The Bridge Pose or the Yoga name: Setu Bandhasana is a basic yoga pose that is simple but yet exhilarating. It stretches the check, neck, spine, and hips while strengthening the back, buttocks, and hamstrings. It also is said to energize the body, and stimulate the endocrine and nervous systems. Additionally it massages the digestive organs and can help with digestion. This asana stimulates the thyroid glands and helps regulate metabolism. It is a great asana for those who spend the whole day in front of the computer, owing to their jobs. The stretch in the knees and shoulders acts like a massage, therefore refreshing and rejuvenating the practitioner. Even though it is a basic move, it is a great building block to a more difficult back-bend.
- Elongate Neck & Touch Chest to Chin- Don't bring the chin down to the chest, instead bring the chest to your chin which will elongate your neck. Your head should be rested on the ground.
- Chest lifts lengthening from pelvis to sternum- Inhale deep into the space in your belly & chest.
- Pelvis lifts up- Inhale while you slowly lift your back off of the floor and lift your pelvis up as high as you are able too without breaking position. Your bottom should be firm but don't clasp. Push your bottom up to the ceiling for power & lower back support.
- Knees in line with hips- Bend your knees and place feet flat on the floor. Keep your feet hip width apart and parallel to each other. Keep your knees over your ankles to prevent strain and add stability.
- Sides of Arms touch the ground- Not the backs of arms, so chest has space to lift.
- Palms pressed together- You can support yourself with your palms or you can interlace your fingers and press palms together to lift your torso higher.
- Sole of feet evenly pressed on the floor- Distribute your weight equally on the inside and outside of your feet. Feet should be pointed straight out in front and heels straight back.