Much as I try to deny it, I am a relatively early chronotype. I think it’s skewed because I have to get up even earlier for my job; but, left to my own devices, I would rise at about 7am and would be in bed around 11pm. And I definitely have my best “get shit done” surge of the day in the morning.
By about 4pm, my energy level is starting to wind down for the day. I’m concentrating on a few evening tasks — prepping dinner, maybe readying laundry or whatever for the next day — and sort of wrapping up. Special circumstances (like pre-planned evenings out) aside, I’m not in a place to want to introduce additional energy-requiring activities into that time of day.
And if 5pm rolls around and I haven’t worked out for the day, I find myself lacking the intrinsic motivation to do so. Now, finding extrinsic motivation doesn’t have to be particularly elaborate — a run with my partner when he gets home from work, or an evening yoga class I enjoy at my local studio — so it’s not like I never work out past 5pm. But if it’s a matter of me sequencing my own asanas at home, let me tell you, an evening active practice is just not happening.
Fortunately, there is yin. And equally fortunately, yin has a lot of poses that involve sitting or, better yet, lying on the ground.
And all of this is a really long introduction for this gentle (for me) evening yin sequence. By “gentle (for me),” I mean these are poses that, even when held for a number of minutes as is common with a yin practice, don’t create the same intense opening that I’ve felt in other yin classes. Which, for an evening practice, is just fine with me.
“I Don’t Wanna” Yin Sequence
All poses held for 3-7 minutes each, depending on the day and what I’m getting from each.
- Child’s pose, though I like mine with my knees wide and my arms extended.
- Sphinx — I’m normally not interested in doing a lot of back bending in the evening; I just want enough here to counterbalance the set of forward bending poses I’m about to do.
- Deer on each side, folding forward.
- Either butterfly or dragonfly, depending on how I’m feeling in the moment.
- Whatever variation of reclining twist works for my back at the moment, again on each side.
- Happy baby.
- Savasana — often with my knees bent over my couch, or legs up the wall.
It tends to run about 30-45 minutes, depending on precisely how long I hold each pose. But the best part is that I’m ready for bed right after if need be.