Published on October 9th, 2017 | by Catherine Tingey0
SUPPORTED BRIDGE POSE
Supported Bridge Pose
Supported Bridge is a beguiling little pose that I love more and more as the years go on. I say beguiling because there is so much more than meets the eye in this pose.
Technically, it is a supported version of Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) but let’s talk about what’s happening to the subtle body in this pose.
While the pelvis and sacrum are not the heaviest structures of the body (that would be the organ of the skin, firstly and then the femur bone), the pelvis and sacrum are the spiritual seat of the body – the home of the root chakra and sexual organs. When they are supported, the body can achieve a very deep state of relaxation, similar to that experienced when grounding.
Secondly, the abdomen and lumbar spine are gently lengthened creating a wonderful feeling of spaciousness in the middle region.
Thirdly, there is a subtle inversion going on here (bridge is both backbend and inversion), as the head and heart are lower than the hips creating a mild blood flow to the head.
Lay on your back. Maybe hug knees to chest if you haven’t done so yet today!
Place your feet on the floor and arms by your side, palms up or down, your preference. (I like palms up with shoulder blades flush to the mat.)
Scoot your heels closer, to within 3″ of your fingertips.
Lift the hips by pressing evenly through the feet; slide a block under your sacrum.
I recommend starting the block on the lowest (horizontal setting), perpendicular to your spine.
[If you would like more lift, consider stacking another block on top – I dislike the instability of a single block placed on end and the body cannot fully relax in the absence of a very grounded support.]
Now, the magic. With each exhale, visualize your body weight being absorbed by the block. Allow the abdominal muscles and the digestive organs to soften and fall deeper into the back body.
I like to visualize a bowl of warm water swirling in the belly and spreading out in every direction with each inhale, and exhale.
Remain here for 5 minutes minimum.
- Opens the chest and shoulders; lengthens the neck and spine.
- Calms the brain and helps alleviate stress and mild depression.
- Stimulates abdominal organs, lungs, and thyroid.
- Rejuvenates tired legs.
- Improves digestion.
- Reduces severity of menstrual cramps.
- High blood pressure
- Retinal detachments
WORK IN THE POSE
Supported Bridge pose should be a restorative posture so maintain an intension of ease while in this pose.
Gently keep the knees within the box of the body. A strap around them can help.
Imagine all the weight of your body merging into the center region, and falling into the block.