Our New Limits challenge (find out here) has seen some of you trying out a Zen class for the first time. While most people wouldn't consider Zen to be a solid workout in itself, the class is essential for muscle recovery and stretching out kinks in the body... and also necessary if you want to earn those 2 FREE classes after smashing all 7 class types.
Zen is the slowest-moving class at Yoga Movement. It is not an active yoga practice, so put aside your Warrior poses, and prepare to enter recovery mode. Each main posture in an hour-long Zen class is typically held for three to five minutes to release muscle tension and slow down the breath. Equip yourself with a two blocks and a strap, or any other object you can find at home that resemble these props to help stretch and elevate.
This is for the ones who have yet to try out our Zen class, as much as it is for the ones who are addicted to the Zen practice. No matter which category you fall under, we're walking you through a 30-minute session of Zen that you can do in the comfort of your own bedroom. To top it all off, we've included a playlist to complement all the stretches you'll be enjoying. So take a comfortable seat, bliss out, and breathe...
1. Neck Stretches (3 mins in all directions)
Stretch your neck in all directions — that means front, back, sideways, and 45-degrees down; pulling your chin closer to your collarbones. For a deeper stretch, use your palm to gently apply pressure. Spend more time on the side that feels tighter. End off with a neck rotation to balance it all out.
2. Seated Side Stretch (2 mins per side)
Reach your right palm down onto the mat. Raise your left arm up and over your left ear, and bend over to the right. Slowly lower your right forearm as you bend deeper to stretch your left side body. If the forearm doesn't reach the mat, place a block underneath your right forearm. Repeat on the other side.
3. Dragonfly (2 mins)
Stretch your legs out in opposite directions, along the length of the mat. Keep your back straight and fold forwards, hinging from the hip. Try to reach your forehead down onto the mat without rounding the spine. Otherwise, use a block or two under your forehead for support.
4. Extended Puppy Pose (1 min)
Begin in Tabletop position with your hips stacked above your knees. Slowly extend your arms forwards to the top of the mat and melt your chest down. Rest your forehead and forearms onto the mat. If your chest doesn't reach the mat, you have the option of placing a block underneath your chest for support.
5. Child's Pose (3 mins)
Choose to take a wide-legged variation of Child's Pose with the knees apart, or a regular Child's Pose with knees together. Reach your arms towards the top of the mat and rest your forehead on the mat or on a block. Try to sit your hips down towards your heels.
6. Pigeon Pose (2 mins per side)
From Tabletop position, bend your right knee behind your right wrist, and try to get your right shin parallel to the top of your mat. Square the hips by shifting your right hip back and left hip forward. Reach your arms forward, towards the top of your mat and melt the chest down. Rest your forehead on the mat or on a block. Repeat with your left knee behind your left wrist.
7. Rear Delt Stretch (2 mins per side)
Lie on your belly with your palms next to your chest. Push your palms into the mat to lift your chest, and slide your right arm to the left side. Wriggle your left arm above your right and lay your chest down, pressing onto both arms. Repeat, beginning with your left arm underneath.
8. Supine Half-Moon (2 mins per side)
Lie fully on your back towards the right side of the mat. Extend your legs out to the bottom left corner and cross at the ankles. Reach both arms overhead and bend your upper body over to the top left corner. Both hips should still remain grounded on the right side. Repeat by moving to the left side of the mat, crossing your ankles the other way, and extending your arms and legs over to the right side.
9. Savasana (5 mins)
Our favourite yoga pose... ever! Enter final relaxation by laying on your back, feet mat-width distance apart, palms facing up. Allow the feet to fall outwards, and the fingers to curl naturally. Relax your facial muscles and close your eyes.
Now that you've got a teaser of what you'll be in for, come by our studios to enjoy the full experience at any of our Zen classes. Get closer to your 2 FREE classes with every class type you crush!