Yin Yoga Backbends (with Cleo) - Yin for Spine Flexibility & Open Shoulders {45 min}

Yin Yoga Backbends (with Cleo) – Yin for Spine Flexibility & Open Shoulders {45 min}

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Hey yogis, this week I’m doing a highly requested Yin Yoga class! This is all about backbends and poses that open up the heart and shoulders. This is NOT appropriate for anyone with spine injuries such as bulging or herniated discs!! I cannot state this enough!

I would say that this is an advanced Yin Yoga class. You need 2 blocks in order to do this practice and if you have a cat, even better 😉

We’ll play with poses like Sphinx, Seal, Supported Fish and Lying Chest Opener. My cat Cleo joins us for most of it, isn’t she adorable??

Practicing this class and these postures on a regular basis is a surefire way to deepen your backbends and increase your back flexibility. If you’re working on Bow Pose, Wheel or any other backbending pose, this class will help you get there.

Because it’s so intense, you need to be able to stay present with your breath and BACK OFF if it’s too much! Again, this is SO important. The goal is not to injure ourselves.

Music: http://www.bensound.com

What is Yin Yoga? Yin yoga is often called the Yoga of the joints because unlike other styles of yoga, the emphasis is not on the muscles but on the deep connective tissue. Connective tissue is made up of fascia, ligaments and tendons which surround and form your joints. Yin yoga improves the range of motion in your joints and also strengthens them. The results and benefits are more flexibility and greater range of motion and also more stability within your joints. Although your muscles will also be stretched, that is not the focus of the practice. It is best to practice yin yoga while your muscles are cold and NOT warmed up, even if that sounds counter intuitive. The reason we do this is so that we can send the “stress” and the “Stretch” to the connective tissues. If the muscles are warm they will steal the focus away from the joints.

There are 3 principles of Yin Yoga.
1. Find your edge
2. Be still
3. Hold the pose

Find your edge means respecting your body’s limits and not pushing too far and risking injury. Pull back a little bit and as you hold the pose you will be able to go deeper into it without pushing too far or hurting yourself.

Being still means that once you are in the pose it is important to completely relax your muscles so the benefits can get into the connective tissues and joints. Try not to fidget or move or distract yourself, this is a meditative practice. Breathe deeply in and out through the nose.

Holding the pose means that in Yin Yoga a pose can be held for 1-10 minutes depending on the pose performed and on the comfort level of the student. I usually teach poses held for around 4-5 minutes. Learn to surrender and keep a timer close by if needed.

Use as many props as needed in Yin Yoga! Blocks, bolsters and straps are all great ways to support your body to make sure you are respecting your edge and not going too far.

For more Yin Yoga, try my FREE 7 Day Immersion: http://bit.ly/yinimmersion

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Yoga with Kassandra – Disclaimer
Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.

Recommended Article:

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Avoid repetition in your workouts. Mix up your workouts often. Productivity is affected by boredom. Without the proper motivation, you might stop altogether. Always remember that variety is the spice of life, so change up your exercise routine every now and then. Variety is important to keeping yourself interested in work outs. Once you stop your exercise routine, it is extremely difficult to regain your motivation to start again and any benefits you have achieved may soon be lost.

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Dr. Mary Lee Vance
Dr. Mary Lee Vance
specializes in diet and weight management. He is associate professor of health, behavior, and society at the JHKs Bloomberg School of Public Health, with joint appointments in medicine and human nutrition.


  1. Thanks for your videos I enjoy it and you are so beautiful !!! ??

  2. This class was great. I've been working more on backbends as they've always been a challenge so adding this in on a regular basis is definitely going to help. Thanks 🙂

  3. Kassandra
    You are one of the best on YT. Have you considered doing a ladder flow? It's my new favorite yoga style. Thank you!

  4. Cleo is adorable! And yes, my fur babies practice with me all the time, too!

  5. This was intense indeed. Needed a child's pose during the last puppy pose but plan to revisit often to see what improvements might come about. Thank you so much Kassandra and thank you for taking the time to be a part of Brett Larkins ytt, I have learned so much from you both. ❤️?

