Restorative Yoga Pose of the Week – Seated Forward Bend

katieyoga-0198

Restorative Seated forward bend can improve digestion, reduce fatigue, and may lower blood pressure.  This forward bend will provide a gentle stretch in the lower back and hamstrings.  This pose is calming to the nervous system and will decrease energy in the body.  Forward folds can be challenging to those with tight hamstrings or a posterior-tilted pelvis.  Always support your head while folding forward in a restorative practice.

Always advise your doctor before beginning any yoga practice.  Cautions for this pose include Sciatica, SI joint dysfunction, hamstring injury.  Avoid this pose if you are pregnant.

To set up in this pose, you will want to experiment with a combination of blankets, bolsters, and perhaps a folding chair.  If folding forward is difficult, you may want to start by sitting on a folded blanket for more height that will shift your pelvis forward.  Stretch your legs out in front of you with either a slight bend or more.  If bending your knees generously, place a bolster or rolled up blanket underneath for more support.  Use a combination of blankets and/or bolsters stacked on your lap for the appropriate amount of height.  When folding forward, sit up straight, and start your fold from your pelvis or lower back.  You will want to avoid any rounding in your lower or mid-back region.  You may have a slight rounding in your upper back.  Find the right amount of support for your head and you are welcome to place your forward on your stacked hands.  Relax your arms and avoid using them to pull your torso towards the mat or props.  If using a chair, stretch your legs out long in front of you and forward fold as you did above, and rest your forehead on the chair or on your stacked palms.

Once you are comfortable in the pose, either soften your gaze or close your eyes and began your inhales and exhales.  Stay in this position as long as it is comfortable to you.  Average time may be anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes.  To come out of the pose, slowly lift your head away from the supports with a flat back.  Spend a moment sitting up and notice any changes you may feel in your body.

Watch Katie demonstrate how to set up with pose:

Resources:

Carey, L. (2015). Restorative yoga therapy: The Yapana way to self-care and well-being.