February for me is the month where all the stress and bill paying of the holiday season finally comes to an end. Now we move into opening ourselves up to give, be, and receive love…..winter is slowly beginning its exit, leaving me excited with thoughts of spring being right around the corner. During the colder months I notice my body craves grounding and strength building asanas, but lately I’ve noticed the cravings shifting. Unrolling my mat each morning my body has increased its request for heart opening yoga asanas (postures), a favorite asana of mine is Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana). So today I found myself enjoying this delightful back bending, heart opening asana, noticing the corners of my mouth turned upward as I watched my chest rise and fall with each inhalation and exhalation. Allowing me to receive all which is new on the inhalations and letting go of what no longer serves me a purpose on the exhalation……ahhhhhh…….I can still feel the joys of my early morning practice!
So I’d like to share this asana and benefits with you…….The photo attached is a group of my summer beach yogis, taking in the benefits of the asana while absorbing the sun love from Mother Nature. I hope you find it useful in your daily practice, it’s appropriate for all levels of yoga practice.
BENEFITS: Nice stretch for chest, neck and spine, also lends to improving circulation, decreasing blood pressure and stress. This asana is simply exhilarating…..Give it a try!
1. Lie supine on the floor, Bend knees and plant feet on the floor, heels align with sitting bones (resist pressing neck into floor, use a rolled towel or blanket under shoulders)
2. Keep feet, arms, hands, base of skull gently pressing into mat, as you inhale lift buttocks, lower back, and middle back off the mat. Allowing the backs of the shoulders to stay in contact with the mat. (allow your breath to fill and expand your body)
3. As you hold this asana (30-60 seconds) a few gentle tips…..lift chin just enough so it’s not pressing down towards chest. Resist tighten the butt cheeks. Palms remain flat on floor and legs and knees are hips with apart…….AND inhale and exhale fully.
4. Exit the asana on a exhalation, the length of the exhalation brings the entire back body down onto your mat. Repeat, and extend the hold as your body desires.