I love teaching (and taking) Gentle yoga. There’s something so luxurious about not being in a hurry to get off the floor, and having the time to really nurture the spine and create space in the body. It’s about breathing and feeling and letting whatever it is be without forcing, while you let your nervous system unwind.
Treat yourself to some yummy Gentle yoga with this simple ten-minute sequence:
1. Knees to Chest
Lie down and take a few deeper inhalations, sighing as you exhale through the mouth. Lightly hug your knees to your chest. Separate your knees and allow your tailbone to relax down toward the floor.
Gently rock side-to-side as you deepen your breath and relax your shoulders.
2. Reclined Pigeon
Exhale and release both feet to the floor with your knees up. Cross your left anklebone over your right knee, opening your left knee to the left. Inhale and bring your right knee toward your chest. Reach your left arm through the middle of your legs and your right arm around your right leg, and interlace your fingers behind your thigh.
As you hug your knees toward you, flex both feet and press your outer hips forward. Take 10 deep breaths.
3. Reclined Twist
Exhale and leaving your left ankle where it is, release your right foot back down to the floor. Cross your left leg all the way over the top of your right leg so that your knees are stacked. Open your arms out to the sides and bend your elbows, placing the back of your hands on the floor.
Inhale and bring your knees toward your chest; exhale and drop your knees to the right. Take ten breaths, releasing the top of your left shoulder down to the floor on each exhale.
4. Supported Bridge
Lying on your back with both feet flat on the floor under each knee, press down firmly into your feet, lift your hips up, and slide a block underneath your sacrum (the hard, boney triangle of fused vertebrae at the bottom of your spine) — fully supporting your pelvis. Turn your palms up and lightly wrap your shoulders underneath you.
Release all of your weight into the block and breathe.
Feel free to stay anywhere from 2-5 minutes and then press firmly down into both feet to lift the pelvis back up and take the block out. Slowly release your hips back to the floor.
5. Supported Cobbler's Pose
Roll to one side and sit up. Once seated, bring the bottoms of your feet together, knees wide. Press your feet together as extend your spine and roll your inner thighs down. Exhale and fold forward, placing your forehead on a block if accessible (stacking multiple blocks works too).
Take ten rounds of breath.
6. Supported Wide-Legged Forward Fold
Inhale, lift your torso back up, and straighten your legs out to the sides with your knees and toes pointing straight up. Pressing down through both inner thighs, inhale and lengthen your spine up; exhale and fold forward, placing your forehead on a block.
Take ten rounds of breath.
7. Child's Pose
Finish in Child’s Pose with your knees spread apart and your sitting bones resting toward your heels. With either your forehead on the floor or on a block, bring your elbows alongside your ears with hands in prayer over the nape of your neck.
Take as many breaths as you like, and come up slowly when you feel ready.
Do you love Gentle yoga? Tell us why in the comments below!