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Yin Yoga – Winter Sequence



Winter season corresponds with the water element, and kidney organ. This practice sequence will work with the kidney and urinary bladder meridian points, inviting us to stillness and relaxation for nourishment of these organs.

Each yin posture is to stimulate the meridian points allowing chi to flow through our bodies. Eastern medicine corresponds a lot with nature, and in the Chinese tradition of medicine, the winter season is a time for us to rest, hibernation and stillness. It is a time to go inwards – within – and taking this time to start nourishing ourselves.

I personally like to include a rebound pose after every pose. There is no right or wrong time to include a rebound however if you choose to include a rebound pose after each yin yoga pose, feel free to choose from a child’s pose, lying on your back or belly, sitting comfortably cross-legged or kneeling on the mat. 



Length of pose: 5 minutes

With bent knees bring both feet together touching. Clasp your hands around the soles of your feet. Think of forming a long diamond-shape with your legs. Holding onto your feet if possible, hinge from the hip joint and lean forward into a forward bend.

Support your head and neck by using a block or bolster (as shown in the picture). You can also use blocks beneath your thighs or knees for ease and support for your hips.

The kidney meridian begins at our little toe and moves into centre of the sole, through the arch and inside the knees and legs entering the torso near the tailbone. It moves up along the side of the lower spine, connecting internally with the bladder and kidney.

Sphinx or Seal

Length of pose: 5 minutes

Lying on your belly, place your arms in front of you with elbows beneath your shoulders and prop yourself up. Relax your gluteus muscles (buttocks). This is the sphinx pose. You can opt to move deeper by slowly straightening both arms – this is the seal pose. Legs can be apart or close together.

Exit slowly by releasing the arms and laying on your belly for at least 30 seconds before moving into the next pose.

These poses stimulates the kidney meridian-organ flowing through the sacro-lumbar area.

Half dragonfly

Length of pose: 4 minutes (each side)

Sit upright with your left leg extended our sideways. Bend your right leg in towards you. Shift forward on your sitting bones and tilt forward into a forward bend. Use a block to support the head and neck if desired (shown in picture). Exit by rising on inhalation, stretch both legs out, lean back on your hands for a moment.

Half dragonfly stimulates the bladder meridian-organ as it flows down the back of our body and legs.

Reclining Twist

Length of pose: 4 minutes (each side)

Lie on your back and draw your knees into your chest. Spread your arms out at shoulder height or bend them 90 degrees (into cactus arms). Slowly lower your bent knees out to the right.

Exit by slowly rolling onto your back and hugging knees into the chest – hold for 30 seconds before moving into the left side.

This pose stimulates the urinary bladder lines that run along the spine.


Length of pose: 8 minutes

Use the stillness of savasana to notice the sensations within your body and the chatter in your mind. If there is a part of your body that is tingling with vulnerability take the moment to observe without reacting to it.