Asana Practice

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana ~ Bridge

In Bridge, the bones of your limbs support your spine in an energizing and uplifting backbend. Bridge strengthens the legs and hips, massages the spine, counteracts the effects of prolonged sitting, and opens the heart. With practice, the body/mind will simultaneously feel energized and at peace.

These instructions do not replace working with a teacher. If you have a chronic condition including back, neck, or joint pain and/or need more support, please contact me. Adjusting the asanas and practices to your needs and constitution is my specialty and one of the many benefits of working together in one-on-one sessions. 

Setting the foundation of the form:

  • Lie on your back, arms to your sides, shoulder distance apart, palms up. Begin with your arms shoulder distance apart and gradually advance to interlacing your hands.
  • Soften tension around your spine and abdomen. Then bend your knees and place the soles of your feet on the floor, hips distance apart and parallel. Your shin bones should create a straight line from knees to your feet.
  • If your knees splay out or turn in, readjust the placement of your feet or use a block to engage your inner thighs. This will stabilize your pelvis. 

Moving into the form:

  • On an exhalation, root down through your feet and isometrically draw your feet toward your shoulders. This will guide your pelvis to a neutral position using your hamstring muscles. Feel the natural tone the action of your feet brings to your lower abdomen and along the front of your spine. 
  • Keep your breath flowing to soften any tendency to force or apply excessive effort.
  • Before allowing your pelvis to float up position your shoulders (humerus bones) to support your weight. Draw one shoulder at a time toward your spine, without pulling your shoulder blades down. Maintain length in your side body.
  • Let your shoulder bones drop toward the floor, lift and broaden your chest without flattening your neck or locking your low back. 
  • Gaze down into your heart center, breathe, and sustain the action in your feet and legs, Lengthen through your front body.
  • Do not force to match the photo. Move slowly, align with your breath, and inhabit your body with sensitivity. Explore gradual micro- movements.

Coming Out of the Form:

  • Press down through your feet, legs, and arms. 
  • On an exhalation slowly lower your pelvis and spine, maintaining length in your side body.
  • Rest and feel your body’s response to the form.
  • Draw your legs into your chest as a counter-form.

Different active variations to explore:

  • Move your feet closer or further apart. Your shins should form a straight line from knees to feet.
  • Change the depth of your breath.
  • Bend your arms at the elbows to root down as you create more lift and broadening in the chest area.
  • Sense when you are forcing or experiencing tension in your low back, neck, throat, or face and modulate your form accordingly.


  • Back, neck, and shoulder/joint injuries or other chronic conditions.