Supported Bridge, week 4 of “Restore Yourself…Love, Yoga”

Love, Yoga

 

I was chatting with a dear one about this project the other day, and it became clear that he didn’t really understand this whole thing. Dedicating it to my friend generated a lot of confusion and, frankly, turned him away from enjoying the project. Obviously the conversation presented a conundrum – do I stick with the project despite possible confusion around it? – and it highlighted the Art of Naming. Ever meet a person named Fred who seemed more like a Larry? Or find that the title of a book or movie misled you? I once named a sweet but strange cat Rasputin and his mischievous, slightly untrustworthy characteristics came more into being. As Rumpelstiltskin knows, names hold power.

So I’m thankful for the honest feedback. And I know that a misnomer is not a failure but an error that can be righted, even if it’s mid-stream. This project remains dedicated to Adri but I’m changing it’s name to reflect more of its scope. You, too, are a friend deserving of love and restoration. You, too, are its intended recipient. I’ll now be calling this project, “Restore Yourself…Love, Yoga.” The hashtags will include #restoreyourself as well as #dearadri and #loveyoga. And if there’s still some confusion about its intentions, then please let me know. Clear communication is a godsend.

This next posture is Supported Bridge. You’ll need to do an Active Bridge to get there so I’m including the instructions for both. From Active Bridge you’ll slide a block or thick blanket underneath your sacrum, thus turning it into Supported Bridge. It’s a beautiful pose for opening your heart and softening the front of your pelvis.

Active Bridge

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  1. Lie down on your back with your knees bent. Be certain that the prop supporting you is within arms reach.
  2. Bring your feet hip-width apart. Do they feel parallel? Can you press evenly down into that pad right below the first knuckle of your big toe and your baby toe? Can you press down through the center of your heel?
  3. Bring your arms alongside your body. You might be able to graze the back of your heel with your middle finger but, if you have shorter arms, you may not. The goal is to find a stance that is neither too close nor too far away from your hips.
  4. Bend your elbows and snuggle them in close to your ribs, just like you’re giving yourself a hug. Root down through the elbow, the full length of the upper arm bone, and the shoulder. As you do this, you might feel a slight lift of your chest upwards.
  5. Imagine that there are a series of buttons running down the length of your torso: one right below your sternum, one at your belly button, and one right above your pubic symphysis, or where the two halves of your pelvis meet in the front. “Button up your corset:” as you draw these three buttons down towards the ground, you will feel your abdominal muscles wrapping around your spine. Take care to keep your lower back in its natural curve; do not flatten your lower back.
  6. Press into your heels and your arm bones while engaging your core to start to lift your hips and spine off of the mat.
  7. Once you’ve found the lift that feels best in your spine, start to press your knees towards your toes. Gently walk your shoulders underneath your chest a little more. Soften the front of your pelvis.
  8. Take ahold of your block or blanket and slide it underneath your sacrum. Your sacrum is the triangular bit of bone where your spine runs into your bum. Oftentimes the block gets placed too high on the back. If you feel like your lower back is resting on the support, then repeat step #6, lift your back off of the support, and realign it underneath your sacrum. You should feel like your bones on resting on the block.
  9. Close your eyes and find your breath. I often like to tune into my heart while I’m here. If you’re new to backbends, then stay here for no more than 1 to 2 minutes.

Supported Bridge

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