Perhaps one of the most common back-bends is the Bridge Pose. This pose begins with the person lying on his/her back on the mat. After placing the heels as close to the sit bones as possible, he/she presses down on the feet and squeezes from the inner thighs to lift the tailbone high, shimmying the shoulders closer together to create more space.
The pose is typically held anywhere between 30 seconds to a minute. Extended Bridge Pose is a variation of Bridge that involves lifting and extending one of the legs, demonstrated in the photo above. Extended Bridge Pose is a great stretch for the chest, neck, and spine. It works to stimulate the abdominal organs, lungs, and thyroid and rejuvenates tired legs. Holding the pose also helps calm the mind, which can alleviate stress.