supported bridge pose

while we’re downhere on the ground, let’s open our front of body with the restorative supported bridge pose (aka setu bandha sarvangasana). this passive backbend works as a foil to our days of sitting at the computer or behind the wheel. when we sit for long periods, we negatively affect the tension on hip flexors.  sitting in one position for long periods can lead to a tight, shortened psoas (or, really, the group of muscles fibers that we consider the psoas). the psoas area support our internal area and stabilize our trunk & spine.

other symptoms of psoas issues:

  • Discomfort, pain and aches in the front hip socket.
  • Restriction in the hip socket.
  • Iliopsoas bursitis/tendinitis.
  • Restriction moving the thigh backward.
  • Deep pelvic pain, on the side that feels tight.
  • Deep “bellyache”
  • Chronic constipation.

but wait, there’s more … the psoas muscle fibers work in conjunction with the piriformis, iliacus and the quatradus laborum. when one of these groups is overused, underused or too tight, we get pain in our hips and lower back along with other issues for our mobility and posture.

there are many stretches and types of therapy to help strengthen and relieve these muscle groups.

a chillasanahhh pose focuses on restorative, yin-style yoga with less strain on the body and is complementary to all types of physical activity.  the goal is to slow us waaaaaay down, disengage the fright or flight response that our hectic multi-tasking world inspires, and engage the parasympathetic response, giving your body space and time to repair while opening.

this is how we do it —->

all you need: a smooth place to lie down (maybe with a yoga mat if handy) and a rolled up blanket or yoga block.

  • lie on your back
  • then bend your knees and place feet hit-width apart where you can reach the back of your heels with the tips of your fingers
  • roll your shoulders away from your ears
  • press your feet into the ground to lift your hips and place the block under your sacrum (where your lower back and upper hips meet)
  • if you feel any sharp pain, remove the block.
  • you can leave your arms at your side, place in *cactus arms* (as in picture), or stretch overhead
  • you can modify the pose by extending one or both legs for greater opening
  • focus on your breath and breathe deeply. allow your mind to fill with thoughts about your breath
  • your mind is going to start ping-ponging all over. that’s cool and exactly what our little monkey minds do. just acknowledge the many passing thoughts and let them float on through. stay in the pose and focus on your breath.
  • you can remain in the pose for 30 seconds to 5 minutes
  • to come out of the pose, roll to one side or lift your hips, remove the block and roll down from the top of your spine, one vertabra at a time
  • once you’re out of the pose, continue to lie still for 2-3 breaths to give your body time to adjust
  • contraindications for this pose include neck injury and near-term pregnancy.

get into the groove … check out the other #chillasanahhh poses, email with questions or find a yin/restorative yoga class near you. your body will love it!