On the Mat: Summer Intensive Restorative Pose #2

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Hip flexor and lower back woes continue for the NYU Tisch Dance Summer Residency students this week. Maybe they do for you too? Yoga to the rescue!

Summer Intensive Restorative Pose #2: Always an excellent restorative posture to begin or end a yoga practice, I offer you Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Restorative Bridge Pose) using a block.

This pose is packed with restorative benefits including a light inversion, spine decompression, hip flexor extension, and sacrum massage all in one. Allowing several points – the feet, block, shoulder blades, and skull – to balance the body, the posture is easy to spend ample time in.

Take your time getting into the pose safely:

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Lie on your back with your feet on the mat, sitting bone distance apart. Toes, knees, and hipbones should be aligned. Elevate your pelvis off the mat and place a block on the lower or medium height to support the flatter bone part of your seat. If you place the block too close to your ribs, it will irritate your lower back so make sure you make surface contact with the whole sacrum and tailbone so that your lower back curve suspends above the mat beyond the block edge. The arms can be placed palms down alongside the block so the shoulders can be heavy. Close your eyes and breathe in the pose for several cycles to fully experience the capacity of this pose’s benefits. To come out of the pose, press into the feet to lift the pelvis, remove the block, and lower down to release the pelvis back to the floor. You might want to take a gentle twist on each side before coming back to vertical.

– TaraMarie Perri

in-text photo credit: Philippe Teston

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