Relieve Lower Back Pain with Bridge Pose

Pose: Bridge Pose

Sanskrit Name: Setubandha Sarvangasana

How do I prepare for the pose?


 Two blocks. Dharma Wheel, if you have. Two sandbags. One blanket to support your neck and head. 

Breath work

Inhale and exhale rhythmically in the pose to center yourself in the present moment.

Step one = Assess

My one-on-one assessment teaches you about body mechanics, joint position, muscular action/reaction, connective tissue health, nervous system health, and bone and spinal alignment. 

Step two = Apply  

Read How do I practice the pose? first. Do your best to remember the directions, but try not to get caught up in doing the pose perfectly.

When you practice these poses on your own, practice receiving feedback with yoga props, furniture, and walls. Remember to evenly engage muscular effort across joints. Balance opposite actions such as evenly resisting inward at the shins and outward at the thighs. 

Utilize the knowledge you have learned about body mechanics (creating movement with alignment, awareness, breath, and precision) to create energetic openings and deep releases, so you reach your fullest potential in the pose. Small incremental positive changes are gained on the physical level.

Then, and only if it’s comfortable for you, close your eyes or turn your gaze inward. Feel the feedback you receive from the props and match that with the positive emotion(s) that you want to feel. 

Step three = Activate

Repeat the pose 3 times on each side. You are repeating the pose to retrain your body, mind, heart, and spirit to feel expansive, abundant, positive, and alive. You are learning to transform habituated patterns of thinking, feeling, and being that create constriction and limitations in your mind, body, heart, and spirit. 

Transformational Work activates: 

  • The body to feel energized.
  • The mind to feel open, fresh, and new. 
  • The heart to feel positive emotion(s). 
  • The spirit to feel alive, connected, and free.

Caution If your back is hurting at any point, mindfully exit the pose by extending your hips away from your lower back, keeping your lower back from over arching. 

How do I practice the pose? 

  • Prop-assistance. Set out the mat anywhere in the room. Place a blanket at the topside of the mat and have a block or dharma wheel, and a sandbag nearby. 
  • Lay down on your back and place the blanket under your head and neck for comfort. 
  • Bend both of your knees and comfortably draw them as close to your hips as you can.
  • Prop-assistance. Add one sandbag onto your feet to create a grounding effect. 
  • Position your feet hip width apart.
  • Prop-assistance. Place one block, medium width, between your knees. Gently squeeze knees inward.
  • Prop-assistance. If it feels comfortable, place the second sandbag on the top side of your diaphragm to provide support for your lower back.  

Evenly balance opposing actions. 

  • Lift your hips by engaging your feet. Engage your feet by pressing down through your big toes and spreading out your other toes. Press down into the mat with your entire heel to assist your hips. 


  • Lift the top of your thighs evenly. Do your best to counteract external rotation in your thighs by lifting stronger at the outer thigh. 
  • Prop-assistance. Place the second block or dharma wheel underneath your sacrum (back of hips) to support your hips. Find a height that works best for you. 
  • Prop-assistance. You can practice placing a block at your inner thighs and gently squeeze inward to prevent external rotation in the thighs. 

Activate lower core strength. 

  • Keep the feet and legs active and gently lift the hips off the block and extend the hips away from the lower back.

Activate upper core strength. 

  • Bend your elbows and externally rotate your upper arms. 
  • Press the entire upper arm down into the mat and press down through the elbows. 
  • Internally rotate your forearms and place your palms face down on the mat. Press downward through your thumbs and all your fingers to support the internal rotation of your forearm.
  • If comfortable, join your hands together, for an easy clasp, under your hips. 

Breathe rhythmically and mindfully. If possible, remain in the pose long enough to feel the elevated positive emotion(s) that you want to feel. 

  • Keep your feet, legs, hands, and arms active throughout the pose.

Exit the pose

  • To exit the pose, lift your hips up and remove the block or dharma wheel. 
  • Upon your descent, keep your spine elongated and extend your hips away from your lower back. 
  • Remove any other props. 
  • Rest on your back. 

Once you are in the pose, go within. Breathe effortlessly and mindfully.

Pause and reflect. Decide how you want to feel while you are in the pose. Ask yourself these questions: What do you need to let go of (exhale)? What do you want to receive (inhale)? 

  • Exhale and let go of what no longer serves you: pain, tension, tightness, anxiety, fear, sadness, lack, scarcity, insecurity, separation, and so forth.
  • Infuse Yourself Now: Inhale and feel what you want to bring into your future such as suppleness, flexibility, strength, freedom, joy, happiness, peace, vitality, loving-kindness, inclusivity, connection, unity, understanding, abundance, love, wealth, good health, and gratitude. 
  • Breathe rhythmically and mindfully. If possible, remain in the pose long enough to feel the elevated positive emotion(s) that you want to feel. 

How do I exit the pose? 

  • Inhale and then exhale out of the pose. 
  • Remove any props.
  • Lay on your back with your knees bent for 5-10 breaths. 
  • Outstretch one leg at a time and lengthen your lower back away from your hips.
  • Relax and rejuvenate in Savasana. 


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