The Heart of Yoga

Open your heart both on and off the mat. Invigorate your giving spirit with this heart opening asana – Setu bandhasana (bridge pose).

What are the benefits?
This pose opens the heart and stretches the chest, shoulders, and upper back. It also strengthens and energizes leg muscles, like the quadriceps and hamstrings. Setu bandhasana increases spine flexibility and stimulates the thyroid.

How do I get into the pose?
– Lie flat on your mat with your arms straight down by your sides, palms facing down.
– Bend your knees and plant your feet on the mat. Bring your heels as close to the bum as possible. Check the distance by seeing if you can reach your heels with your middle finger.
– Inhale and press your feet, arms, and palms actively into the floor and lift the bum off the floor slowly, moving your pelvis up toward the sky. The goal is for the thighs to be parallel with the floor.
– Exhale and shimmy your shoulders under your back, clasp the hands below your bum, and lengthen through the arms to help you stay on the top of your shoulders. This should open the heart more as well.
– Keep your thighs and feet parallel and the legs active.
– Lift your chin away from the chest, toward the sky, but keep the back of the neck long.
– Inhale and exhale here for about 1-2 minutes.
– To come out of the pose, exhale and roll the spine slowly down onto the mat.