Quite a while ago, I shared a keep it simple yin practice. I may be slow to finish things, but I keep plugging away. So here is the third pose of the practice: supported caterpillar. This grounding forward fold can be used in any yin or restorative yoga sequence.
How to do it: Sit tall with your legs stretched out in front of you, knees over a bolster. Let the legs be hip-width or wider to accommodate for comfort. Keeping the spine long, hinge from the hips until the abdomen contacts the thighs. If your abdomen doesn’t reach the thighs, you can use blankets or pillows between the thighs and abdomen for support. Once you’ve folded forward, you can allow the head to round forward. The head can be supported by your hands or stacked blocks so that the neck can be relaxed. Hold for three to five minutes.
- Stretches ligaments in back of spine;
- Compresses internal organs, helping with digestion;
- Stimulates the kidneys; and
- Balances chi (energy) flow.
To come out: If you’ve rounded the back, lift up through the sternum to lengthen the spine. Use the hands for support and walk them back toward the hips as you bring the torso upright. Slide the bolster out from under the legs before shaking them out.
Love and light,