“By drawing our senses of perception inward, we are able to experience the control, silence, and quietness of the mind,” said B.K.S. Iyengar in “Light on Life.” Yin yoga is all about going inward.
According to B.K.S. Iyengar, backbends stimulate the adrenals. “Backbends are rejuvenating. They give energy and courage and combat depression. They open the chest and make the spine flexible. The arms and shoulders become strong. The mind and body become alert.”
Holding poses for longer periods of time, and relaxing the muscles are some of the central points for Yin Yoga. Hence, Yin should be introspective. By placing a block under your sacrum, your shoulder bones and feet gently support your bridge. As a result, you can rest longer in this backbend.
Bernie Clark, a Yin master, explains why we add a block for this pose in Yin Yoga. “… the magic of Yin Yoga is time: we linger long in the delirious delicacy of the postures. Props can assist in lengthening the lingering. The intention in Yin Yoga is to arrive at an appropriate edge and stay…”
The pose should be done with the chin lock (jalandhara bandha) which stimulates the thyroid. Depending on the flexibility of your back, you can place the block flat (horizontally) under the sacrum, standing on its side, or standing vertically. To exit the pose, I encourage my students to lower the block (i.e. turning it to the side or flat) before removing it completely.
For more about benefits of Yin Yoga in general, visit my blog spot, www.TheNamasteCounsel.com/yoga-blog, and enter the words Yin Yoga in the search window. As always, consult your yoga therapist to determine which poses are best suited for your particular physical and emotional needs.