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Supported Bridge Pose

Supported bridge is an all time favorite.  It’s the reason my bestie owns a block.  When you place the block under your sacrum you can let your body relax in the pose without actively trying to stretch any muscles.  The extra support allows the muscles in your hips and lower back to release and relax.  If you’re too busy to do a full practice, especially if you’ve spent all day sitting or standing, I highly recommend supported bridge followed by legs up the wall.

How to do supported bridge pose

  1. Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on your mat.
  2. Lift your hips off the mat.
  3. Slide the block under your sacrum (the flat part of your lower back).
  4. Adjust the block if needed.  This position should feel super comfortable and relaxing.  You should not feel any pressure or   pinching.

Tips and modifications

  1. The block has three height settings, use the one that feels most comfortable for you.
  2. If the cork block feel too hard you can use a foam block.
  3. If you have any neck or spinal injury, illness or discomfort please discuss this pose with your doctor before attempting it.

All about blocks

I recognize that the average yoga student may not know much about yoga blocks outside the blocks you may see at your studio.  Therefore I will share a few block basics.

Blocks come in two main materials: foam and cork.  You may also see wooden blocks.  Blocks are mainly used to bring the ground closer to you are extend your limbs.  Think of standing forward fold.  Most people are unable to touch their toes or the floor in this pose.  They most likely are able to reach a block.  By using the block you can work on alignment and increasing flexibility while working with what your body can do right now.  Blocks can also be used in restorative poses to allow your body to relax in order to get the full benefit of the pose.  Blocks generally come in two sizes 3 inch and 4 inch.  For most purposes 3 inches would suffice but as your practice grows you might find you need more height.

I like cork blocks because they are very supportive where a foam block would buckle (especially for heavier/ stronger students).  I think cork blocks are better if they will be used to bear weight.  I have 3 inch cork blocks at home like this Yoga Accessories block available from Amazon or this one from Manduka.

Cork blocks can feel hard against your body; especially if you have sensitive skin or injuries.  In that case you may prefer foam blocks like this one from Amazon

Yoga Accessories Foam Block

or this one from Manduka.

Manduka Foam Block

Then there’s ergonomically designed contoured blocks.  The curved edges are supposed to feel better against your body.  I haven’t tried these but I suspect they may feel really nice in some poses. Prana has the Wonderblock and Manduka has the unBLOK

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Prana Wonderblock
Manduka unBLOK

 

Whatever your fancy, you’re sure to find a block to meet your needs.  Or you may find you need one of each.  Comment below.

Do you have a favorite block?

How do you feel about supported bridge pose?

 

 

Read more about supported bridge pose:
http://www.yogajournal.com/uncategorized/two-supported-bridges/
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-1350/Supported-Bridge-Pose-Howto-Tips-Benefits.html
https://www.verywell.com/yoga-backbends-library-3566689
https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/exercise/yoga/supported-bridge-pose/ss-BBtOlkr

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