There comes a point when your body wants a little more but doesn’t want to work any harder. The wonderful thing about restorative yoga is that your body does ZERO work. In fact, the less work it does, the better. Passive opening relies more on the support we give ourselves than our ability to actively move and push our bodies in a certain direction. Isn’t it marvelous that, by giving ourselves the right support and some breath, we can retrieve a little bit more of our own potential for movement and opening?
It’s the third week of the “Dear Adri…Love, Yoga” Project and I’m offering another backbend. Think of it as a variation on a theme, a motif. You might find that you like stacking the three backbends one upon the other – there is a gentle sequencing for thoracic opening here – or you might find that one posture really hits the spot one night, another posture at another time. The beauty is that you can tailor it all to yourself.
Week 3: Supported Backbend with a Bolster 2
This posture uses the same props as before – a bolster or a rolled blanket. I usually feel fine without additional support behind my head but you might find that you prefer a blanket, a block, or a pillow to bring ease to your neck.
- Sit on your bum with your knees bent. Bring the bolster parallel to your hips but far enough away that it will rest under your back ribs.
- Gently roll down onto the bolster. If you have back issues or are pregnant, you might prefer to roll onto your side and then onto your back (on the bolster).
- From here, it’s a matter of getting comfortable. Scoot forwards or backwards until you feel like the bolster is in a place that is comfortable for your lower back, shoulders, and neck.
- If you still feel strain either in your lower back or neck, then bring a blanket or pillow underneath your hips or your head.
- Find a comfortable position for your legs – straight out, bent, or in the shape of a diamond with the soles of your feet together.
- Breathe here. Follow your breath as it moves in and out of your body. As you inhale, say mentally to yourself, “Breathe in. I know that I am breathing out. As you exhale, say mentally to yourself, “Breathe out. I know that I am breathing out.”
- If you’re new to backbends, stay for one to two minutes. Feel free to stay longer if backbends are familiar to you.