This Hatha yoga sequence with variations of the shoulder bridge (Sanskrit: Setu Bandha Sarvangsasana) mobilises and strengthens the back.
We begin in a sitting position. Breathe in deeply, breathe out and bring your hands together in front of your sternum to begin the exercise. Lie on your back. Place your feet close to your buttocks and ground them. Also ground the back of your head as well as your shoulders and draw your hands forward towards your feet. Your knees should be above your ankles with your thighs parallel. Now lift your pelvis from the floor and roll further onto your shoulders. Gently lift your pelvis a little higher and now bend your arms and prop up your torso from beneath with your hands. To do so, externally rotate your fingers and bring the heels of your palms close together beneath your body. Find a position that you can comfortably retain for a moment. Breathe and relax your neck, face and jaw. Pause and continue to press your feet firmly into the ground. Then come up onto the tips of your toes, let go of your torso with your hands, lift your pelvis a little higher and then lower it back to the floor slowly and in a controlled manner.
Draw your knees toward you for a moment and calmly breathe in and out.
Place your feet back to where they were a moment ago and extend your arms out alongside your body. Breathe in, lift your pelvis and at the same time move your arms above your head. Pause briefly in this position and then move your arms and pelvis back where they were in a controlled manner. Repeat this exercise several times to the rhythm of your breathing.
Then draw your knees toward you once more and slowly, carefully rock forward and backward gently on your rounded back before finally rolling into a cross-legged, seated position. Now inhale deeply and lean forward over your crossed legs as you exhale, placing your hands on the floor in front of you. Return to an upright seated position, breathe calmly and once more bring your hands together in front of your sternum as you exhale.