This pose guide is on how to do bridge pose. Bridge pose [Setu Bandhasana] is a good gateway pose to backbends. It’s one of the more accessible backbend poses in yoga and is a good place for beginners to begin practcing backbend psoes. For intermediate and advanced yogis, bridge pose is also great for warming up your back before moving into deeper bends.
Bridge pose is also a great counter stretch while doing core work – I like to hold bridge for 5 seconds (repeated at least 3 times) in between my more intense core practices because it stretches those abdominal muscles that are being contracted and strengthened.
Two things that really help me move deeper in this pose is to push my shoulders and feet down into the mat. Pressing your feet strongly into the mat helps you get more lift in those hips, which relieves any lower back tension/compression that might be happening. And pressing your shoulders into the mat helps to get more lift in the torso and a deeper opening in your chest.
It is important to be aware of is the possibility of neck compression in this pose. There should be a space between your chin and your chest, and your neck and the mat. You can get this by rolling your head backwards and making sure the center of the back of your head is resting on the mat, as opposed to the top of your neck. This also helps to maintain the natural curve of your cervical spinal area.
Your knees should also be pulling strongly towards one another while mataining a hip-width distance. Keeping the legs engaged helps to strengthen the legs, and prevent compression in your lower back also. As pictured below, you can place a block between your knees and squeeze on it – this helps you get a good sense of what it feels like to pull your knees towards one another. You should feel the muscles in your inner thighs contracting when you do this.
Strengthens the core, lower back and legs.
Stretches the chest, neck and upper back.
How to do Bridge Pose – Step by step guide