Bridge pose or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana in Sanskrit
Bridge Pose opens the chest, heart, and shoulders. It stretches the spine, the back of the neck, the thighs, and the hip flexors (front hip joints). Because your heart is higher than your head in this pose, it is considered a mild inversion (less strenuous than other inversions, such as Headstand) and holds all the benefits of inversions: relief from stress, fatigue, anxiety, headaches, insomnia, and mild depression.
Because it opens the chest, it increases lung capacity, which is therapeutic for those with asthma. It can be a particularly rejuvenating pose for those who spend the day sitting in front of a computer or driving.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Extend your arms along the floor, palms flat.
The importance of the feet and hands:
Press your feet and arms firmly into the floor giving you a good foundation.
Exhale as you lift your hips toward the ceiling. Draw your tailbone toward your pubic bone, holding your buttocks off the floor.
Resist tensing your buttox: Instead use your legs to lift your pelvis.
Position your feet:
Keep your thighs and feet hip distance apart. Press your weight evenly across all four corners of both feet.
Roll your shoulders back and underneath your body. Clasp your hands and extend your arms along the floor beneath your pelvis. Straighten your arms as much as possible, pressing your forearms into the mat. Reach your knuckles toward your heels.
Lengthen your tailbone toward the backs of your knees.
Hold for up to one minute.
To release, unclasp your hands and place them palms-down alongside your body.
Exhale as you slowly roll your spine along the floor, vertebra by vertebra.
Allow your knees to drop together.
*Do not perform this pose if you have a neck or shoulder injury. Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga