Dwi Pada Pitham – Little Bridge Pose.
- Begin in Supine pose – Lying on the back or Savasana – Corpse Pose
- Bend the legs one at a time and hug the knees to the chest to release the lumbar spine fully
- Place the feet down on the mat hip distance apart with the heels as close to the buttocks as is possible or comfortable
- One can touch the heels with the tip of the index fingers. If this proves slightly uncomfortable then take the feet a bit further away from the body
- The toes of the feet should point forward or turned slightly inwards
- Place the arms down with the palms touching the mat
- Keep the head in a neutral position always looking upward
- On a deep inhalation lift the pelvis, buttocks, lower back, middle back and most part of the upper back off the floor
- Open the chest as it moves towards the throat area
- Push more into the feet than the shoulders
- Tighten the buttocks
- Tuck the tailbone down with the intention of directing it under and through the legs
- Consciously push the knees forward and away from the body
- One can remain lifted with the hands on the floor which is ideal for beginners or
- Slowly roll on top of the one shoulder then the other shoulder to bring the arms further underneath the body as much as is comfortable and possible then
- Interlace the hands under the body and stretch the arms away from the top of the body
- Remain in this asana / pose for 5 breaths as a beginner and 10 – 15 breaths as an advanced practitioner
- To release first release the clasp of the hands and then ever so slowly bring the body down one vertebra at a time first with the upper back, then the middle of the back, then the lower back and finally the buttocks coming to rest last on the mat
- Gently bend the legs and hug the knees to the chest
- Release the feet or the legs to the floor
Counterpose / Pratikryasana:
Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby or
Feet wide apart on the floor with the knees resting together or
Savasana – Corpse Pose
- Stretches the front of the body
- Opens and expands the chest which facilitates and improves breathing
- Activates the Thyroid gland which is responsible for maintaining a healthy metabolism
- Stretches the quadriceps – thigh muscles
- Stretches the spine backwards and rejuvenates the spine
- Helps to relieve lower back pain
- Assists to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles
- Is a suitable alternative to Sarvangasana – Shoulder stand
Cautions and Modifications:
- Do not turn the head to look sideways whilst in the pose.
- Do not take the arms under the body and clasp the hands if the shoulders are very tight or prone to recurring shoulder injuries
- One can hold onto the heels or the ankles if flexibility and comfort allow
- Try to avoid turning the toes of the feet outward as this could cause discomfort in the lower back
- If breathing proves a bit “strained” this is due to the chin lock / Jalandhara Bandha of the chest and the throat – The uncomfortable feeling will pass with more practice of the pose
- However avoid the pose if suffering any breathing conditions associated with flu, bronchitis, throat infections etc.
- One can also practice this pose dynamically moving up on the inhalation and mindfully down on the exhalation therefore synchronizing the movement with the breath. One can do either 5 rounds or 8 rounds dynamically.
Anahata Chakra – Heart Centre and Vishuddha – Throat Centre.
May your practice continue to strengthen, enlighten and bless you in every respect!
Yours in Yoga,
Juanita Caprari is a certified Yoga teacher and Public Relations Practitioner. She started her Yoga practice in 2002. She has completed two Yoga Teacher Training Courses, the last one through Ananda Kutir Ashram and has been teaching Yoga since 2007. firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.yogamala.co.za or www.facebook.com/YogaMalaCapeTown