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A Bridge to Better Balance

Last week I blogged about the importance of strong, flexible muscles for good posture and that posture is directly related to our ability to keep our balance. Lots of things get better with age but balance is not one of them. That is, unless we do something about maintaining it. To do that, it’s important to engage in activities that challenge and enhance balance.

Yoga, with its combination of dynamic and static activities, is perfect. Dynamic movement tends to increase circulation to the muscles and improve muscle flexibility while remaining static tends to improve muscle strength.bridge

The bridge posture combines both dynamic and static activities. It’s also fun and a favorite of many of my private yoga students.

Here’s the process:

  1. Come to a lying position on your back
  2. Hug knees to your chest and gently rock from side to side to warm up your hips and back
  3. Next place your feet flat on the floor with heels a comfortable distance from hips. Knees are lined up with your feet and about a hip bone distance apart
  4. Arms remain by your sides
  5. As you inhale, push down on your feet, engaging your buttocks and lift your hips up off the floor toward the ceiling.
  6. As you exhale, engage your abs and buttocks and slowly lower your hips back down to the floor. Feel like you are coming down one vertebra at a time.
  7. Repeat these movements (#5 and #6 above) a total of six times
  8. Rest on your back for a couple of breaths
  9. Then inhale back up (#5 above) and stay with hips raised for a breath or two
  10. Then exhale down (#6 above) and rest for a breath or two
  11. Finally, counter pose the bridge by bringing your knees to your chest and repeating #2 above

TIPS:

  • If your back feels uncomfortable when lifting your hips try bringing your heels slightly closer to your hips. Be careful not to stress your knees.
  • If you sway, engage your core muscles more fully to stabilize yourself
  • Keep your shoulders and toes against the floor
  • Tuck your chin as you inhale up for a gentle neck stretch

In my blog, Brain Booster … Improve Concentration, I talk about using the posture Tadasana to improve brain function. It’s also a great posture for improving balance.

Enjoy and Breathe Easy.

Joanne Thompson

Joanne Thompson

Founder/Owner at Yoga for Self

Health is a precious gift and my goal is to help you live a healthier, happier life through yoga. Every private session is uniquely designed just for you. For a free telephone consultation call me at 303.818.4181. Discover whether personalized, private yoga instruction is right for you.
Joanne Thompson

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