Bridge Pose (Sanskrit: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) is one of the first back bending Yoga poses that many students learn once they start practicing yoga.
It’s an amazing posture that opens the chest, works on the mobility of the upper back, while also strengthening the glutes and hamstrings. It’s an invigorating and energising posture that we would recommend you do in the morning and during the day. If you are practicing in the evening, take the restorative option.
Ok, let’s make sure you know exactly how to do Bridge Pose by following our step by step guide.
How to do Bridge Pose
- Lie on your back on your Yoga mat or a soft carpet.
- Knees bent, your feet flat on the floor, hip distance apart.
- Your hands extended down toward your feet, you should be able to just scrape your heels with your fingertips.
- Keep your feet parallel to one another during this pose and don’t let the knees knock in.
- Take a deep breath in through the nose and a long breath out.
- With your next deep breath in start to lift your hips off the Earth, and press your chest toward your chin.
- Keep squeezing your booty and pressing your feet into the ground.
- Keep your gaze toward the sky and do not move your head to look around (this is very important).
- Keep breathing in and out through the nose for at least 5 breaths.
- If you want a little more you can clasp your hands underneath you.
- As you hold, imagine your tail bone lengthening.
- To finish the posture, take a deep breath in and then exhale, release your hands, and lower your body to the floor by slowly rolling down bone by bone.
Benefits of Bridge Pose
Bridge Pose is a Yoga pose that opens the chest, heart, shoulders and stretches the spine, the thighs, the back of the neck, and the hip flexors.
The Bridge Pose is considered a mild inversion because your heart is higher than your head while performing this Yoga posture. It is predominantly a back bending posture.
A mild inversion still has all of the benefits of the inversions. It is a pose that can relieve stress in the nervous systems, reduce fatigue, insomnia, anxiety and headaches.
Because the Bridge Pose opens the chest, it can therefore, help increase lung capacity, which is helpful for everyone!
Bridge Pose is a fantastic posture to counteract the stress of sitting for long periods, which is something a lot of us deal with daily, thanks to our jobs and sedentary lifestyles.
For more experienced yogis, the Bridge Pose can also be used as preparation for deeper backbends, such as Wheel Pose.
However, for a more restorative pose, rather than holding yourself up in the posture, you can place a Yoga block under the hips and relax. This provides the same benefits with less strength and exertion required. This variation of the pose is very relaxing.
Bridge Pose (Sanskrit: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
IMPORTANT: It’s important to note that if you have any medical concerns, make sure to consult your doctor before practicing yoga. Do not perform the Bridge Pose if you have a neck, back or shoulder injury.
There are some tips and tricks, as well as cues, that can help you with Bridge Pose. These will make the pose more effective while staying safe and avoiding injury.
- Stay within your own range of limits and abilities. This is very important in Yoga.
- While in the Bridge Pose, avoid turning your head right or left, as doing so can cause neck injury.
- Avoid a huge back bend in your lower spine, rather, use the strength of your glutes to lift you and the mobility in your upper back to create the back bend.
- Never push your body farther than it can go into the Bridge Pose. Your ability to perform the pose might differ from day to day. Some days, you will be able to lift your hips high and lengthen your tailbone; other days, you might want to use a Yoga block. Always work within your availability in order to avoid injury.
- Keep breathing! In and out through the nose preferably. This will help you steady the mind and create a calming yet invigorating experience.
Now it’s time to try Bridge Pose in a Yoga Class! If you’re a MerryBody Member, both these classes feature Bridge Pose: Wake Up Yoga and Feel Good Yoga. And yes, you will feel amazing after both of those classes!
If you’re not, then simply download the MerryBody App and start a free 7 Day Trial so you can experience the class too!
Or try a FREE Yoga class HERE!
Emma + Carla