Beginner Yoga How to do Bridge Pose and Shoulderstand, Yoga with Melissa 155

by Melissa West on December 8, 2012

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Props Needed: Yoga Mat, Yoga Blocks, wall

Yoga Postures/Asanas: shoulder releases, Locust/Salabhasana, Cobra Building/Bhujangasana, Bridge Pose/Setu Bandhasana, Neck Releases, Shoulderstand/Sarvangasana, Janu Sirsasana/Head Beyond Knee Pose with Neck Releases

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Show Notes: Yoga with Melissa 155 Beginner Yoga Bridge Pose and Shoulderstand (Setu Bandhasana and Sarvangasana)

Welcome to Yoga with Melissa, I’m so happy you’ve decided to try a beginner yoga class. Whether this is your first class or you are a seasoned practitioner with beginner’s mind all are welcome here.

Bridge pose and Shoulderstand are good yoga poses to pair together because bridge pose prepares your shoulder girdle, legs and feet nicely for shoulder stand. Bridge pose improves flexibility in your shoulders and spine, stimulates your nervous system, aids in digestion, opens up your chest, neck and shoulders, stimulates your thyroid and parathyroid glands, increases your lung capacity, relieves menstrual and menopausal discomfort, relieves high blood pressure, asthma and sinusitis and reduces fatigue. Mentally bridge pose is known to energize your mind, relieve mild depression and anxiety and help to reduce stress.

Shoulderstand stretches and strengthens the neck, shoulders, and rhomboids, alleviates insomnia, relieves sinus pressure, improves circulation, stimulates thyroid, parathyroid and prostate function and reduces varicose veins. Mentally it is similar to bridge pose in that it relieves mild depression and stress and calms your mind.

What to expect: I will begin by sharing what to expect in this yoga class. You will start by lying down on your back in savasana/corpse pose, which is just a fancy way of saying you will lie on your back on the floor. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, it allows you to transition from the multi-dimensional focus and demands of your day to day life to the singular focus of your yoga practice. During your time on your yoga mat you will have the luxury of just focusing on you. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Secondly it gives you an opportunity to settle in and center yourself. I will guide you in this process by asking you to focus on your breath. Finally it gives your body a chance to let go to the pull of gravity. The muscular tension of your body can already begin to release here even before you begin practicing yoga postures.

After savasana you will stay lying on your back for some “warm-up” postures, not in the sense to warm-up your body like doing a cardio warm-up, but more to prepare your body for other postures to come. In today’s class you will prepare your body by releasing your shoulders, fronts of your hips and warming up your spine with cobra building.

From there you will be ready to try some variations of bridge pose. After bridge pose you will come to standing to do some more neck releases to prepare for shoulder stand.
At this point you will come to a wall to take you through the stages of coming into shoulder stand. You may not even come into shoulder stand. You may just stay with legs up the wall, that is completely fine too. You are in charge of your own practice. After shoulder stand you will do a few more neck releases while doing a simple seated forward fold and then relax in savasana to receive and integrate your yoga practice deeply into your body.

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