Meditation and Yin: a Match Made in Heaven
It doesn't look like i'm doing very much, but i'm actually multi-tasking.
(Ahhhh I hate that word)
Typically, i'm against anything that fractures your focus and takes your mind to two places at once. Its way over- glamorized and, in my opinion, more harmful than helpful. BUT, in this instance, instead of it being a vehicle to rip my mind out of the present moment and remove my cognitive ability to focus on a specific task at hand, i'm actually using it as a tool to become more present and closer to stillness.
Sometimes, I have difficulty getting into the zone during meditation. My mind is too loud and is continually jumping from one random thing to the next and I cant seem to catch it or quiet it down. During those more challenging and often frustrating moments, I like to incorporate yin postures.
By doing this:
1. I'm helping to focus my mind on the sensations i'm feeling deep in my connective tissues and not what's swirling around in the outside world and;
2. I'm helping to pinpoint exactly where in my body i'm holding on to emotions and by slowly moving into the tension, releasing those emotions and stagnations, to quiet my mind.
We store a lot of emotions in our hips, so this is often the first place that I check in with when i'm feeling a little noisy, mentally. Cow Face Pose (who named this one??) is an intense pose for me, but really helps to get in there and break-up all the gunk plaguing my mind and wreaking havoc on my body.
Cow Face Pose Tips:
Stack your knees on top of one another keeping them as low to the ground as is comfortable for your body (as you can see mine are far away from the ground as my hips are VERY tight).
Keep your spine straight and avoid rounding.
You should feel a dull ache but never any pain. Back out of any pinching or sharp pains.
For less intensity bring your feet closer to your hips, and inversely, for a deeper stretch bring your feet wider apart (remembering to be mindful of pressure on your knees).
Breathe into any tightness and let your body and mind slowly open.
Stay in the pose for at least 5 breaths and make sure to repeat on the other side.