Pose of the Month: Bridge Pose

Pose of the Month

Bridge Pose
(Setu Bhanda Sarvangasana; SET-too BAHN-dah)

As one of the most commonly practiced heart openers, this posture is a wonderful introduction into the world of heart openers (also known as backbends) and can be done in a very active, challenging fashion or in a very passive, supported way.

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  • Begin lying on your back, feet on the floor, knees pointed to ceiling- hips width apart and heels as close to your sitting bones as possible.
  • Exhale pressing your inner feet and arms actively into the floor, push your tailbone upward towards the celling and lift your hips off the floor. Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel. Clasp the hands below your pelvis and extend through the arms to help you stay on the tops of your shoulders.
  • Stay in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Release with an exhalation, rolling the spine slowly down onto the floor.

Modifications

  • Make sure to keep your gaze up toward the ceiling and not looking to your left or right; this will avoid any neck injury.
  • You can add a folded blanket under your shoulders for neck support and a block under your sacrum, allowing your lower back to rest.

Benefits
Stretches the chest, neck, spine, and hips.
Strengthens the back, buttocks, and hamstrings.
Improves circulation of blood.
Helps alleviate stress and mild depression.
Calms the brain and central nervous system.
Stimulates the lungs, thyroid glands and abdominal organs.
Improves digestion.

Yoga Etiquette
One way to help calm your pre-class worries is to learn a thing or two about yoga etiquette, and the general ins and outs of a typical studio ahead of time. Glance through these tips, and then enjoy the full yoga experience! You’ll be set to go like you’ve been yoga-ing for years.

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