96/100 ~ Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana) – Here’s a sweet little back bend that will lift and open your heart. We hold so much tension in our upper body – so when we come into a pose that opens the chest and stretches the neck and shoulders, we physically release the tension and allow for a more relaxed way of being. Bridge pose is a great way to strengthen and stretch the body, and even better for adjusting the attitude. See for yourself!

Benefits: Bridge pose helps alleviate stress and relieves symptoms of depression by opening the chest and releasing tension in the neck and spine. It is calming to the mind and nervous system; strengthens the back, hips and legs; stimulates internal organs; and improves digestion.

How to: Rest on your back with the knees bent. Place your feet hip-distance apart and close to the hips. Tuck your shoulder blades down and under, and draw the chin to your chest. The hands rest on the floor next to the hips. On an inhale, press into the feet to lift the hips off the floor. Keep pressing and lifting until your entire back lifts off the floor. There’s usually more room now to draw the shoulders down and under a bit more. Hold this pose for 3-8 breath cycles. Release the hold on an exhale, allowing the body to roll down to the floor one vertebra at a time. Draw the knees into the chest to counter the backbend, and then release.

Mantra: “So much joy flows through me that I can barely contain myself.”

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