Flow & Yin: A Balanced Yoga Practice

Donna Helm Yost
Year Released: 2006

Categories: Yoga

Setting: Inside a studio with wood floors, plants and scarves on the wall.

The dvd is broken down into 2 different practices:

Flow Sequence: 50 minutes
Yin Sequence: 74 minutes

Both practices are beneficial for all levels of ability, as the class participants work within their own levels and show modifications as needed.


Standing at the top of the mat, you'll begin with the breath. Bring arms overhead, forward fold, breathe up to stand. Next in forward fold, holding elbows, you'll stretch your hamstrings. Interlace fingers behind your back will create space between the shoulders. Next, standing with arms overhead, you'll stretch over to each side to lengthen the side of the body. Forward fold, step back to top of pushup and hold. (this will really fire up the core) Cobra, down dog then repeat sequence. Hold down dog. This begins the sun salutation vinyasa. Donna will add on poses (such as one legged dog pose, chair, Warrior 1, etc) as you progress through the vinyasa several times. Donna does several unique poses for balance such as rising on your toes and then still on your toes you'll lower into a deep squat. Some advanced poses, head stand, crow variation, etc are demonstrated. This flow has a good balance between vinyasa, balance poses, and twists. (beg/int exercisers will need to watch the class participants who are modifying the poses that are very advanced).


Begin seated in butterfly pose. This pose will stretch your groin and inner thighs. The poses are held quite long (which I personally like), butterfly was held for 5 minutes. Moving on into dragon fly pose, relaxing the toes in this yin practice. (wide legged forward bend is another name for this) Rounding the spine helps to get into the connective tissues of the spinal column. Next up is a wonderful stretch for the hips. Donna calls it square pose or it is also referred to as double pigeon. Following is another hip opening move--you'll lie on your back and either bring your your knee to your chest or place on foot over the opposite knee and then reach between the legs and pull the leg closer to the chest. Switch sides and repeat hip stretches on other side. Return to seated position & prepare for poses that work the spine. Cobra variations are shown first. A back bend pose called saddle pose is next. (she demonstrates several variations in case you experience knee issues) Following is a gentle calf stretch to release the knee from the prior pose. Several rounds of cat/cow are next. A nice shoulder stretch is performed next. (you'll be on all 4's & push back into your hips and stretch the working arm out in front to stretch that shoulder) Then you'll take that same arm that was extended and push it under opposite arm & look to that side to deepen the stretch. A nice twist while lying on your back follows. Repeat shoulder stretch sequence/twist other side. The final pose uses bolsters. Donna suggests placing them under the hips to raise the hips up. Then you'll raise the legs straight up (modified version) or bend them over your head (in a pose she calls snail). Final relaxation finishes this deep, relaxing Yin sequence.

Instructor Comments:
Donna instructs the class as the participants demonstrate the poses. Plenty of form tips are offered throughout the practice.