This back arching pose relieves stiffness in the neck and spine and gives a good stretch to the chest and lungs. Back arches help to keep the spine supple and young. This pose helps tone the kidneys, removes mental fatigue and dispels depression.
1. Lie on a level surface and bring your feet close to the buttocks. Keep your feet hip-width apart and turn your toes slightly inward.
2. Place a belt just above the ankles and grip it with your hands.
3. Turn your elbow creases to face the ceiling by rolling the upper arms out. Tuck your shoulder blades into your body and open your chest fully.
4. Exhaling, pull the straps and lift your hips and chest up into a back arch.
5. While in the pose, keep your knees over your feet and your shins vertical. Keep lifting your hips and stretching your chest by pressing down with your upper arms. Contract the back of the body and give a steady stretch to the front body. Do not push the chest into the chin, but lift the chest and hips evenly so the arch formed by your back has an even, domed shape.
6. Breathe evenly through your nose and relax your eyes and face, remaining quiet and composed. Do not strain, but remain focused on the actions of the pose without distress.
7. Exhale and return to the first position. Rest and repeat two more times.
MANOA YOGA CENTER
The Bridge pose is multifaceted in its benefits; besides being a good stretch, it relieves mental fatigue and depression.
and Shelley Choy
are certified Iyengar Yoga teachers and co-direct the Manoa Yoga Center at Manoa Marketplace. Visit www.manoayoga.com
or call 382-3910. Manoa Yoga Center, the authors and the Star-Bulletin take no responsibility for any injury arising from the practice of these yoga postures. Readers should seek a doctor's approval before commencing this yoga practice.