If the daily grind is dragging you down, fear not. Yoga expert Rachel Fearnley is on hand to help you inhale the good, exhale the bad, and get back to island chill-mode with 5 of her favourite Yin Yoga poses.
Though island life is as laid-back and tropical as you’d expect, work-related stress and day-to-day burnouts are a real thing here in Bali. But luckily for us, our paradise home isn’t only known as the Island of the Gods, it’s also the Land of Yogis, and Yin Yoga in particular has skyrocketed in popularity thanks to its stress-relieving benefits and “aaaah” effects.
So, as part of the Honeycombers “Live Better” month, and to make the most of our time on the mat, we caught up with yoga expert Rachel Fearnley of The Pineapple House [a boutique Surf & Yoga Retreat in hip and happening Canggu] to talk us through the different stages of Yin, and to show us 5 of the best Yin poses to master this month.
“Yin gives us the opportunity to be in our Para-sympathetic nervous system”, says Rachel, “which essentially means to rest, digest, repair, reproduce, and gain respite from the physical, hormonal and emotional effects of our stressful lives. Most poses are done seated or lying and are held for 3- 5 minutes without straining or tensing the muscles, so it’s all about totally surrendering your body to let go of any tension,” Rachel explains.
It sounds like bliss to us, so Rachel has recommended the 5 following poses to help you [and us] restore mind and body balance.
1. The Sphinx
Lie on your belly and come onto your forearms with your palms down, keeping your chest gently lifted without scrunching up at the shoulders. Soften your back and body, and breathe.
2. The Happy Baby
Lie on your back, draw your knees into your chest and separate your legs with the soles of your feet pointing up to the sky. Take hold of your feet or ankles, keeping your shoulders, head and belly soft and resting on the ground.
3. The Half Butterfly
Sit with one leg extended and the other one bent so that your foot touches your inner thigh. Inhale to lengthen the spine, then exhale and fold over onto your extended leg. Stay soft in your neck, shoulders, arms and belly, and repeat on both sides.
4. Legs up the Wall
Lying on your back, shift your hips close to a wall then extend your legs upwards so that you’re in an L shape. Soften your belly, shoulders and head.
5. The Forward Fold
With your legs outstretched, inhale and lengthen through your spine. As you exhale, hinge forwards into a fold, allowing your arms, shoulders, neck and face to soften.
Feeling restored? Namaste!
Rachel Fearnley is a yoga teacher and coach living in Canggu. She is the founder of The Pineapple House and co-founder of Rising Collective, a unique wellness retreat experience that inspires change in clients through education, nourishing food, healing body treatments and gentle yoga.