  6. 🙂 my cat acts very similar to yours. in addition to cuddling he brings his favorite toy so that i can play with him

  7. I had to modify a bit (can recommend supported Sphinx btw with a meditation pillow under the belly, allows more of the passive touch of Yin) and shorten the holding time of some poses but really loved the intensity of the class. Not sure if I will do the whole class on a regular basis but at least a couple of the poses :-).

  8. Thank you so much for creating all these videos. Your videos help me a lot, i can practice at home for my flexibility. I have one question, my lumbar spine is very tight, i can do crow pose, but i can not do baby crow. I also can not do rabbit properly. I get very frustrated when i practice in advance yoga class because my lumbar spine. (T_T)

  9. My dog also loves being with me on the mat! I absolutely love tuning into your classes <3 Thank you, thank you, thank you! All the love!

  10. Your videos are awesome! Thank you so much.

  11. Can confirm, dog does that same thing.

  12. aww the kitty is so cute

  13. As soon as my cat T sees me pull out the mat. She is going in. Sometimes when I am in square pose or a forward bend she is a really great assist because she jumps on my back an kneed on my spine. Nice. I love the chanting. I so rarely get to do that. namaste.

  14. first of all: all four of my cats do what Cleo does EVERY TIME I'm on the mat, especially doing yin lol. secondly: thank you for thisbc I was looking for yin upper body today, so this was PERFECT

  15. Marta S says:

    Another excellent class! This is much needed class for me as I'm avoiding forward bends ☺ and Cleo is always a ray of sunshine! I have a puppy who loves to tag along during my practice (but not as gracefully!)

  16. I love that your kitty hangs out with while you do your practice. Makes me miss my kitty. Thanks I've really been enjoying all your classes. Your style is awesome Thanks Cleo you're a real beauty.

  17. Nora Salem says:

    amazing one!!! could you please post a video for scoliosis like Yin Yoga for scoliosis ! as i always do all of your videos specially those of yin yoga. Thankss sweetie

  18. Loved this one, Kassandra. I sit all day and this will help so much. Thank you! It helps to have Cleo around, too.

  19. i have been do yoga for 25 years and all my cats and dogs love do yoga with me

  20. I love your yin yoga sessions. tried a lot of things to get more flexible for dance, these sessions seem to help the most!

  21. great work! loved this practice.

  22. yes u r right….
    thxxx to inform …??????

  23. Amir Amran says:

    Yoga with Kassandra,
    1. I notice that you dont' do any counter poses to the back bends here. Would you say back bends are not a must in yin practice? I do a short child pose after all must yin poses in my yin practice but i'm not sure if its needed. I'd like my yin practice to be as efficient as possible.
    2. What yoga block would you say are most suitable for yin practice? I got wooden blocks and i like their stiff support but sometimes they feel too stiff and i wouldn't try to support my back with them.

  24. Bing Lu says:

    My cat does the same thing!

  25. OMG only like seconds ago I was thinking " I wish I can find a class for my shoulders and back " And then you posted this video…seriously..waw. I ADORE you :-*

  26. My friend suggested I try Yin Yoga for deep stretching after strength training. I came across Kassandra's videos and was hooked immediately. Her cueing is flawless and her personality and voice take me where my mind needs to be to be in a clsss.Thank you Kassandra…and don't Cleo?

  27. Beautiful way to begin my day. Love Cleo.

  28. There is a definite need for Yin back bending, thank you. P.S. It's been a pleasure watching you grow online as a teacher the past few years ? Your videos are always a go to when I need refresher cues or ideas for my classes ?

  29. Can't wait to try this one! I love backbends, and doing them with a yin practice sounds awesome, thanks a lot for this class.
    p.s. Cleo is adorable ?

  30. yes…but dr. say to exercise but don't know which exercise

  31. A new HIGHLY requested Yin Yoga class fresh out of the oven 🙂 This 45 minute class will help you get deeper backbends and increase your spine flexibility. Please note, this is NOT appropriate for anyone with any kind of spine injuries. This is a very intense class and features my little cat Cleo <3 enjoy!


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