Updated: Jul 11, 2020
By Allison Ray Jeraci
Photo by Andrea Killam
One of my favorite architects is Antonio Gaudí, and every time I practice bridge pose I’m reminded of his quote: “There are no straight lines or sharp corners in nature. Therefore, buildings must have no straight lines or sharp corners.”
Or in our case as humans whose bodies are made up of curves, bridge pose (setu bandhasana)—and all of our poses—should, generally speaking, not have straight lines or sharp corners. Yet we often strive in our practice to find angled shapes that don’t actually exist. I have strong bones but I definitely don’t have any perfectly straight ones.
When I visited Barcelona in 2015, I was inspired by Gaudí’s immense mosaic work in Park Guell, where broken, sharp-edged tiles are transformed into smooth, curved terraces, and the Casa Mila, where the undulating house front is adorned with columns that resemble tree roots. As a yoga teacher, I aim to view a pose such as bridge with a similar sense of reverence: to see it as an expression of an individual’s unique structure, revealing its otherwise obscured artistry, in essence, its beauty.