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Bridge (Setu Bandhasana) is our pose for January 2018.  This is a wonderful pose that can connect us to the foundation of the earth while offering us a connection to the sense of openness of the space it reaches out toward.  Bridges defy gravity and unite us over vast obstacles.  they can link us to the vast freedom of the universe.
Just like the various kinds of bridges we can see in our world today, Bridge Pose can be practiced in a number of different ways.  In some way, each of these poses has our head and shoulders on one side of the bridge while the feet are our connection point on the other.  Energetically this helps us to connect our spiritual selves with our earthly selves.  Merging the two is possible.  They may feel far apart today, however we can link the two through the body and the heart to find a sense of oneness within ourselves.
Explore bridge pose this month in it’s traditional form.  This can be a mild or large back bend.  So listen to your body and do what is right for you.

For a little more action try clasping the hands underneath the body or taking one leg towards the sky.

The extended leg can also go straight out from the hip, parallel to the floor.  When lifting a leg be sure that your foundation is set with the support leg.  Don’t let the knee splay open or let one hip drop.  Everything stays exactly the same except the leg you are lifting.
a restorative Bridge pose can be a lovely addition to any practice.  Place a block or bolster under the pelvis and rest.  The legs can stay bent with the feet flat on the floor.  The legs can also extend down straight which will increase the back bend and sensations in the body.  In this version, the body is asked to relax and surrender.
Which ever version you are practicing, let yourself be fully present in the moment. Feel the breath, experience your body, let the mind relax so you can build bridges of love and peace within yourself and with others.
The gift of yoga is that it helps us to see the good in all and be willing to unite instead of divide. Play with taking down your walls and working with bridges instead.
Blessings on your path of Setu Bandhasana!
In light and freedom,
Mindy Arbuckle
Founder of Maitri Yoga