Setu bandhasana is an intermediate level yoga asana performed in the supine position. The name is derived from the Sanskrit words ‘Setu’ meaning Bridge, 'Bandha' means lock and 'asana' means posture respectively. Setu bandhasana helps to make your digestion better and also calms your brain, lowering tension and anxiety. By performing this pose regularly, a person can prevent slouching and possibly alleviate the lower back pain. Setu bandhasana stimulates Muladhara (root), Visuddha (throat), and Anahata (heart) chakras.
Steps to do Bridge pose / Sethu bandhasana
- Lie down on your back.
- Fold the legs, bring the heels close to the buttocks, feet hip width apart.
- Hold the ankles or place the palms close to hips pressed against the mat.
- Now while inhaling, slowly lift the hips, and back until the chin touches the chest.
- Keep breathing while holding the pose.
- As you exhale drop the back and waist down slowly, vertebra by vertebra. Stretch out the legs and release the hands.
- Relax in Shavasana(Corpse Pose).
Tips for beginners
- Beginners should spend some time and carefully practise raising up into the bridge. Before holding the pose for a few breaths, you can also practise the posture by alternatively raising up and relaxing down.
- In case you find your knees falling outwards wider than your feet length while you are raising up, try using yoga block and place it between your thighs and try attaining final posture.
- Stretches the chest, neck and spine.
- Calms the mind.
- Stimulates abdominal organs, lungs and thyroid.
- Helps to ease the symptoms of menopause.
- Reduces anxiety, fatigue, back pain, headache and insomnia.
- Helps in curing asthma, high BP, osteoporosis and sinusitis.
Watch out for
- Avoid the practice in the case of any neck injury.
- Avoid turning the head right or left while you are in the posture.
- In the case of back injury, shoulder injury or knee pain, this asana should be avoided.
- To intensify the practise of this asana, you can also come on to toes rather than resting your soles on the floor, while attaining the final posture.
- Another variation of this asana would be Eka pada setu bandhasana. In this posture, you tend to lift one of your leg towards the ceiling after attaining the final posture.