Bridge pose

Say goodbye to neck and shoulder pain!

This exercise is brought to you by Spiraldynamik.

Even runners are prone to occasional neck and shoulder pain. Aim to follow a clean, relaxed running style to prevent this from happening. The bridge pose helps you to relieve and gently stretch your neck while creating more space between your shoulders. This back bend in a supine position is one of the basic yoga poses. It improves leg strength, relieves tension in the neck and head area, calms the mind and opens the heart.

Begin by lying on your back with both knees pulled up towards your chest. Let your shoulder blades sink into the mat. As you exhale, place both feet on the mat in line with your sitting bones. As you inhale, lengthen your spine by elongating it from the pelvis to the head. As you exhale, guide your supporting leg towards your pelvic bone and roll your pelvis inwards. Your lower back should now be pressed in to the mat. 
As you inhale, slowly roll each vertebrae upwards, one at a time, to form a bridge from your feet to your shoulders. Your spine should form an even arch, your breastbone lifted towards your chin and neck elongated. Make sure that your knees don’t buckle inwards or outwards. Aim to keep them hip-width apart. Hold this pose for several breaths and allow all of your face muscles to relax. Imagine inhaling into your neck. Make sure that you don’t overexert the bridge in your lower back. To leave the pose, allow your breastbone to sink as you exhale and roll back towards the mat, one vertebrae at a time, until your pelvis touches the ground again.

Note no. 1 – The bridge pose is a low-risk alternative to a headstand or plough pose. However, you should proceed with caution if you suffer from high blood pressure, headaches, migraines or dizziness. The same applies in the event of inflamed sinuses, ears, eyes and teeth. You should also be sure to listen to your body if you suffer from high intraocular pressure, retinal detachment or glaucoma. This exercise is an absolute no-go if you have a cervical spine disorder or whiplash. The following generally applies: Your neck should be soft and you shouldn’t feel pressure in your head area.

Objective: the bridge pose strengthens and increases mobility in your cervical spine. It stretches the neck and stimulates blood flow to the head. The gentle stretch of the neck feels great and helps to prevent hollowing of the neck.  The increased blood flow to the head is also a welcome factor, provided you are in good health. The bridge pose is ideal if you suffer from tension in your shoulder and neck muscles or tension headaches


Our book recommendation:

Medical Yoga 2 - TRIAS publishing house
Dr. med. Christian Larsen, Christiane Wolff, Eva Hager-Forstenlechner