Bridge Pose is a beautiful, heart-opening pose that offers incredible benefits for body, mind, and spirit. It is one that can be done with a range of modifications and variations, making it available to all students, from beginner to advanced.
Practicing Bridge can help ease the aches of menstruation, activate the kidneys and adrenal glads, and inspire creativity and love. All in all, it's a powerful pose for anyone, but especially women who tend to be run down, and feeling generally uninspired.
Laying on your back, bend your knees and place the soles of the feet on the mat. Bring the feet close enough to your tailbone so you can touch your heels with your fingers.
Engage your core and quads while tucking the tailbone and lifting the pelvis into the air. Stay here with hands pressing firmly into the ground, or pull the shoulders under you and interlace the fingers under your tailbone with the outside edge of the forearms pressing into the mat.
Push up through your chest while maintaining a strong foundation in the core and legs to protect the lower back. Keep the neck long and avoid holding tension in it.
If this puts too much stress on the lower back, place a block under the tail bone. This offers a restorative modification.
To make this pose even more relaxing, practice with bolsters. Lay with one bolster running from below the shoulder blades to the knees (legs are out straight) and one under the ankles for the feet to rest on.
Now that you know how to do and modify the pose, here are some of the holistic benefits of Bridge Pose you stand to gain by working it into your practice:
Relief During Menstruation
During your time of the month, it is advisable to go easy on yourself and take your yoga practice down a notch. The body is doing hard work releasing a month’s worth of toxins, and we need to give our bodies the time and space to perform this renewal. Putting extra stress on our bodies during this time of the month, and throughout the month for that matter, will only make period symptoms more severe. We don’t want to completely invert the body during menstruation because that will discourage the normal flow of things.
Therefore, practicing a restorative version of Bridge during this week is incredibly beneficial. Placing a block under your tailbone or using bolsters allows your abdomen, pelvis, hips, and internal organs to totally relax. This helps to relieve pressure and anything that is blocking successful detoxification. It will also take the pressure off the low back and can ease discomfort you might experience there, as well.
Hang out in this modified Bridge for 2 or 3 minutes while practicing deep breathing to completely relax.
Improved Energy and Creativity
A lot of women these days have something in common: they’re exhausted.
We tend to have a lot on our plate, shuttling kids around, working high pressure jobs, and striving to keep up with health and fitness routines. While these are all worthwhile uses of our time, most women forget to make time for themselves by doing something they love.
It is so important not only to stretch our physical muscles, but to also stretch our creative muscles. Doing something creative brings excitement and vitality into our lives, which in turn makes us feel better physically.
Doing poses like Bridge, which stimulates the adrenals, help to energize and motivate us. We need this boost to keep us going throughout the day, but to also make space for creativity. Hanging out in Bridge is a great way to get the creative juices flowing.
Opening the Heart Chakra
Any pose that allows the chest to open is also engaging the heart chakra, and energy center located in the middle of the chest.
When our heart chakra is closed off we can feel jealous, angry, lonely, and bitter. Opening this chakra invites a capacity to love ourselves and others, allows for forgiveness, and helps us to find harmony in our lives.
Love is perhaps the most fundamental key to happiness. When we feel hate or anger towards people, even people we don’t know, that hate lives within us. If we can find ways to give love to each and every being we encounter, we carry this love in us, and it shines bright.
We often use Bridge towards the end of a yoga practice to take advantage of a more open body and to start to transition it to a restful state. This pose is a powerful way to find stillness, strength, and surrender.
Incorporating the different variations throughout the month in accordance with your cycles or moods can help to lift your sprits, inspire you, and open you up to abundant love.
What benefits have you found from practicing Bridge Pose? Share them with us below!