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1. Lying on your back, bend both knees and place the feet flat on the floor hip width apart. Slide the arms alongside the body with the palms facing down. The fingertips should be lightly touching the heels.
2. Press the feet into the floor, inhale and lift the hips up, rolling the spine off the floor. Lightly squeeze the knees together to keep the knees hip width apart.
3. Press down into the arms and shoulders to lift the chest up. Engage the legs, buttocks and mula bandha to lift the hips higher.
4. Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths.
5. To release: exhale and slowly roll the spine back to the floor.
Benefits: Bridge pose builds core and lower body strength, lengthens and strengthens the spine, energizes the body, and stimulates the endocrine and nervous systems.
Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the knees, shoulders or back.
Modifications: Use a yoga block under the hips to support your weight.
Variations: Interlace the hands together behind your back, walk the shoulders in and press down with the arms and shoulders.