Summary of Contents
About the pose
Setubandhasana; setu=bridge, bandha=bind /lock. So as the name suggests the pose resembles a bridge. Here the entire spine is so beautifully curved and away from the floor/mat , which causes a bridge. As the effect of this pose is more to do with the spine , it sure works on toning the muscles around the spine. This pose can be categorised under the Intermediate Level of Asanas and under the lying down category. This pose cannot be described as just the raising of the spine and balancing it there half way in the air. This pose has a lot of scientific benefits to it when compared to other asanas. The alignment of the body right from the feet to the head should be understood well to ensure the maximum benefit of this pose. The flow of this pose is as follows.
- Arms and Shoulders
- Lower Back
- Upper Back
- Core (Abs)
How to do the pose
- Lying on your back, place your feet flat on the floor, a comfortable distance away from the hips
- Place your arms next to the rib cage. You can either bend your elbows 90 degrees so that your fingers are pointing to the ceiling or hold onto the outer edges of your mat
- On an inhalation, press the back of your shoulders and your feet into the floor and lift your hips up
- Press the inner feet down actively and keep the knees from spreading out wide, by engaging the inner thighs
- Lengthen your tailbone, slide your shoulder blades down your back and keep your neck neutral
- You can clasp your hands behind your back
- Stay for 5 to 15 breaths
- To come out of the pose, release the arms and roll your spine down on an out-breath
- Take your time working on lifting up into Bridge with control. You might like to practise coming in and out of the pose a few times first before holding the pose for a few breaths.
- Pay close attention to your knees, don’t allow them to fall out wider than your feet as you rise upwards. If you find this happens you can squeeze a yoga block between your thighs as you come up.
- Stretches out the front body – fronts of the thighs, hips, abdomen and chest
- Strengthens the back body – legs, glutes and back.
- Improves digestion
Watch out for
- As you rise up, make sure you don’t flatten the back of the neck. Keep the neck neutral and lift the breastbone towards the chin
- Don’t turn your neck during the pose (either coming in or out of it, or once you’re in the full pose).
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- Understanding about yoga
- Roll your spine – you can come out of the pose by slowly coming down, vertebrae by vertebrae. Allow the spine to slowly roll its way down. You can come up again into the pose the same way. This is a lovely ‘spine massage’.
- You can lift one leg straight up to the ceiling.
- If you want to make the pose more restorative, place a support like a yoga block or folded towel under your sacrum (just above your tailbone) and let your weight rest on the support.