Setu Bandha Sarvangasana Supported Bridge Pose
In Sanskrit, Setu means dam or bridge. Bandha means lock or bridge, Sarvanga means support. Asana means yoga pose. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana is Supported Bridge Pose in English.
This posture is a relatively simple, but still exhilarating, backbend. It is can be safely practiced by beginners yet also benefits experienced practitioners.
Doing the pose brings flexibility to the spine and calms the nervous system. Practice this pose and enjoy both physical and emotional benefits. The pose will also help prepare you for deeper more intense back bending postures.
Practice of Setu Bandha Sarvangasana: Supported Bridge Pose
- Lie supine on the floor, and if necessary, place a thickly folded blanket under your shoulders to protect your neck. Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor, heels as close to the sitting bones as possible.
- Exhale and, pressing your inner feet and arms actively into the floor, push your tailbone upward toward the pubis, firming (but not hardening) the buttocks, and lift the buttocks off the floor. Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel. Clasp the hands below your pelvis and extend through the arms to help you stay on the tops of your shoulders.
- Lift your buttocks until the thighs are about parallel to the floor. Keep your knees directly over the heels, but push them forward, away from the hips, and lengthen the tailbone toward the backs of the knees. Lift the pubis toward the navel.
- Lift your chin slightly away from the sternum and, firming the shoulder blades against your back, press the top of the sternum toward the chin. Firm the outer arms, broaden the shoulder blades, and try to lift the space between them at the base of the neck (where it’s resting on the blanket) up into the torso.
- Stay in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Release with an exhalation, rolling the spine slowly down onto the floor.
Benefits of Setu Bandha Sarvangasana-Supported Bridge Pose
- Enjoy the stretch for the chest, neck, spine, and hips as it strengthens back muscles, spinal muscles, buttocks, and hamstrings.
- This pose helps calm the brain and central nervous system, a stress relief and good as an antidote to depression.
- Your abdominal organs are stimulated and digestion enhanced *Lungs and thyroid
- Women with menopausal symptoms may find relief.
- The backbend lessens your aches in the back and head. Back muscles lengthen and strengthen and it is preventative for back pain in some cases.
- Doing the pose prior to bedtime can help you sleep at night if there is insommnia.
- Like many poses, it increases your blood circulation.
- Do the pose supported on a Setu Bandha bench when menstruating, and it is restorative.
- It may be therapeutic for asthma, hypertension, osteoporosis, and clogges sinuses.
- Your 4th and 5th chakras open and move energy better after doing this posture.
- Legs get a workout in the calves, quads, and hamstrings.
- Your lungs, and lung capacity are increased.
- Stiffness in the back, shoulders and ankles are alleviated.
- The pose may give relief of abdominal cramps.
- Women can do this pose as therapy for a prolapsed uterus, and it regulates menstrual flow.
Cautions for Setu Bandha Sarvangasana-Supported Bridge Pose
- Do not do this pose if you have neck injury. Do not do this pose late in pregnancy.
- Do not do this pose with knee injury. A folded blanket or blankets would be useful if
- you have tight shoulders or neck in a way that you would use them in Halasana. Use them under
- guidance of a teacher. If you have back pain or injury, please consult your experienced teacher to teach you.
- Always listen to your body and stop if it hurts.