slightly active.

Take quiet steady deep breaths. Be aware of any tension you feel and invite that tension to release.

Stay here and breathe deeply.

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5. Child’s Pose Counter Stretch

From Puppy Pose gently raise yourself up. Round your back and walk your hands back. Sink your hips down onto your heels and rest in Child’s Pose. Your torso is draped over your thighs. Your arms are resting beside your body with your shoulders rolling open. Allow your body to release and relax.

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6. Passive Forward Fold

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward, pivoting at the hips to fold forward. Relax your upper body and grab your elbows with your opposite hands. Now send your hips up and straighten your legs. Let your torso be heavy and hang with the crown of your head reaching toward the ground. Breathe as you let the tension in your back release.

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7. Supported Supta Baddha Konasana

Sit on your mat with your legs bent and the soles of your feet together so your knees fall open. Place blocks beneath your knees to support them. Place a bolster or pillows behind you, touching your sacrum. Inhale and exhale as you ease yourself back onto the bolster. Your back is resting on the bolster and your arms are resting at your sides.

Notice all the sensations that are coming up for you. Breathe and relax into those sensations.

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8. Supported Savasana

Place a bolster or pillow beneath your knees. Lay down gently on your back. Adjust your body and find a comfortable position. Once you do, release your hands down by your sides with the palms turned upward. Rest in this position, letting your body feel heavy as if it is melting into the floor. Stay here for as long as you want to.

The next time you’re feeling stressed, watch the 30-minute video and practice alongside Kino MacGregor on the OM app or website. Or visit for more Yin Yoga classes and ideas.

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