If you want to open your heart, both figuratively and literally, backbends are the way to go. There's no need to spring yourself into a challenging variation like Full Wheel when you can do a much more gentle variation like this one. Not only does it increase flexibility in your spine, but holding on to your ankles also allows you to deeply stretch your chest, shoulders, and the back of your neck. Because it doesn't require a lot of energy, this pose has both a calming and energetic effect on the body and mind.
Sanskrit Name: Bada Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
English Translation: Bound Bridge Pose
Also Called: Bound Half Wheel
- Begin lying flat on your back with your arms along the sides of your body, with your palms facing down.
- Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Walk your heels as close as you can to your tush, and turn your heels out slightly so the outside edges of your feet are parallel with the outside edges of your mat.
- With your palms and feet pressing firmly into the ground, lift your hips up. Try to keep your thighs parallel.
- Wrap your hands around your ankles. If you can't reach them, step your heels closer to your body. Rock your weight from side to side so you can pull your shoulders in and bring your shoulder blades closer together.
- Stay here for five deep breaths, actively pressing your feet into the floor to lift your hips up and increase the stretch in your torso and neck.
- Gently lower your bum back to the ground, and take a counter-pose by hugging your knees into your chest.