Saturday, April 24, 2010

Day 12 Challenge - Bridge Pose & Closing

Today's Yoga Challenge pose is the Bridge Pose.

The Bridge pose is one of the best pose for back pain as it helps to keep the spine flexible and doing the flowing bridge help to stretch the muscles of the lower back, strengthen the abdominals and massage the spine and sacrum.

Some tips and option when doing the pose.

- Make sure your feet are parallel with your ankles directly under your knees. It is important to have your feet parallel to reduce pressure on your lower back. When your feet are turned out, they close the space in the sacroiliac joint and create more stress on the joint than necessary.

- Once your hips are as high as they can get, snuggle your shoulders underneath your upper back. Interlace your fingers and fully extend your arms on the floor with your palms connected.

-It's helpful to put a light, soft block between your knees to aid your engagement of the inner thighs. It is also an amazing therapeutic pose if you put two blocks together, on their highest side directly under your sacrum, clasp your hands beyond the blocks and relax and release into the pose. Using blocks provides firm support and helps practitioners without the strength in the thighs to hold themselves up.

The benefits for Bridge pose include (from Yoga Journal):

- Stretches the chest, neck, and spine
- Calms the brain and helps alleviate stress and mild depression
- Stimulates abdominal organs, lungs, and thyroid
- Rejuvenates tired legs
- Improves digestion
- Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
- Relieves menstrual discomfort when done supported
- Reduces anxiety, fatigue, backache, headache, and insomnia
- Therapeutic for asthma, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and sinusitis

The Reclining Twist is a good counterpose to finish the sequence as it helps to restore equilibrium in the nervous system and release tension in the spine.

Watch the video at Yoga Bear website and have a wonderful time doing the poses to close the 12-day challenge.

Today is the last day of the challenge. What a journey it has been. Thanks Yoga Bear for the series of poses and I hope that my blog posts on the poses have given more info for those of you who are new to yoga.


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