Kind Karma® Blog

Kind Karma with Dean Telano
  • By Dean Telano

Kind Karma Yin Yoga: Pose of the Month


"Yin Yoga poses - 'shapes' - offers us the present moment to reveal the hidden experiences that 'shaped' us into what we are today. Through this process of self-discovery, Yin Yoga also provides us with the opportunity to 'shape' us into what we want to become, tomorrow." - Dean Telano, Spiritual Director of Kind Karma® Yoga

Saddle Pose

Description of Getting into the Pose

  • There are several options for coming into this pose. Sitting on the heels, widen the knees comfortably and begin to recline backwards. Maybe the hands or elbows come to blocks behind the body. If there's pain in the knees, skip this one.

  • A bolster or rolled up blanket may support the back body.

  • If the shoulders meet the floor, the arms may come up and overhead.

  • Increase the backward bend by shimmying the bottom of the shoulder blades toward the toe-tips (imagine a puppet string from the ceiling lifting the navel)

  • Placing a blanket or bolster between the ankles and sitting bones will also increase the angle of extension helping the flexible student go deeper.

  • If your ankles feel uncomfortable, try a blanket under them or skip the pose. Lean back on your hands, creating a little arch to the lower back – only if this feels comfortable!

Description of Coming Out of the Pose

  • There are several ways to end this pose. If you can, come back up the way you went down, propping yourself up on your elbows and then onto the hands - engage the core as you make your way onto your forearms, then your hands, and return your torso to a vertical position. If that doesn't work trying rolling to one side and slowly straighten the opposite leg. Before rolling onto your back, you may want to wait a bit or hold your sacrum with your free hand and ease down to your back.

  • Lie down on your belly, straightening your legs slowly to allow the knees to release.

Considerations

  • The knees may lift up and splay wide. If so, offer “sweet” support.

  • This requires a great deal of ankle extension and knee flexion. A blanket rolled up under the ankles could offer “sweet” support.

  • If the knees can't tolerate the action, practice Seal Pose.

  • Practicing a Dragon Pose sequence, before Saddle Pose, will help to soften the quadriceps and hip flexors.

  • Practicing Half Saddle Pose is an option. Stay in this pose for 1-3 minutes, then switch sides.

Modifications

  • Upper body: A bolster or rolled up blanket may support the back body.

  • Lower back: If the compression in the lumbosacral vertebrae becomes too intense, return to a more upright position, or come out of the pose entirely.

  • Ankles: Placing a blanket or bolster between the ankles and sitting bones will also increase the angle of extension helping the flexible student go deeper.

  • Ankles: If your ankles feel uncomfortable, try rolling a blanket underneath them, or skip the pose. Lean back on your hands, creating a little arch to the lower back – only if this feels comfortable (no pinching or pain).

  • Knees: If the knees are experiencing knee discomfort, try placing a thin blanket to alleviate any pressure.

Saddle Pose with Prop Support

Saddle Pose with Yoga Blocks for Upper Body Alignment

Benefits

  • A deep opening in the sacral-lumbar arch.

  • Also stretches hips flexors and quadriceps.

  • Excellent for athletes and people who do a lot of standing, walking or repetitive movements or exercises.

  • Stimulates the thyroid if the neck is dropped back.

  • If the feet are beside the hips, this becomes a good internal rotation of the hip.

Contra-indications

  • Pain or pinching in lower back. Discomfort at sacroiliac joints.

  • Limitations or pain with the knees.

  • Ankle limitations.

  • Any sharp, shooting or burning pain; numbness; or electrical sensations, come out of the pose.

  • Ease up, or come out of the pose, if your breath becomes strained or if you start to feel dizzy.

Body Areas Affected

  • Deep opening for sacral-lumbar arch (use caution).

  • Hip flexors and quadriceps.

  • Lower spine, knees and ankles.

Counter Poses

  • After coming out, lie quietly on your back for a few breaths with the legs straight, tightening and releasing the kneecaps. When you are ready, hug the backs of the thighs and pull the knees to the chest to release the lower back.

  • Child's Pose: move into it slowly. You may need to rest your head on your palms before coming into a full Child's Pose.

  • If you came out and are lying on your back, try Hinge: while lying on your back, raise and lower the legs; knees bent is easiest, straight legs is harder. To support the back, place your hands, with palms down, under your buttocks.

Meridians Affected

  • Tension: Stomach, Spleen & Kidney Meridians.

  • Compression: Urinary Bladder Meridian.

  • If your arms are overhead, you will also stimulate the Heart and Lung Meridians.

Recommended Hold Times

  • One to five minutes, depending on your ability.

Kind Karma Yin Yoga Tips

  • Use this time in the yin pose to allow yourself to be with your thoughts and emotions - trying to listen, connect and better understand yourself. As a good mindfulness practice: sit with any thoughts, feelings or sensations that arise in the stillness. Find the fullest expression of the yin shape or pose.

  • Eyes: Closing your eyes can help eliminate visual distractions that lead to monkey-mind chatter. However, if keeping your eyes open for the duration of the practice allows you to feel more mentally, emotionally, or physically comfortable, then do so.

  • Work your yin edge as a "comfortable (safe) discomfort".




Rahini Yoga Website

Kind Karma Yin Yoga Training

Disclaimer

The information contained on this blog is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. You should always seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative methods or making a change to your regimen.

© 2019. All Rights Reserved. Dean Telano.

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