Yoga Yogi: Bridge Pose
The practice of bridge pose will span the distance from the feet to the shoulders, connecting upper and lower body. Besides improving spinal flexibility and relieving fatigue, the bridge pose enhances both the flow of energy and, most importantly, the information between arms and legs – a quality that is essential to improved technique and greater independence.
Lie onto your back with your feet flat on the floor about hips-distance apart. The distance between the heels and buttocks depends a lot on body proportion. Shoot for roughly vertical shinbones at the top of the movement. The hands are palms down alongside the body.
- As you inhale, slowly peel the hips, the lower back, and the middle of the back off the floor vertebrae by vertebrae.
- As you exhale, release the spine back down onto the floor vertebrae by vertebrae until the pelvis is resting on the floor.
- Repeat the entire sequence several times, creating a smooth flowing wave up and down the spine. Endeavor to keep the movement and the breathing as precisely connected as you can.
- After flowing, hold the pose with the fingers laced beneath the buttocks and your shoulder blades, squeezing together to lift your upper back. Make sure your knees have not drifted away from each other. Hold for a few breaths and release. Several repetitions may be practiced.
The bridge pose also strengthens the back and shoulder muscles as well as the thighs and buttocks. The bridge pose will help the lower body stay more rooted and balanced behind the kit without sacrificing any freedom of movement in the upper body.
Remember that yoga, like drumming, requires practice to develop usable skill. Try to set aside 20 to 30 minutes a day tuning yourself up. As always, check with your physician to determine if this exercise is suitable for you.