May 19, 2013

Bridge to Presence

One of the best postures for awakening the senses to the here and now is Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose), a beginning backbend that strengthens the legs and hips, massages the spine, and opens the heart. Methodical practice of this asana also offers an opportunity to explore the body and its movements with attention and care. In the process, the mind is calmed and the body becomes energized, leaving the practitioner feeling revitalized and refreshed.

To begin, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip distance apart on the floor, 10 to 12 inches from your pelvis. Rest your hands near your hips with the palms up, which helps open the front of the shoulders and collarbones. Invite your body to settle thankfully into the ground. Take several easy breaths, noticing which parts of your body rise and fall to the tune of the inhalations and exhalations. Now send a gentle rooting action down through your legs, as if you were trying to press the floor away from you and into the earth. Press down evenly, envisioning the deep footprints you are making in your mat as you do this.

Curl the tailbone up and allow the pelvis to float just an inch or two off the ground. Breathe easily for a few moments, keeping your mind focused on those strong and steady feet, then slowly allow your hips to melt back downward. Gently sweep your tailbone away from your waist as you return to the earth, inviting your spine to feel long and unwrinkled.


Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)

For Beginners: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)

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