We all have yin postures that we love, and ones that we really dont love!
I'm sure you are thinking right now about your favourites. Allow me to indulge and share with you my personal three favourite yin yoga postures and why I love them so much.
I love Half Saddle. I will always choose half saddle over full saddle if it is offered in a practice. I really enjoy the feeling of a strong yin stretch in my quads, and because of the assymmetrical nature of half saddle, I can use the foot that is still on the floor as a way to guide and steer myself around the targeted quad and have lots of wiggle room for adjustment.
I don't really get enough satisfaction out of full saddle, and it tends to compress my lumbar spine in a way that does not feel valuable in my body. I also really appreciate how accomodating this posture is for the ranges of variance in people hip sockets. So regardless of whether your femur bones easily turn in or out in your hip sockets, your pelvis can roll in this position to suit your bone structure. I could lay on my floor at home in half saddle for a long time and be having a quiet blast in my mind. Love this pose!
Cat Pulling its Tail
I also really love Cat Pulling its Tail pose. Funnily it is another pose that strongly targets the quads, which is clearly a feeling I enjoy in my body. I get so much bang for buck with this posture as it can be a deep twist and also helps to open up space across my chest and pectoral muscle areas. One of the beauties with this shape is the ease in which I can manoeuvre myself to shift the experience into different regions of my body.
When I have taken hold of the foot in my hand, I can keep rolling backwards to send the experience into a deep twist and chest opener, or I can roll forwards almost laying on my front, to focus the experience into my quads and hip flexors. Also, if there are sand bags available for the twisting experience, the feeling of laying a sandbag onto the shoulder receiving a sretch is such a helpful anchor.
My third favourite pose is Frog Pose.
Now this one can really divide the crowd, and this pose is likely on many peoples "not for me" list. I did not really start to enjoy Frog pose until I changed the way I was playing with the shape.
Now I love to settle into the pose with my toes almost touching behind me, and my hips sitting back in the direction of my feet with a bolster supporting the whole front of my body. Sitting back near the feet makes this pose look closely related to an extended childs pose. For me that positioning creates much more of a sensation focus on my adductor muscle group, rather than only feeling the sensation of femur heads pressing strongly outward in my hip sockets.
If you're looking for ways to play with Frog Pose I go into more detail in this video: