BRIDGE POSE (Setubandhasana)

   

Contra-indications: Lower back, neck or knee problems

How to perform: Begin lying on the back with knees bent, the soles of the feet on the floor, thighs hip width apart and parallel, and ankles lined up directly under the knees. Exhale and, while pressing the feet actively into the floor, push the tailbone upward towards the pubis, and lift the buttocks up as high as comfortably possible. Interlace the fingers behind the back and extend through the arms to help you roll under one shoulder  and then the other. Stay in the pose for as long as it is comfortable to breath slowly and fully. To exit, on exhalation release the hands and bring the upper, middle, and then lower back down vertebra by vertebra.

Do not splay the knees apart - keep the thighs and feet parallel pressing firmly onto the big toes.

Do expand the chest and draw it toward the chin. Keep drawing the shoulder blades close together to get on top of the shoulders - the spine should not touch the ground in the full version of the pose.

What if... I have a weak or stiff neck? Place a thickly folded blanket under your shoulders to keep your neck off the ground, go into the pose on an inhalation, pause, then come out of the pose on an exhalation, repeating this process 6-12 times. It is important not to turn your neck in this position.

Benefits: Stimulates the heart and lungs. Strengthens the back, buttocks, legs and ankles. Nourishes the pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands. Reduces anxiety and relaxes the mind.

 

 

Bridge Pose (Setubandhasana) Video
Bridge Pose (Setubandhasana) Video

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