Stretch your body and awareness into the foundations of bridge pose.
In class this week we have been working on bridge pose and transitioning into wheel pose... both heart openers and back bendy yoga poses.
We spend quite a bit of time sitting at a desk, hunched over our work or laptops and our bodies are getting stiiiiiiiffffff. Especially in our shoulders, back and hip flexors. Our shoulders round and chest closes, tightening of hip flexors, rounding of the back which excessively lengthens our lower back muscles. Bridge pose is great way to just stretch that stiffness out; so get up, out of your office/study/work chair and try bridge pose!
Here is how...
1. Lie on your back and bend the knees
2. Bring the feet in as close as you can towards the butt, planting feet hip distance apart. Outer edges of the feet parallel (toes pointing straight ahead)
3. Arms are placed beside the body - palms facing down
4. Inhale, start to press through the feet, peel the spine off the ground, hips up and coming all the way up to the shoulders
5. Exhale, to slowly roll the spine all the way back to the ground
6. Repeat as many times as you wish
7. Next time you inhale, keep the hips raised and hold - you are up in bridge pose!
8. Try to keep the buttocks soft and press the feet firmly into the ground - activating feet, thighs and hamstrings
9. Remember to press the arms and hands into the ground too
10. Try different arm variations to further open up shoulders and chest - see picture above
Here is Sofia modelling bridge pose variations:
Bridge variation with fingers interlaced
Bridge variation with hands placed on lower back/hip bone
Bridge Pose // Setu Bhanda Sarvangasana Benefits
✅ Counteracts sitting at a desk
✅ Opens the chest, heart, and shoulders
✅ Stretches the spine, the back of the neck and the thighs
✅ Flexion of the hip flexors (front hip joints) - opening up the hips
✅ Strengthens legs and feet - make sure to press feet firmly into the ground to assist lift
✅ Exercises lower body awareness
When first getting into this pose, squeezing your butt will be intuitive way to hold bridge pose. How do you hold bridge with a soft butt??
Make sure to engage with the feet and leg muscles to assist the lift. Notice and observe how that changes your bridge pose. Start to develop a different perspective and deeper awareness of the muscles in your legs and your bridge pose.