Setu Bandha Sarvangasana~Bridge Pose

Lie on your back, bend knees, bring feet to buttocks.  Make sure feet remain hip width and parallel.  Placing a block between the thighs is very helpful. Inhale, curling tailbone up, lifting the spine, and extending it toward the knees.  If you feel tight or weak, curl spine and hips up and down gently several times, awakening Kundalini energy asleep in the spine. Once you are fully extended, keep hips high, clasp hands under the back, move shoulders closer.  As this is an inversion, keep eyes open.

This is an active backbend, energizing, strengthening, invigorating.  Backbends increase prana, helping the emotional body with anxiety, and depression.  With Bridge, the endocrine and nervous systems are supported, which promotes healthier reproductive organs, and eases issues around elimination, PMS, menopause and menstrual cycles.   Do not do backbends with headaches, or nauseas.

In this position, the kidneys, a source of vitality, are stimulated as they release from compression, and can be drawn deeper into the abdomen.  Since kidneys work with the adrenals, and stagnation, metaphysically, we are supported in releasing what is old, stagnant, and no longer supports life.

As A Supported Pose:  Use a folding chair, and set up in the same way you did for Viparita Dandasana, with legs through back of chair, and bolster or other support under head and shoulders.  With Bridge, add a second chair for your feet as they extend out from back of first chair.  As you did in Viparita Dandasana, grab back of chair, and release back until your shoulders and head rest at the same even level on the bolster, or support.  Back of chair is under upper back, allowing abdomen to relax and extend.  Hold 3-5 minutes, breathing mindfully.  To come out of pose, bend knees, place feet on floor, and gently pull torso upright, pause before moving on.