little bridge pose

Yoga Poses

Little Bridge Pose Dwi Pada Pitham

Steps

Little Bridge Pose is an advanced variation of bridge pose. All backbends even beginner ones have their challenges. In this version, the legs are extended, making the glutes and thighs work even harder to keep the hip thrust. That makes Little Bridge pose a great butt burner exercise, a favorite pose of dynamic and fitness yoga classes. But Little Bridge pose is also popular with restorative and therapeutic yoga teachers as the pose includes a chin lock that massages the thyroid  responsible for metabolism and tissue health.

Begin on the back with the knees bent and feet flat on the mat, hips width apart. This is the start position. Roll the arms and shoulders under the body. Clasp the hands together. Flatten out the neck and back of the head. Tuck the chin towards the chest. On the inhale, press the foot soles and arms down. Lift the hips skywards on the exhale. Push the chest towards the chin, arching the back. Extend one leg and then the other along the mat, heels pressing into the ground.  Hold the pose for 5 breaths. To exit the pose, step one foot at a time back to start position. Unclasp the arms and slowly lower the body down, one vertebrae at a time.

Teacher Queues

Visualization Comments

An arch bridge works by transferring the weight of the bridge onto its supports at the aide.To make the arch, scoop the pelvis under, drawing tailbone down and pubis upward. Press the heels and shoulders down to transfer the weight and create the supports.

Technical Comments

In start position, bring both hands to sides of head. Gently stretch the neck along the floor. Roll side to side to bring shoulders and arms under the body. Clasp hands so the outside palms are rooted to the mat. To lift, roll thighs inwards and squeeze the knees towards each other. In the final position, flex the feet, drawing toes and knee caps upwards. Press the heels, hands, arms and shoulders into the floor. Push the tailbone towards the pubis and lift the hips, drawing pubis towards the navel and  tailbone towards the feet.

Benefit Comments

  • Stretches chest, neck and spine
  • Calms brain and relieves mild depression
  • Stimulates spinal nerves
  • Strengthens back and legs
  • Tones, hips, abdomen and glutes
  • Realigns the spine
  • Massages and stretches colon

Watch Out For:

  • Collapsing hips (support with blocks or bolster)
  • Alignment (keep head aligned with navel) to avoid neck strain

Contraindications

  • Ulcers
  • Hernias
  • Neck injury

Modifications

  • Press feet against a wall
  • Place blocks or bolster under hips

Variations

  • Lift one leg
  • Place hands to side, palms down
  • Bend knees, place feet of floor
  • Cross feet at ankles

Yoga Counter Poses

  • Knees-to-chest (Apanasana)
  • Revolving abdominal pose (Jathara Parivartanasana)
  • Cobra (Bhujangasana)
  • Savasana

Written By: Brenda Hamlet

Brenda Hamlet is a RYT 200 yoga teacher and journalist. More information about Brenda can be found at https://www.facebook.com/brendahamletyoga

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