[*] Bridging [a.k.a Backbending]
Bridging is found in many different physical culture disciplines: from the backbends of yoga; to the wrestler’s bridge; its use in feats of strength in circus performances; to its more dynamic and mobile expressions in capoeira or demonic possession.
The posture itself can and should be viewed as an ‘ancestral’ or ‘archetypal’ posture. My daughter and other young humans I have observed spontaneously figure out this posture during play, and I feel that it should be in ones postural lexicon at all ages [baring serious trauma or pathology].
Lamentably, many adult humans (and some children) have lost this posture – or even never developed it. Fortunately for myself I never lost this posture. If you are one who has, thankfully there are methods for regaining the posture.
Once it has been regained – the real fun can begin.
The bridge is not just good for Instagram shots, it is actually a highly auspicious posture for working on the body. You often get beginners talking about it being a ‘back stretch’ which is anatomically untrue: it is a premier posture of ????????? ?ℎ? ????? ?? ?ℎ? ????.
And there are a number of different channels for taking the work once the base posture is stabilised in the body.
One option is ‘motion’: this avenue is being explored by many movement practitioners at the moment. Certainly a fine option.
Breathing Apparatus work: This can be done solo but I have found a number of potent options for this that I have not found elsewhere than involve 2 or more partners assisting. The ‘sea of proprioception’ and structural uncoupling options are superior, IMO.
Visceral-sheath and membrane work: only for the advanced but often what the seasoned body craves instinctively.
Passive, Active and passive-active hybrids: Passive involves the use of supports from under [‘whales’ or other humans] and allows for a whole other branch of exploration that ‘active’ and ‘motion’ options do not provide. This element was highly refined by Kit and Stretch Therapy folks.
’Active’ involves different orders of magnitude and coordination of contraction of the back and specifically the spinal erector muscles whilst relaxing through the anterior aspects of the body. This can become a fine art, as one can change which channels of activation are used consciously; or, by using different angles and pressures of the palms, fingers, feet and toes.
This can be further refined with ??????? ??????? from partners to aid in the structural uncoupling. And of course these are all just artificial separations for training purposes. Eventually one can use multiple at once – or in a sequence unique to the whispers from the soma.
And then [of course] you can do this with the alchemical processes layered on top, or you can keep it therapeutic and for mobility.
We have been using the bridge as an alchemical posture regularly in recent classes. Whatever methods you choose or have at your disposal: I recommend you work on or reclaim this vital shape.