Bridge Posture/ Pose, Setu Bandh Sarvang Asan, Bandha Sarvanga Asana
Setu" means bridge. "Bandha" is Lock, and "Asana" is Pose or Posture. "Setu Bandhasana" means construction of a bridge. Setu-Bandha-Sarvangasana is a useful asana to follow Ushtrasana or Shirshasana because it lengthens the back of your neck in the same way that Sarvangasana does after Shirshasana.
How to reach the stretch
- Lie in Supine pose (Shavasana) on the floor. Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor, heels as close to the sitting bones 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.
How to release the stretch
Stay in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Release with an exhalation, rolling the spine slowly down onto the floor.
- Stretches the chest, neck, and spine.
- Calms the brain and helps alleviate stress and mild depression.
- Stimulates abdominal organs, lungs, and thyroid.
- Rejuvenates tired legs.
- Improves digestion.
- Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause.
- Relieves menstrual discomfort when done by support.
- Reduces anxiety, fatigue, backache, headache, and insomnia.
- Therapeutic for asthma, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and sinusitis.
- Neck injury: avoid this pose unless you are practicing under the supervision of an experienced teacher.
- If necessary, place a thickly folded blanket under your shoulders to protect your neck.