Good Form: How to do the classic bridge pose

Good Form

Create strength, flexibility and especially awareness in your spinal muscles with this classic yoga position called bridge pose. Done properly, you'll also feel a great stretch in the front of your shoulders and across your chest. Stick with the first variation initially, then progress to the second variation when you feel comfortable.

Lie on your back with your feet hip-width apart on a mat or a flat, level surface. On an inhalation, curl your tailbone under, press down with your heels and raise your pelvis off the floor. Interlace your fingers while keeping your arms and hands on the floor. Press your shoulders down and lift your ribs up. Stay in this position as you continue to breathe for 30 seconds. Release your hands, relax your shoulders and roll down slowly. Repeat two more times.

For an added challenge, shift your weight over your left leg and pause. Once you feel stable, slowly bend your right knee toward your chest, then straighten your right leg up to the ceiling. Be sure to maintain your weight over your left heel and keep your hips and shoulders facing squarely toward the ceiling. Pause for two to three breaths, then lower your leg and repeat on the other side.

Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including "Full Body Stretch" and "Ballet BodySculpt."

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World