- Lying in supine, knees bent with feet flat on the floor
- Feet & knees should be hip distance apart & parallel
- Arms lying alongside the body with the palms facing down – ground the top of the shoulders down.
- Keep the back of the neck long with the chin tucked towards the chest
- Drop your bottom ribs into the floor – engaging the rectus abdominal muscles.
- Pelvis in neutral – engaging pelvis floor & lower abdominals
- Exhale – engage the deep abdominals & begin to lift the 1 vertebra at a time – starting with the coccyx, then lumber then thoracic to bring the pubic bone higher than your hip bones.
Maintaining the pose:
- Routing down through the feet, lengthen the tail bone towards the back of the knees.
- Lengthen the rib cage towards the hips to keep the abdominals engaged.
- Ensure the thighs & inner feet remain parallel and do not splay out to the side.
Releasing from the pose
- Exhale to lower back down onto the floor one vertebra at a time.
- Repeat this pose several times.
In yoga and pilates classes you may hear different guidance around the breath in shoulder bridge. In pilates, generally, you move on the exhale as it assists with the engagement of the abdominal & pelvic floor muscles therefore you lift and lower with the exhale. In yoga in order to promote breathe flow you may be encouraged to lift with the exhale and lower with the inhale or vice versa. Either way focus on contracting the pelvis floor and deep abdominal muscles to create stability and protect the spine in this pose.
Consider placing a block or brick (even a thick book) underneath the pelvis and allow the pelvis to rest down on it to give you a deeper shoulder grounding experience. This can also be very beneficial for opening the lungs and diaphragm at the front of the body. This is a resting pose and can be held for several minutes.