Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose- in Sanskrit Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

bridge

If you have ever taken my class, you know this is one of my favorites.  I love this pose for its emotional benefits.  It makes the heart feel open, the shoulders shrug away from the ears and when you come down something inside of you shifts.  If a class is struggling to breathe, this pose changes that.  As soon as everyone is in bridge the breath sounds like the tide crashing on the shore.  It is truly amazing to hear.  This pose is a beginning backbend.  It is considered a beginning backbend because there are so many modifications you can make to make this accessible for anyone.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the spine
  • Opens the chest
  • Improves spinal flexibility
  • Stimulates the thyroid
  • Calms stress and mild depression
  • Improves digestion
  • Relieves symptoms of pms when done supported
  • Reduces anxiety, fatigue, backache, headache, and insomnia

How to Practice:

  • Breathe
  • Lay on your back and bend your knees, place your feet on the floor
  • Feet should be hip bone distance apart with feet parallel
  • You should barely be able to touch your heels if the feet are the correct distance away from the hips.  (**if you have knee pain in this pose, walk your feet further forward toward the front of your mat)
  • Cat tilt the hips (tilt the tailbone up off the floor) and bring one vertebra off the floor at a time
  • Rest on your upper back
  • Tuck the shoulders underneath you and clasp the hands (as seen in the picture)
  • Once you are here, lengthen your tailbone toward the front of your mat and your heart toward the back of your mat.  This gives the lower back more space and allows you to extend in two directions.
  • Come down by reversing the movement– upper back, mid back, low back, then hips touch the floor
  • Take a gentle twist to reset the spine

The only reason you may not want to do this pose is if you have a neck injury.  There are ways to practice it safely, but you will want to do so with an experienced teacher.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Elizabeth Delaney