Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Video Duration:
  1. Begin on the back with the knees bent and the feet planted beneath the knees
  2. Place the feet hips distance apart and parallel, with the knees also hips distance apart
  3. Notice the natural curve of the neck – the space between the cervical spine and the floor
  4. Notice in particular that the base of the neck, cervical vertebra 7 (C7) is not in contact with the floor
  5. Maintaining the natural curve of the neck is a crucial element of the pose that often gets lost when the shoulders are dragged down as they are tucked under
  6. To correct this tendency, shrug the shoulders slightly closer to the ears – observe how this softens the trapezius muscles at the base of the neck and emphasizes the cervical curve
  7. Pressing down with the feet, lift the hips without letting the knees splay apart
  8. Interlace the fingers beneath the back, then carefully roll the outer shoulders and upper arms under without pulling the shoulders away from the ears
  9. Pressing down with the shoulders, inflate the upper body (make sure C7 is still lifting away from the floor) lifting the shoulder blades and thoracic into the chest
  10. Once in the pose, spin the inner thighs down while directing the flesh of the buttocks towards the backs of the knees
  11. Without lifting to feet, isometrically slide the heels towards the hands to engage the hamstrings and lift the hips any amount more
  12. Use exhales to press down with the feet and shoulders; use inhales to lift the hips and chest
  13. Hold for anywhere between 5 breaths and a minute, then release back to the floor

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