Bridge Pose is my go-to for helping my students strengthen their cores, create awareness of the inner thighs through adduction, and to recognize how the abdominal wall can be both strong and supple simultaneously.
You will need a yoga block or a few hardback books for this sequence.
Start off on your back with your feet planted on the ground as close to your pelvis as possible. Keep your hands alongside your hips with your palms facing down. It is important that you keep your nose pointing towards the ceiling during this entire sequence. On your inhale, press into your hands and feet and lift your hips off the ground, focusing on engaging your abdominal muscles and inner thighs for support. On your exhale, allow the pelvis to slowly return to the floor moving one vertebra at a time, ending with the tailbone. Do several rounds of this to warm up the spine. Then end with the hips up and place a block or a stack of hardcover books underneath your hips right at the crest of your buttocks (the top of the tailbone.) Pick a height that is closest to your active bridge pose. I give examples of all three block height options in the video. To add more variety to the sequence, you can take “butterfly” legs by bringing the soles of the feet together and knees apart. You can also walk the feet away from the block and extend the legs to fully lengthen the abdominal wall and the psoas (front of the hip bone). To come off the block, walk your feet back so your knees are bent, lift your hips off the block, remove it, and keep the hips lifted for several breaths—allowing the muscles surrounding the spine to regain control. Then, with an exhale, slowly release down and rest for a few breaths with the legs extended.
Try singing both before and after this sequence and witness how your breath and posture have been altered. Enjoy!
(Click on the blog title at the top of the email to watch the instructional video.)