Yoga and Surf Tips: Bridge Pose
This is a wonderful chest and heart Chakra opening as well as keeping your spine flexible. As avid surfers, we tend to build up tension in forward rotation through the pecks from paddling. Keeping the chest open and lengthening and strengthening the back will create longevity in your surfing, and less pain in your body.
Placing your palms down along side of you, keep your feet and knees parallel and aligned to your waist. Inhale while pressing your palms into the ground and lifting your hips and rising with your chest. Make sure to keep your thighs and knees pressing up and towards your feet, working less of the buttocks and more of the legs. When you feel ready, interlace your fingers under your spine, rolling your shoulders in to open the chest and squeeze the shoulder blades towards the spine.
Keep your head and eyes looking straight up to protect the neck and breathe long and light breaths through your nose, expanding your ribs on the inhale and contracting the rib cage on the exhale. This activates the diaphragm. To take it a step further, you may grab hold of your ankles. This will prepare you for a back bend in bridge.
To get out of bridge, slowly release the fingers, flatten the shoulder blades to the ground, and slowly lower the spine to the ground, pushing the navel towards the ground when rolling through. The lower back and the tail bone comes down last. Repeat for added length, strength and benefits of the pose.
Lengthens and opens the chest, neck, spine, and hips.
Strengthens the buttocks, back, and back of the legs.
Calms the central nervous system, stimulates blood flow, lungs, thyroid glands, and abdominal organs. Also helps with digestion and reduces backache, fatigue, headaches, and anxiety.