BRIDGE-WHEEL POSE

An uplifting posture and a strong back bend, which stimulates the nervous system and opens up your heart, which will leave you glowing with energy and virility for the rest of your day. Will also help you gain clarity and focus and discover a newfound layer of potential within.
How To Perform

• Lie supine on the floor. Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor, heels as close to the sitting bones as possible. Bend your elbows and spread your palms on the floor beside your head, forearms relatively perpendicular to the floor, fingers pointing toward your shoulders.

• Pressing your inner feet actively into the floor, exhale and push your tailbone up toward the pubis, firming (but not hardening) the buttocks, and lift the buttocks off the floor. Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel. Take 2 or 3 breaths. Then firmly press the inner hands into the floor and your shoulder blades against the back and lift up onto the crown of your head. Keep your arms parallel. Take 2 or 3 breaths.

• Press your feet and hands into the floor, tailbone and shoulder blades against your back, and with an exhalation, lift your head off the floor and straighten your arms. Turn the upper thighs slightly inward and firm the outer thighs. Narrow the hip points and lengthen the tailbone toward the backs of the knees, lifting the pubis toward the navel.

• Turn the upper arms outward but keep the weight on the bases of the index fingers. Spread the shoulder blades across the back and let the head hang, or lift it slightly to look down at the floor.

• Stay in the pose between 5-10 breaths.

Benefits 

• Opens the chest and shoulders.
• Stretches the internal organs in the front of the body.
• Strengthens the arms and legs, reenergises and uplifts you.
• Stimulates the thyroid and pituitary glands.

Contraindications 

• High blood pressure.
• Back problems especially disc problems.
• Second and third trimester of pregnancy.

Modifications

• Place 2 blocks against a wall shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on the blocks, so the palm of the hand is flat, which helps create space for the shoulders.

• Tight hip flexors – again bring blocks against a wall. To prevent sliding, place the feet flat on blocks for extra height.

• Prevent elbows winging out by keeping parallel by strapping with belt, make a loop shoulder to shoulder width, placing above elbows. Can use as resistance to push out to create space to lift and open chest.