Yin Yoga for the Four Quadrants of the Legs Video
Yin Yoga for the Four Quadrants of the Legs

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Yin Yoga for the Four Quadrants of the Legs

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This yin yoga class with Bernie Clark will work the four sides of the thighs: the tops (quads), the inner thighs (adductors), those stubborn hamstrings and the outer hips (glutes and IT band.)

This may be great for people who are really active: runners, bikers, sports enthusiasts like hockey players, basketball, soccer, etc. These are the folks who tend to get really tight in the big leg muscles.

Make sure you have something to sit on, and a block or bolster to use during the practice.

Contraindications: This practice should be accessible to virtually anyone, but for anyone with knee issues, care should be taken when we do external rotation of the hips as pressure can move down into the knees. Also, since we will be doing a lot of seated flexion poses, people with lower back disorders where flexion in contraindicated may want to modify the poses as described in the video (sit on a cushion for sure!) Cow Face Pose - Gomukhasana, Half Twist Pose - Ardha Matsyendrasana, Cobra Pose- Bhujanghasana, Pigeon Pose - Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, Upward Facing Dog Pose - Urdha Mukha Svanasana, Head to Knee Pose - Janu Sirsasana


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bluelotus_2, posted on August 7, 2016

You're such a great teacher Bernie. Your classes are always so informative and effective, love your humour too!

alta.mihartescu, posted on July 14, 2016

excellent class! engaging, entertaining with lots of info, stories and great results! thank you!

Melanie.huser, posted on May 25, 2016

Hey Bernie, what a wonderful class this was! I really enjoyed the well sequenced class and the interesting info on Fascia! Beautiful work!

bernieclark, posted on May 27, 2016

Glad you like the practice! It is all so fascianating...

sdabrowski, posted on October 20, 2015

thank you for this practice. i am wondering whether you have any suggestions for opening tight/overworked calf muscles. i have not found many ways to do this through yoga. the only time i can think of that i feel a calf stretch in yoga is in downward dog, but usually only if my calves are particularly tight. perhaps you touch on this in your yin yoga for runners practice, and if so, it'd be good to know as i probably wouldn't otherwise do it. thanks!

bernieclark, posted on October 20, 2015

There are several ways to stretch the calf muscles: these muscles help to plantarflex the ankle, but the gastrocs can also flex the knee. To stretch them we want to move the foot and knee in the opposite directions, which is why Down Dog works so well. In Down dog, the leg is straightening and the foot is dorsiflexed. You might get more sensation if you "walk your dog" and push one heel at a time down to the floor while the other knee bends. This can also be done on all fours, in a version of Cat: from all fours, stretch one leg back, keep the toes on the floor and try to push your heels away from you. You might make this more interesting by extending the opposite arm/hand forward. Do both sides, of course. Another option is called the Overstepping Dragon. It is found in the Yin Yoga practice, and you can learn about it here: http://www.yinyoga.com/ys2_2.0_asanas_dragons.php. It is basically a runners stretch, and yes - do try the Yin Yoga for Runners video and see if that helps. Cheers! Bernie

sdabrowski, posted on October 20, 2015

thank you so much for your informative response! i very much appreciate it and will try your suggestions and the yin yoga for runners practice. best, sally

ellenmccallum, posted on September 22, 2015

another amazing class, thank you. This style is fantastic for releasing tight muscles and I love all your 'sciency bits' as much for their content as distraction capability.

Jeneba5454, posted on November 17, 2014

I have just been diagnosed as hypo-thyroid and am just starting medication. Some of the symptoms include aches in my muscles/ fascia, so with my reduced energy level, this class was perfect!!! But my question is... how did the people in the room stay so quiet? I was laughing really hard! Thank you!!!!!

Androjas, posted on July 29, 2014

@bernieclark thank you for your answer. My physiotherapist has recommended a lot of back bends as you suggest, and asked if I had radiating pain in my legs, which until them I had not experienced. The pain in my back has gotten better but I worry about the strained feeling, like a tight rope in the back of the legs that doesn't seem to go away. Thank you for the link and your suggestions!

bernieclark, posted on July 27, 2014

@Androjas Any tingling is not good but tingling that happens after the postures are over can be especially worrisome. There are two possible causes for tingling: the blood flow being cut off (the pins-and-needles feeling when the blood returns to the deprived area) and the other kind of tingling, caused by stress on the nerve itself. Sometimes we get the first one right after coming out of the pose because we cut off blood flow. This is common in meditation: many meditators find that their feet have fallen asleep during the meditation but they don’t notice it until they come out of their sitting position. That is generally harmless, even though it is uncomfortable. The pain that arises after a pose that is not caused by blood flow restriction is much more dangerous: sometimes students may not feel this tingling until the next day. The problem is - they were stressing the nerve and if they ignore that and keep doing it, they could permanently damage the nerve. Not good. So, the question to ask is - what type of tingling is it? Even the blood flow being cut off cause is not nice: see if you can find an arrangement of the limbs in the posture where no tingling occurs. Use props to reduce the stress or slightly move the limbs and see if that changes the experience.

