This week’s pose of the week is Setu Bandahasana (Bridge Pose). Bridge pose is an excellent pose to spend your time working on, especially with all the health benefits that it promotes. As well as stretching the chest, neck, spine, and hips, it helps strengthen your back, buttocks and hamstrings.
It’s a great pose to help you to take care of yourself as it can help to calm the brain and central nervous system.
Sinead takes us through Bridge Pose this week, including the areas to focus on and what to watch out for.
Step by step guide to Bridge Pose
Step 1: From a lying position on your back, bring your heels in towards your hips so that your shins are vertical. From here, engage the muscles in your lower abdomen and start to lift your tailbone as if it were aiming to reach the backs of your knees. As your hips ascend, the knees lengthen forwards and the sternum lengthens backwards to help get length along the front of the trunk.
Step 2: Once your hips are as high as comfortable, stay here for 6 or more breaths, let the breath come in and out of the lower ribs. As you are in the pose, look to feel that the lower back has support and space from the lower abdomen staying engaged and the tailbone lengthening in the direction towards the backs of the knees. Press the tops of the shoulders in to the floor to help release pressure from the top of the spine and relax the jaw and neck.
Try not to harden the glutes too much, you want to press the soles of the feet into the floor to help get some lift in the hips.
Step 3: To exit the pose, make sure that your belly muscles are still engaged as you start to slowly roll your spine down to the floor, one vertebrae at a time. Once the hips have landed on the floor, you can hug the knees to the chest to release your lower back.
If you like, you can counter pose with a Supine Twist.
Things to watch out for:
If you suffer from any spinal injuries or ailments, please take it easy in this pose. Enter it slowly and carefully and stop when it feels enough.
It’s easy to tense the neck and the jaw in this pose so keep your focus on these relaxing as well as your pace of breath.
This pose is great for:
Opening up your hip flexors
Strengthening the hamstrings, glutes and abdominal muscles
Focusing on your breath
Practice at home and in class
All of our classes this week will feature the Bridge Pose to give you a chance to attempt your pose with added coaching from our Yogafurie teachers. Feel free to grab a teacher after class if you’d like a bit more of a demonstration of the Bridge Pose.
In classes, we tend to move from pose to pose with a degree of pace. If you’d like to work on your Bridge Pose specifically, you can always attempt the pose at home at your own pace.
Why not share a picture of your Bridge Pose?
Best of luck with your practice! We’d love to see your Bridge Pose on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with #yfweeklypose
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