January: Supported bridge
The new year has arrived, maybe with new years resolutions. Whether you have them or not, it will be worth while to allow yourself to have some more you-time this year. And doing some restorative yin yoga is the perfect way to enjoy some of that you-time.
For January I’ve chosen supported bridge as pose of the month. This pose opens the front of the body, mainly the heart space. The effect of heart/chestopeners tends to be uplifting and energizing, which might be just what you need after busy holidays and at the start of a new year.
If you enjoy this practice you might also be interested in the online restorative practices that I have available here.
You will need:
- 2 Bolster/blankets
- 2 blocks
How to Supported bridge
There are 2 options to be in this pose. To set it up, take 2 bolsters and place them behind each other. Place one block on each side where the 2 bolsters meet. You can place a blanket at the top end to support the head.
Now lay yourself down on the bolsters and slide yourself up so that your head is on the blanket and the shoulders are almost resting on the blanket. The bolster should support the chest, allowing it to open. So, make sure the edge of the bolster is below the breastbone/shoulderblades and not too low. Your neck needs to be long to be able to breathe in a relaxed manner. If the head tilts back because the bolsters are too high, then elevate the floor with blankets below your head and shoulders, until you’ve found a suitable height. Choose whether it is more comfortable to rest your legs on the bolsters, or if you want to bend your knees with feet resting on the blocks. If your legs tend to roll off the bolster, use a belt around your upper legs. This way they’ll stay together, while you’ll be able to fully relax them.
Once you’re in the pose, with your shoulders slightly off the blanket, take a couple off deep breaths to allow them to sink towards the floor. If the shoulders are not fully supported after a couple of breaths, move yourself up a bit until they are, but make sure the bolster is still supporting the chest.
Then wholly relax and bring your attention back to the breath. Stay in the pose for as long as you like, but at least 5 minutes. Allow the chest to open and your body to surrender into the support of the bolsters. Gently observe the rising sensation and space of the inhale and the falling sensation and softening of the exhale. Notice whether there is movement of the ribbasket in all directions, upwards, to the sides and in into the bolsters.
When the time has come to come out of the pose, bend your knees and place your feet on the floor. Lift the pelvis off the floor and slide the bolsters away from underneath. Slowly bring yourself down to lie flat on the floor and observe the effect of the pose and the change after the movement. Whenever you’re ready, roll to the side and bring yourself up to a seated position for a few breaths. Then continue with your day.
Be comfortable and enjoy!