Intro: Bridge is a great pose for working on your lower back strength, and is the basis for progressing to wheel pose. To get into bridge pose, start lying down on your back with your heels just below your butt. Feet are hip-width distance apart. Arms are parallel with your body. Palms can be facing up or down. Press into your feet, reach hips up, and engage core so that pelvis faces the sky and your tail bone reaches toward the front. Glutes should be relaxed. Make sure chin is away from your chest, untucked. Feet should be flat on the ground, and make sure to keep your knees hip-width distance. Lower down the same way you came up to safely exit the pose.
Tip: Make sure that your glutes are unclenched in this pose. Engage the hamstrings by pulling the heels toward the shoulders. Reach your sternum as high as possible. Yay, chest openers.
Variation: These are great variations after a lot of core work and extended sitting to open up the hip flexors and front of the body. Place a yoga block directly underneath your sacrum using a height that’s most comfortable for you. You can see the 3 different height levels in the picture shown. As you soften onto the yoga block, lengthen your tailbone as your quads descend towards your hamstrings.
Optional: Squeeze a block between your inner thighs to strengthen the abductors and correct the tendency to turn the knees and feet out.