For a bulging disk, your physiotherapist or doctor should be the one to prescribe some therapy for you, but you may want to suggest that they investigate the benefits of Sphinx or Seal poses (aka MacKenzie Therapy). From your description, your main cause of pain could be a form of sciatica, either discogenic or caused by piriformis syndrome. To understand what to do about these forms of sciatica, I would recommend you read my article on sciatica: http://www.yinyoga.com/newsletter14_sciatica.php. I hope this helps!

Androjas, posted on July 26, 2014

Thank you for this class, which I come back to at least once a week. I've been cutting back on the practice lately because I've been feeling the electric, sharp discomfort down the back of my thighs during some poses, with a residual pins and needles sensation that stays after class. I sit on a block as advised, but it's the stretching that seems to aggravate the problem. I have a disk bulge between L4 and L5 which so far has not caused sciatica. Do you have a suggestion as to what videos/poses/modifications to do to alleviate the problem?

gab, posted on July 10, 2014

@bernieclark thank you, see you in November!

bernieclark, posted on July 10, 2014

@gab The philosophy of counterposes is different depending upon which tissue we are targeting, and thus the way we stress them. It is possible in a yin yoga class to work deeply in one direction, then later deeply in another or even the opposite direction. The worry in the yang (normal hatha) classes is that constant or sudden movements in two opposite directions can wear out the tissues, (think of a credit card being bent back and forth over and over again) but in yin, since we are lingering in the postures for a long time, the same concerns do not apply. Notice however, even in yin yoga, we don’t go directly from a deep back bend to a deep forward fold. In the flow you just cited, we went from Seal (deep back bend) to Childs’ Pose (a gentle forward flexion.)

gab, posted on July 9, 2014

hi B thank you for your class. could you let me know why it is ok to do a deep back bend then straight to forward fold as in your sequence sphinx/seal/childs. In my yang tt we were taught not to do this but to take an pose in between but maybe it is different for yin?

LukeMYO, posted on July 9, 2014

@Vajra47 Due to our merger, we have removed this feature for now. Please email us at support @ myyogaonline.com regarding your question for further assistance. - Luke and the My Yoga team

Vajra47, posted on July 6, 2014

How do I buy this video?

mariacf, posted on June 3, 2014

I am a trail runner and this class have been an essential part of my training. Not only for the benefits for my muscles, but for the explanations, and for your warmth. Thank you so much!!!

RachelleLeQuesne, posted on May 4, 2014

I buy every Bernie Clark yin yoga video but this one is my favourite. I have been doing this class every evening for the past seven days and I can feel the difference. I even stand and walk differently. Thanks Bernie.

gwencreek, posted on February 15, 2014

I loved this class. I too am recovering from a day of snowboarding deep powder. This practice felt great and I liked the way Bernie described fascia for us.

branflakes1991, posted on January 29, 2014

@bernieclark I am so grateful for your contribution to MyYogaOnline. Your classes are among my favorites and I always learn something new to deepen my own practice and to share with those I teach.
Beautifully designed class and perfect after a few hours of attempted snow boarding and associated strained leg muscles.
Much love, light and many blessings to you.

susitilley, posted on December 26, 2013

@bernieclark Thank you for your response. Looking forward to learning more about Yin Yoga :)

bernieclark, posted on December 26, 2013

@susitilley Ideally, in Yin Yoga, we relax the muscles, so no padabandha. This allows the stress of the pose to go beyond the muscle layers and into the deeper "yin-like" tissues.

susitilley, posted on December 26, 2013

I am more curious if the use of padabandha should be employed in seated Yin Floor poses. (f.e. Janu Sirshasana) It seems to me that when using padabandha in that pose, full relaxation of the leg can not be achieved. What are your thoughts on that?

bernieclark, posted on December 26, 2013

@susitilley You could: you can find a more complete answer to your question in my Newsletter here - http://www.yinyoga.com/newsletter3_yinside_of_bandhas.php

susitilley, posted on December 26, 2013

In Yin Yoga, do you completely omit the use of bandhas and if so, why?

