Yoga Pose of the Day – Bridge Pose

May 25, 2012

Bridge pose is wonderful for opening up the hip flexor area at the front of our body (where the leg attaches to the torso). We use the psoas (hip flexor) muscles all the time in daily life, and they can tend to hold a lot of tension… try bridge posture, to see about releasing any tension.   See diagram and instructions below for the supported bridge version. Take a few breaths and enjoy!

From lying on your back, bend your knees, and place your feet on the floor about hip distance apart. Take a few deep breaths, and notice what parts of feet make contact with the Earth. Start to really be aware of that connection. Feel your breath in your body, and your breath movement in your abdominal and hip area….See if you can notice a natural rise and fall…. following this movement and natural rhythm, slowly begin to let your low back melt down upon exhalation, slightly tucking the pelvis. As you inhale release the lower back to neutral. See if the movement can follow your breath. Gradually allow this melting down of the back, to become a bit bigger, and into a larger movement of the pelvis, as you ground in your feet. You can then see about rounding through the spine and gently lifting into bridge position, rolling up the spine, and taking your body’s weight into you feet, and upper back and shoulders. Feel your body grounding an dropping as you lift, letting your body weight sink into your feet and upper back, and allowing your spine to lengthen and breath be smooth. Let your neck and head and shoulders be soft, and relaxed. You can stay in the pose for some time feeling your spine release…or see about coming in and out of the pose a few times.

When lowering down from the posture, begin with breath awareness again… and as you exhale, let your upper back begin to sink into the floor, then round further vertebrae by vertebrae – lowering through your mid back and then through the lower back and pelvis, until your body is resting completely on the floor.
Take a few moments and see how it feels to have your body and spine back down on the Earth.

 

You may also like to try this posture in a supported version. To do supported bridge, have a rolled or folded up blanket or bolster, close by and as you elevate your pelvis coming into bridge, slide the bolster under your pelvis and then bring your hips down to rest on it. Breathe in and out…and maybe stay here a bit, seeing what you notice in your body.
When you feel ready to come out of supported bridge, you can slightly elevate your pelvis again, through grounding in your feet, slide the bolster out and then vertebrae by vertebrae, rolling back down to the ground.

Namaste,

Alyssa Huntley
11:11 Life Styling

 

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