My favorite pose is Bridge Pose (“Setu Bandhasana”) because it helps and challenges my body in the hips, spine and neck. These are areas where emotional, loving and speaking energy can get stuck.
I recommend to new students and long time students both to slow down in this pose. Using the elbows against the floor, you create a bind to lift the heart first. Then take the time to press down the inner heals to extend the knees in the opposite direction of the crown of the head. This helps you spread the energy of the bridge from the tailbone to the crown of the head rather than to just bend in the lower back.
This pose makes me feel like I can breath deeper and alleviates stress. We do so much forward folding in life, that the bridge helps me to keep my spine flexible enough to back bend. I also love that you can add block under the sitting bones to make this a restorative pose. I even add a rolled blanket under the upper back to help lift the heart. You can also lift a leg or raise the blocks to add more variations on this pose.