Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
- Lie on the floor with your knees bent and the feet hip-width apart, close to your buttocks.
- On an inhale, press into the feet, tuck your tailbone up and lift your hips off the floor. Allow your arms to rest by your sides. Your body should form a line from the knees to your shoulders.
- On an exhale, draw your navel towards your spine. Squeeze your buttocks and engage your hamstrings. Lengthen the tailbone toward the backs of the knees. Lift the pubis toward the navel.
- Lift your chin slightly away from the sternum. Firm the outer arms and clasp your hands beneath you, if you can. Stay up in the position for up to a minute.
- Then exhale and lower your hips back to the floor, rolling down the spine from the upper back to the lower back, with your tailbone tucked.
- There are many variations to this posture to make it more challenging, such as raising the arms overhead, using a block between the thighs, or raising one leg off the floor so that it is in line with the body.
Bridge Pose benefits:
- Helps to relieve low back pain by stretching the deep abdominal muscles, such as the psoas, which can cause the low back to feel tight
- Strengthens the back by contracting the glutes and muscles of the back
- Stretches the chest, neck, and spine
- Calms the brain and eases stress and mild depression
- Stimulates abdominal organs, lungs, and thyroid
- Rejuvenates tired legs
- Improves digestion
- Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
- Reduces anxiety, fatigue, backache, headache, and insomnia
- Therapeutic for asthma, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and sinusitis
Bridge Pose cautions and tips:
- If you have a neck injury, avoid this pose unless you are practicing under the supervision of an experienced teacher.
- Once the shoulders are rolled under, don’t pull them forcefully away from your ears, which may overstretch the neck.
See the dropdown menu under “Yoga Pose Instructions” for more yoga poses.