Hath Yoga Bridge Pose

The bridge pose promotes a good posture and better breathing.

There are numerous sayings related to bridges. These refer to the nature of bridges as instruments for crossing over from one space to another, with the cross-over usually being done to avoid a break that would deter movement (as in a body of water separating two areas of land).

In Hatha Yoga, the Bridge Pose, or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana in Sanskrit ( setu = bridge, banda = lock, asana = pose) means to put your body, mind, and spirit in a position of crossing over, of moving beyond self-imposed boundaries.

Qualities of the Bridge Pose

The Bridge Pose uses the knees and the legs to raise and support the lower torso and the hips. While in this position of semi-elevation, the head and upper body are flat down on the floor. In this sense, the arc of a bridge is simulated. Temporarily modifying the natural flow of blood in this manner jump-starts the energy of the yogi, making the mind more receptive and the body more open to withstanding stress.

Demonstration of the Bridge Pose

Benefits of the Bridge Pose

  • Mental – this pose is great for the relief of mild depression, fatigue, anxiety, and stress. It relaxes the thought processes sufficiently, to enable the mind to consider various options that could serve as solutions to any problem or issue that you might be worrying over.
  • Physical – this pose is ideal for stimulating the thyroid, lungs, and abdominal organs, aiding in attaining better digestion and respiration. Menstrual issues and symptoms of menopause are also relieved through regular practice of this pose. The spine, the neck, and the chest are stretched, as well as the legs and the hips, which are therapeutic to have better posture and breathing. The pose is also good for relieving insomnia.
  • Spiritual – through the Bridge Pose’s reduction of fatigue and anxiety, you will be more able to create opportunities for internal self-improvement, going over and beyond what you have previously perceived (and possibly accepted) as your limitations.

Safety Alert

The Bridge Pose can possibly cause a neck injury if not done well. Refer to the accompanying demonstration videos to get a fuller grasp of how to execute this Hatha Yoga pose. Be clear on your limitations and never over-extend yourself as small steps forward, favor big steps backwards.

Now that you have a grip on how the Bridge Pose is done, be sure to subscribe to the MyFitnessNut.com Newsletter and see how 69 other Hath Yoga poses are done. In the next article of this online Hatha Yoga guide we’ll discover the “Happy Baby Pose” along with the treasures that come with experiencing the simple joys of life.

Warrior Pose

In this section of Hatha Yoga we'll practice the Warrior Pose.

It may seem absurdly contradictory for the word “warrior” to be associated with a gentle fitness discipline like Hatha Yoga. However, it is not the extreme belligerence or even ferocious cruelty that is connected to a fighter that is advocated or implied in the Warrior Pose.

In Hatha Yoga, we have the Warrior Pose, also known as Virabhadra’s Pose (Virabhadra is a “super-being,” a Spiritual Warrior), to remind practitioners of the need to cultivate a strong dislike for self-ignorance.

Of the Hatha Yoga poses, it can be said that the Warrior Pose is among those which strongly nurture the importance of having a clear mind and a strong body to achieve a high spiritual level.

Qualities of the Warrior Pose

In the article that discussed the four basic yoga poses, it was clarified how there is nothing even remotely threatening about the warrior pose…

Does this sound more like what you were expecting, or does the sound of this basic Hatha Yoga pose raise your hackles? Whatever your initial reaction may be, you will find out once you practice this pose that there is nothing even remotely threatening about it. As far as basic yoga poses go, the Warrior pose is meant for making your arms, shoulders, thighs, muscles of the back, as well as your ankles, stronger, thereby putting you in the right groove for further fitness development.

The truth behind this statement can be proven in the extensiveness of body parts toward which this pose can prove beneficial, from the head to the feet:

  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Lungs
  • Chest
  • Back
  • Abdomen
  • Groin
  • Thighs
  • Legs
  • Ankles

The Warrior Pose takes care of the body’s welfare, to allow you to be able to concentrate more fully on your main task at hand; the arousal of knowledge and wisdom, and the strengthening of your spirituality.

Demonstration of the Hatha Yoga Warrior Pose

Benefits of the Warrior Pose

  • Mental – fuller concentration and higher levels of determination
  • Physical – expands chest and lungs, stretches neck and shoulders, develops back muscles, and makes the thighs, legs and feet stronger
  • Spiritual – develops endurance of spirit

Safety Alert

The Warrior Pose is not recommended for people who have cardiovascular problems, hypertension, and preexisting shoulder and neck problems. Preexisting problems should be cleared only upon the advice of a medical doctor. Of course, that goes for any of the poses discussed in this Hatha Yoga guide.

That wraps up this section on the “Warrior Pose” so be sure to head over to our home page and subscribe to the MyFitnessNut.com Newsletter to get access to the video above as well as 69 other Hath Yoga pose videos and get started with these postures. Next, we’ll dive into doing “Chair Yoga Poses” and open your mind to obtaining more stability in your life.

Upward Facing Dog Pose

The Upward Facing Dog is another Hatha Yoga favorite.

Still on the matter of studying and taking inspiration from the natural actions of canines as introduced in the previous article, we’ll now continue with a specific pose that is once more derived from a position that dogs take – the Upward Facing Dog Pose.

In Hatha Yoga, we have the Upward Facing Dog Pose, or Urdhva Mukha Svanasana in Sanskrit (urdhva = upward, mukha = face, svana = dog), that is ideal for developing strength in the wrists.

This pose is one of those that form part of the time-honored Sun Salutation sequence, postures that are generally done in the morning for receiving energy, recapturing vitality, and preparing the body to manage vigor properly as the day goes on.

Qualities of the Upward Facing Dog Pose

The Upward Facing Dog in Hatha Yoga is reflective of the way canines look forward and upward to the sky, seemingly in anticipation of a good, if not better, day ahead. They “salute” the sun, basking in its rays, eager to start fresh.

Optimism and resiliency are key personality traits personified by this pose. Optimism, because the upward facing posture illustrates an expectation or readiness to receive the blessings that the day brings, and resiliency, because the pose connotes that no matter what challenges you may have faced earlier, you are still in control and hopeful about a good outcome.

Benefits of the Upward Facing Dog Pose

  • Mental – the Upward Facing Dog Pose promotes clarity of thinking that comes with a stable sense of self, which in turn, happens when it is practiced.
  • Physical – highly recommended for the alleviation of sciatica, a symptom that features shooting pain brought about by compression or pressure brought upon the sciatic nerve. When left unattended, such a condition can make standing and/or sitting close to impossible because of the pain. The Upward Facing Dog Pose provides relief for mild depression, reinforces the wrists, arms, and the spine. It can also be remedial for cases of asthma.
  • Spiritual – when your optimism soars, the better you are equipped to handle the challenges of life, which accounts for a resilient outlook.

Video Demonstration of the Cobra Upward Facing Dog Pose:

The Upward Facing Dog is not recommended when you are pregnant, have a pre-existing injury of the back, or have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome.

While we have tried to sprinkle some of the Hatha Yoga exercise videos throughout a few of these articles, it would work best for you to watch and learn as you read along with this guide. When finished, you can subscribe to the MyFitnessNut.com Newsletter to get the full set of all 70 yoga video demonstrations pick and choose which yoga exercises you want to learn first. Next, we’ll take a look at “Flow Yoga” and how it can enshrine your consciousness toward enlightenment.