Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

Free Yoga Friday: Yoga for Relaxation, 20 Minute Beginners Home Stretch Routine

By Anytimeyoga @anytimeyoga

The Practice: Yoga for Relaxation, 20 Minute Beginners Home Stretch Routine with Cindie Corbin.

Physical/Instructional Parameters: It’s a fairly slow paced practice with a goodly amount of seated and hands-and-knees postures — as is befitting its focus on relaxation. Similarly, the instruction for various poses is on the more detailed side: while I don’t know if it’s suitable for brand new beginners (but maybe), folks who are newer to yoga might benefit from this a lot.

Props: At the beginning the instructor mentions sitting on a blanket. However, there were a few more places I wanted additional props. In a seated side stretch, I wanted an unoffered block — as my side body just doesn’t bend that far, especially at the beginning of a practice. There’s also a place that utilizes a hands-clasped-behind-the-back pose. I didn’t want a strap for it this time, but I sometimes do — so it’s worth keeping in mind. And of course, some folk will want a blanket for under their knees in kneeling (even if they don’t necessarily want it for seated work).

Run Time: 20 minutes

I have a fair number of friends and/or readers who’ve mentioned wanting slower paced practice option that doesn’t put too much stress on their shoulders and/or wrists. (While I remain a big fan of last week’s practice, I am the first to admit that it may not fit the arm joint criteria here.) So I tried this one, and… I like it well enough, I guess?

Honestly, I’m pretty sure that the main reason I’m not loving it is that it’s just not the type of practice I’m drawn to on a regular basis. There’s good quality, beginner-friendly instruction; the pace is slow and relaxed. Much of the practice is seated or supine. And it does do a pretty great job of targeting some of the tension in my upper back and side body.

The practice starts with some seated centering and stretching: neck stretches, side body stretches, shoulder stretches. Even though it’s a shorter video, the pace never feels rushed. There’s good emphasis on letting the breath help open up and relax the part of the body being stretched.

After the seated stretches, there’s a kneeling segment. It includes some cat/cow, a kneeling hip stretch (that does not, as far as I know, have a specific name), child’s pose, and thread the needle. I should note here: During child’s pose, which is held for several breaths, the instructor’s microphone gets… squished?… or something. The end result is that the words here are more difficult to make out. My hearing is within normal levels and I had a good idea of what the instructor was going to be saying, so I didn’t have a problem with it. For someone with different parameters, however, it might be an issue.

Following that comes the reclined segment, which involves this other version of thread the needle, happy baby pose, and savasana. During happy baby, the instructor offers the option to straighten one or both legs (which I find a lot of fun), making a reclined wide legged forward fold also a possibility. While I liked the happy baby options a lot, I would have liked to see some modifications offered in thread the needle. The instructor only offers the version with hands wrapped around shin, when some folks may need either to clasp behind their thigh and/or to use a strap.

And, as is often the case, I would have liked more time in savasana — but the guided meditation and ending narration are unobtrusive, so it’s simple enough to simply stay in savasana longer if that’s what one desires.

All in all, I don’t think this is going to make it into my regular rotation. But it might be just what someone else is looking for.

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