Monday, August 29, 2011

Pose of the Week: Bridge Pose

Whew!  Thought I wasn't going to be able to get online tonight what with all this post hurricane craziness!  This week's pose is Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, or, Bridge pose.  Not only will this pose help you to de-stress, it will also help you to release the tension held in the chest, shoulders, and neck.  Other benefits include improved digestion, reduction anxiety, fatigue, backache, headache, and insomnia and is beneficial for those suffering from asthma, osteoporosis, high blood pressure and sinusitis.

To begin, lie on your back on the floor, arms and palms flat on the mat alongside the body.  Bend the knees, and place the bottoms of the feet on the mat, bringing the heels in close to the sitting bones.  Pressing your arms and inner feet into the floor, tuck the tailbone, and lift the hips off the floor.  Continue lifting the hips until the thighs are about parallel to the floor.  Keep the inner thighs engaged and try not to let your knees splay out.  If comfortable, bring your hands together underneath you and clasp them together.  Begin to work your shoulder underneath you, opening your chest and sternum towards your chin.  Rest here and breathe for about 30 seconds.  When coming out of the pose, release your shoulders, and carefully roll down thorough the spine, keeping the abs engaged to protect the back. 

If you have any neck injuries or issues, avoid this pose or practice it under the guidance of an experienced instructor.

To make this a restorative pose, place a block or bolster under the sacrum (the large, triangular bone at the base of the spine) and rest the pelvis on it.