The bridge pose in yoga is a stomach-lifting exercise that stretches the lower back, thighs and hip flexors. This pose involves lifting the stomach, rolling the shoulders under and holding the position for 10 seconds. Using a yoga mat is recommended.
- Get into position
Lie on your back on a yoga mat. Bend your knees, and draw them toward your tailbone. Extend your arms with your fingertips reaching for your heels. Feet should be shoulder-width apart.
- Lift the tailbone
Press your arms and feet into the floor, and exhale deeply. While exhaling, lift your hips up. They should stay parallel to the floor.
- Re-position your hands
With your hips still raised, clasp your hands together underneath your buttocks.
- Extend the bridge
Without squeezing or flexing your buttocks, roll your shoulders underneath you. This should thrust your stomach higher. Straighten your arms, pointing your knuckles toward your knees.
- Hold the position
Maintain the bridge pose for a minimum of 10 seconds, though a full minute is possible. While in the pose, make sure your thighs and feet are parallel to each other. Do not allow the knees to touch or your feet to roll out.
- Relax the pose
Unclasp your hands, and place them palm-down on the floor. Allow your stomach to relax.
- Release the bridge
Slowly roll your spine back onto the floor, one vertebra at a time. Your knees should drop together.