ashleypenny, posted on October 27, 2013

Thank you for the lovely class!

msclarat, posted on September 21, 2013

Loved this video. Bernie's got a great sense of humor and lots of knowledge about the anatomy! Mostly, helped me release some stubborn hip joint pain with this practice.

lizeeliz, posted on September 13, 2013

I love this video! Thank you so much!

lorettajane, posted on September 6, 2013

I really enjoyed this practice. In fact, I enjoy all of Bernie's classes! Thank you

LadyGabrielle, posted on August 31, 2013

I really enjoyed this pratice ! Such an amazing teacher. Thank you !

mgeisthardt, posted on July 9, 2013

Really enjoyed this practice. I don't practice YIn Yoga often enough and will be doing this practice more often. I have very tight hamstrings and often cannot touch the floor with a forward fold, the humor and VERY interesting information about Fascia was perfect to help me relax and breath further into the pose. Thank you so much!

Weimygirl, posted on July 3, 2013

Wonderful. The practice and your sense of yoga humor!

Mishe, posted on June 22, 2013

This practice was perfect for after a run to help stretch and focus, thank you.

sherrytree, posted on June 14, 2013

This was great! I love the info about fascia while we are stretching, I' m a massage therapy student and I find fascia fasci-nating!! A great distraction from my tight quads :)

Peechuz, posted on June 5, 2013

Love this video - you have a very calming voice, taking time with each movement/pose; so appreciative, thanks for all you do for us!

jojolondon, posted on February 10, 2013

Thank you! I'm training for a triathlon and have been really troubled by aching and shooting pains from my glute all down my leg - I've tried various yoga and sports massages but this is the first combination of stretches that has given me any relief. I'll definitely be doing this routine every couple of days :o)
Jodie, London

bernieclark, posted on February 9, 2013

@yogawithdelana: thanks for the feedback. Glad you enjoyed the practice. Not everyone feels the poses in the same way so, for you, some modifications can be used. Many people feel the adductors getting juicy when holding the 1/2 Frog pose, with the back knee as far away from the midline as possible. However, if you want more sensation for the adductors, try both the 1/2 Frog and the 1/2 Butterfly with both legs wide apart: the Straddle pose. For the outside of the hips, the 1/2 Shoelace and Dragons generally suffice for most people, but again, for you, feel free to do the full Shoelace, and going lower/deeper into the Winged Dragon. You can find these poses described in detail at www.yinyoga.com.

yogawithdelana, posted on February 9, 2013

Bernie is a great teacher. I observed that the sequence focused on hamstrings, quads, hips, and spine while lacking attention to the third and forth quadrants of the legs: inner and outer, but it was a very good practice nonetheless with great information about tissue behavior at the cellular level.

Andyguck, posted on January 27, 2013

Excellent video. I will be incorporating these Yin Yoga videos with my regular Ashtanga practice. Thank you Bernie. Namaste.

eleonela, posted on January 10, 2013

Loved this video. I love all your yin videos. Please post some more

ashiedawn, posted on January 10, 2013

Great video. This was my second time trying yin yoga and I really enjoyed it this time (not so much the first time). The time flew by and I feel amazing now. Thank you! :)

mchick, posted on January 5, 2013

Wow, this video is awesome! I thought I was flexible until I did this one. I learned some great stretches that more deeply stretch my quads and hips, which are evidently pretty tight. I really like that he holds the stretch long enough to actually get stretched. I've been to so many classes that never gave enough time for the stretch. This is in my favorites and I will be doing it many more times.

yogas44, posted on December 20, 2012

I joined My Yoga Online a few weeks ago, finally chose my first video today, this one, currently working with a long standing injury, loved this, could feel my tight fascia in my right QL, lovely, calming, well paced, added to favourites straight away =)

Luvina, posted on November 25, 2012

wonderful stretch...just what my muscles needed. Learning with Bernie is a pleasure. I got some good smiles too!

kristy1977, posted on November 23, 2012

My first Yin class and love the info and your mild humour. You explain so well and its nice to have a slow paced yoga class for once.

mollyjean99, posted on November 14, 2012

I LOVED this class. Plus, his constant reminders of what is happening to you on a cellular level while doing the practice helps to motivate you!

judynelson, posted on November 10, 2012

Good pace; he knows what he is doing.

YogaSantosha, posted on November 9, 2012

Wonderful practice. Gentle yet challenging. Very helpful modifications. Finished the practice feeling supple and well stretched.

hirshson_2, posted on November 7, 2012

i enjoy your clear, specific sequencing, as well as the learning that comes through your comments during the poses. the hour length is also optimal. thank you!

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