Bridge Pose: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana


This entry was posted on Apr 1, 2024 by Charlotte Bell.

Bridge Pose

I’ve been writing for Hugger Mugger’s weblog for 14 years—exhausting to imagine. And it’s equally exhausting to imagine that in all these years, spanning greater than 900 posts, I’ve by no means written a primary weblog on the best way to observe Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana). In my protection, I’ve written two articles about practising Bridge on a Normal Yoga Bolster, right here and right here. I’ve additionally written about practising Setu Bandha with a Yoga Block. However for some purpose, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana sans props escaped my thoughts.

Bridge Pose Advantages

Bridge Pose is a star amongst yoga poses, and it’s been a staple in my lessons for many years. Not solely is it a necessary yoga pose, however it’s additionally an necessary pose in energy coaching routines. Bridge Pose confers so many advantages. Listed below are just a few:

  • Stretches hip flexors, a vital motion for countering the ailing results of an excessive amount of sitting
  • Strengthens again muscle tissues, glutes and hamstrings
  • Can relieve again stress
  • Promotes improved posture
  • Stretches the chest, neck and shoulders
  • Calms the nervous system
  • Might support digestion (so long as you observe two hours after a meal)

Cautions and Contraindications

Like all yoga poses, Bridge Pose may be contraindicated in sure circumstances. In case you are at present experiencing a neck and/or shoulder harm, it could be greatest to keep away from Setu Bandha Sarvangasana till you’re healed. In a future submit, I’ll share a variation of Bridge Pose that could be okay to observe with a neck difficulty.

You may additionally need to strategy Bridge Pose with warning in case you are within the early, heavy days of your menstrual interval. Many ladies expertise no unwanted effects from practising Bridge Pose on their interval. However there are some ladies who expertise an interruption of their regular circulate. This could result in cramping and subsequent “flooding.” (I used to be capable of observe Setu Bandha on my interval for years. Then in the future, I skilled these signs, and it was extremely disagreeable!)

The way to Put together to Observe Bridge Pose

Earlier than practising Setu Bandha, it may be useful to heat up the areas of the physique that shall be doing a lot of the stretching and strengthening work. These embrace: glutes, hip flexors, quadriceps, chest, shoulders, abdominals and neck.

Listed below are just a few options for potential warm-up poses. After all, a pair rounds of Surya Namaskar (Solar Salutations) may work as nicely:

The way to Observe Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

  1. Lie in your again on a nonskid Yoga Mat.
  2. Bend your knees and place the soles of your ft on the ground.
  3. Draw your arms shut in to your sides, then bend your elbows in order that your forearms are vertical.
  4. Press your higher arms into the ground, and concurrently arch your low again away from the ground.
  5. Lengthen your arms alongside your physique.
  6. Lengthen your knees outward, away out of your pelvis to be able to start to raise your again off the ground. Preserve extending your knees outward away out of your pelvis as your pelvis lifts into Bridge Pose. Keep this outward extension isometrically as you maintain the pose.
  7. I choose extending outward by means of my legs to raise into the pose, somewhat than merely pushing up with my glutes. I’ve discovered that once I push up with my glutes, I overextend my hip joints, which may, over time, put on down the cartilage and labrum. The opposite factor that occurs is that my knees are likely to splay out to the perimeters once I merely push up with my glutes. This doesn’t occur once I isometrically lengthen my knees outward from my pelvis. You most likely received’t raise as excessive as you’d by pushing into your hip joints, however lifting excessive isn’t the purpose! Working towards sustainably is much extra necessary.
  8. Rock facet to facet onto the tops of your shoulders and clasp your fingers beneath you. In case your elbows bend once you clasp your fingers, observe along with your arms parallel on the ground. It’s also possible to maintain a Yoga Strap between your fingers to create a stronger grounding in your arms.
  9. Take 5 to 10 deep breaths, enjoyable your neck, throat, jaw and facial muscle tissues.
  10. To depart the pose, lengthen your arms out overhead, alongside the ground and slowly decrease your backbone down onto the ground, lengthening as you go. Repeat for those who like.

About Charlotte Bell

Charlotte Bell found yoga in 1982 and started instructing in 1986. Charlotte is the creator of Conscious Yoga, Conscious Life: A Information for On a regular basis Observe and Yoga for Meditators, each revealed by Rodmell Press. Her third e book is titled Hip-Wholesome Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Information to Defending the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Ache (Shambhala Publications). She writes a month-to-month column for CATALYST Journal and serves as editor for Yoga U On-line. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte performs oboe and English horn within the Salt Lake Symphony and people sextet Crimson Rock Rondo, whose DVD received two Emmy awards in 2010.



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