(Setu Bandha Sarvangasana): Techniques, Benefits, Variations

Level – Beginner

Bridge Pose

(Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Bridge Pose Prep & Practice

1

Beginning on the back with knees bent, feet flat on the mat. Bring feet parallel, hip-width apart, and as close to the seat as possible. Feet, ankles, and knees in line. Arms by sides, palms down, fingertips pointing toward heels. Shoulders firm in and down, heart and chest spread and soften.

2

On an inhalation, press through feet lifting hips. Inner thighs and buttocks firm (not clenched), low abs firm in and up, sides of waist lengthen evenly from hips to the ribcage.

3

Inner thighs draw toward each other, tailbone lengthens toward heels, pubic bone draws forward. Chest broadens as shoulder blades draw in and down. Arms external rotate energetically, fingers spread wide.

4

Shoulders, arms, and hands press down into the mat, lifting and spreading through the chest. Throat and jaw relaxed, breath is steady

5

To come out of the pose, on an exhalation, gently lower back down onto the mat. Rest with feet mat width apart, knees falling in to touch.

Variations/Modifications

  • Block between thighs 
  • Hands clasped underneath low back
  • Blanket under head to keep arch in cervical spine
  • Block under sacrum (Restorative)

Physical, Mental and Emotional Benefits

  • Strengthens entire body
  • Increases breathing and lung capacity
  • Lengthens core muscles
  • Stimulates endocrine and nervous system
  • Opens the heart

Contraindications

  • Spinal Conditions
  • Back, Shoulder or Neck Injuries

Thoughtful Sequencing

Bridge Prep (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana), lift and lower hips 5-10 times. Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana), hold 3-5 breaths, exhaling to release and rest. Reclined Twist (Jathara Parivartanasana), Wind Relieving Pose (Pavanamuktasana), Corpse Pose (Savasana)

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