Bridge Pose is one of the first of the yoga asanas that I learnt. It’s a great pose as it is suitable for complete beginners but offers an array of benefits for the body.
How to do it-
Lye Supine on your mat.
Bend your knees and bring your feet onto the ground, as close to your sitting bones.
Make sure that your feet are hip width apart.
Bring your arms along side your body with the palms facing down.
Press your feet evenly into the ground and as you exhale, raise your hips up towards the sky.
Press your arms into the ground, drawing your shoulder blades down your back.
If you want to come up a little higher, you can interlace your fingers under neath you, drawing the shoulder blades towards each other a little more.
Hold the pose for around 1 minute, focusing on your breath.
Slowly release down, rolling your spine down vertebrae by vertebrae as you exhale.
Things to watch out for-
Try to make sure that your knees don’t fall out to the sides. Keep your ankles, knees and hips in line. It can be nice to squeeze a cushion between your thighs, or to imagine that you are squeezing something between your thighs to keep this alignment.
Some teachers advise to soften the buttocks in this pose, and to just use the strength of your legs to hold yourself up. However, if you don’t have the strength in your legs, or if your lower back is sensitive, then engage your buttocks. It’s a good thing to experiment with though, to see what works for you.
You can also place your elbows on the ground and your hands on your pelvis if you want a little more height in the pose.
Bridge Pose stretches the chest, neck and spine.
Stimulates the abdominal organs.
Helps to energize tired legs.
As it stretches and opens the chest, this pose stimulates the lungs and is therapeutic for asthma.
Calms the brain and the nervous system, leaving your feeling relaxed.
Avoid this pose if you have a neck injury.