Yin Yoga Lesson Plan “Let Your Light Shine”
Welcome to yin yoga lesson plan called “Let Your Light Shine. You will find teacher notes, breathing, asanas (poses) and much more. Please use this class as you wish. Feel free to be creative and add to this foundation.
Let your Light Shine: Restore and Rise Teacher Notes
- Restorative Yoga is perfect for times of change, whether experiencing external or internal transformations. During changes of season, times of grief, healing from illness, or when in need of TLC for any reason, a restful yoga practice can calm and renew the body, mind, and spirit.
- In this Restore and Rise Yoga class, practitioners will begin with a meditation on gently observing without judgment, use cooling pranayama techniques, and hold restful asanas, and finally open to their inherent greatness with a compassionate approach to King Pigeon.
Quotes for Yin Yoga Lesson Plan
These quotes may help inspire your students’ practice and your teaching
- “Patience is the key to joy.” Mevlana Rumi
- “If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation.” J. Krishnamurti
- “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others” -Marianne Williamson as quoted by Nelson Mandela
Beginning Meditation and Pranayama
- Sit intentionally on your mat. You may choose to prop your hips up on a blanket or block so that the knees are lower than the hips. Close your eyes and begin to soften the weight of the body into your block or blanket. Allow the sit bones to be heavy while reaching the crown of your head up toward the sky. With your hands in Gyan mudra (tips of index finger and thumb toward one another and the other 3 fingers stretched) As a beginning or even intermediate student, just the practice of sitting cross-legged in Sukhasana can be a difficult and uncomfortable practice. Encourage yourself to be patient with the experience. Mevlana Rumi notes that “patience is the key to joy.” A yoga practice has many benefits, but in order to fully experience these benefits (e.g. more open hamstrings, a sense of well-being, mindful eating habits, joy) we must be patient with ourselves.
- Begin the work of observing. Observe the body. What does it feel like to sit? Is one knee speaking to you more than the other? Do you feel a little tingling in your feet? Notice this now without judgment and without trying to change what you observe. Now begin to observe your mind. Just watch your thoughts. Once again observe without judgement, noticing as past or future conversations, to-do lists, etc. may begin to arise. Be present to the chattering mind. Finally, begin observing the breath. Do this without altering the rhythm you are bringing to your practice today. Notice the movement of the rib cage up and down, and from side to side. Notice if your breath is shallow or deep. Accept yourself exactly as you are in this moment. Know that where you are right now is where you should be. Krishnamurti reminds us that “If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation.” Invite yourself to experience a positive transformation by first embracing and understanding where you are right here and now.
- Practice a cooling Pranayama technique, Sheetali Pranayama for about 5 minutes. This exercise is appropriate for our Restore and Rise class as it works to calm the mind as well as cool the body. This breathing technique is especially beneficial in warmer months, but can also aid in cooling anxiety and tension.
- Supta Baddhakonasana with bolster, belt, and blocks for 5-10 minutes
- This is a standard and favorite restorative posture. It is important, however, to aid your students in setting up their props as using the belt in this manner can be a daunting task.
- Encourage your students to soften their lower ribs into the torso as they also soften the area around their eyes, releasing tension from this area.
- Roll off to the Right side in the fetal-position and come to sit with legs extended in front of you for Paschimottanasana
- Stay in Paschimottanasana with a bolster over the legs for 5-10 minutes
- Come back to Rumi’s quote that “patience is the key to joy.” Be patient with your hamstrings as they begin to open
- Encourage breathing to elongate to a count of 6 or even 8, releasing in tension with the out-breath
- Upavista Konasana
- Begin opening the hamstrings by placing the bolster between the thighs. Connect the third eye with the thumbs from anjali mudra, a block, blanket, or the bolster.
- Next open the side body by switching the bolster, bringing it to the right thigh. The top, left arm extends while keeping the shoulders engaged down the back
- Repeat this lat stretch to the left, and then return center
- Supta Virasana
- Encourage students to soften the lower ribs down and press the pelvis upward
- Restore and Rise Flow
- Lift the right leg to the front of the mat between the hands coming to a runner’s lunge. Allow the right knee to begin opening to the side, rolling onto the outer edge, the pinky side of the front foot. From here allow the hips to be heavy while the back leg stays energized. Lift the right hand up toward the ceiling opening through the heart. Next heel-toe the right foot toward the left of the mat pulling the heel in close toward the pelvis for a closed pigeon.
- Undulate through the spine in pigeon with the breath, rippling down on the exhale and rising with the inhale. Take this three or four times before holding the stretch for at least a minute.
- Tuck the toes of the back foot under, press into the hands make your way to a three-legged dog with the right leg lifted, and then return to down dog.
- Repeat on the left, and perhaps again on both sides
- Quad stretch at the wall with blocks
- Come to kneel next to the wall, with a blanket underneath the knee. The left side of the body is pressed against the wall.
- Bring the right leg into a lunge, the left shin is pressed up against the wall
- Perhaps bring the right leg into pigeon to further deepen the stretch
- Ardha Matsyendrasana
- Focus on releasing fear and anxiety in this posture as we open ourselves up to possibilities
- King/Queen Pigeon
- Remind students of Nelson Mandela quoting Marianne Williamson, how we might liberate ourselves from fear while inspiring others to do the same. Simultaneously, bring their attention back to Rumi’s support of patience. Find a balance between working for liberation and maintaining santosha, contentment, with the present moment
- Supta Padangusthasana
- Salamba Sirsasana
Other Yoga Sequencing Lesson Plans to Enjoy
Thank you for joining us on this yoga exercise plan. We have others for you to enjoy and use within the limits of your entire imagination.
- Hatha Yoga – Sun Moon Flow Class Plan
- Simplicity Yoga Class
- Fluidity Yoga Class
- Spirals and Change
- Side Body Lengthening
All the best, The Hyp-Yoga Team