Bridge pose (setu bandha sarvangasana)

Health and Fitness

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Lay on your back. Bend knees, soles of the feet parallel on  mat, as close to buttocks as possible. Inhale. On exhale press feet and arms into mat, lift the hips up towards the ceiling. Keep thighs and feet parallel. Clasp the hands under back, straighten arms. Roll one shoulder under and then the other, bringing shoulder blades together for support. Lift the hips higher. Draw the chest up toward the chin. Stay in the pose 30-60 seconds. Unclasp hands. Exhale rolling the spine slowly down onto mat one vertebra at a time. Relax, let knees knock together.
Benefits: calms the mind and relieves insomnia, strengthens/stretches neck and spine, opens chest, stimulates thyroid. Relieves menopausal and menstral symptoms. Aids digestion. Therapeutic for asthma, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and sinusitis
Contraindications: Neck injury
For a restorative variation try supported bridge: place block under lower back (sacrum), rest on block.

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