SetuBandhasana is one of the best yoga poses for beginners as it is a simple ‘backbend asana’ that opens up your chest and keeps your spine flexible. The term SetuBandhasana is a combination of the words ‘setu’ (the Sanskrit word for Bridge), ‘bandh’ (meaning bind, and asana (meaning posture). SetuBandhasana stretches the chest, neck, and spine and calms the central nervous system and the mind which is why it is one of the most commonly recommended yoga postures for those with weak back muscles. Basic yoga poses such as SetuBandhasana are ideal yoga exercises for beginners as these yoga postures help to improve posture and improve blood circulation which in turn makes it easier for you to perform more challenging asanas.
How To Perform SetuBandhasana (Bridge Pose)
Like most yoga poses, SetuBandhasana must be performed at least 4-6 hours after a meal and your stomach and bowels should be empty at this time. This is why it is best to perform this pose as part of your morning yoga routine. SetuBandhasana is an easy yoga pose but you can perform a few preparatory asanas before you do this pose. Preparatory asanas help you warm up and increase the flexibility of your muscles which improve your ability to perform all your asanas. You can learn a few SetuBandhasana prep poses such as Virasana (Hero pose), AdhoMukhaShvanasana (Downward Facing Dog pose), and Bhujangasana (Cobra pose) before you learn how to do Bridge pose. These prep poses for SetuBandhasana are basic yoga poses that will gently stretch the muscles of your legs, abdomen, shoulders, and back. Bhujangasana is a particularly beneficial yoga preparatory pose as it opens up the thorax, clears the lungs and aids respiration. These are the 9Bridge pose steps:
Lie in a supine position with the back of your head on the floor. If necessary, place a thickly folded blanket under your shoulders to protect your neck.
Bend your knees and set you’re the soles of your feet flat on the floor with your heels as close to your sitting bones as possible.
Exhale and press the soles of your feet and arms actively against the floor, push your tailbone upward toward the pubis, firming (but not hardening) your buttocks, and then lift your buttocks off the floor.
Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel. Clasp your hands below your pelvis and extend through the arms to help you balance evenly on the tops of your shoulders.
Lift your buttocks until your thighs are about parallel to the floor.
Keep your knees directly over your heels, but push them forward and away from your hips. Lengthen your tailbone toward the back of your knees and lift your pubis towards your navel.
Lift your chin slightly away from your collar bone (sternum). Firming your shoulder blades against your back, press the top of the sternum toward your chin.
Firm your outer arms, broaden your shoulder blades, and try to increase the space between them at the base of your neck (where it’s resting on the blanket) up into your torso.
Stay in this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Follow these SetuBandhasana steps carefully and do not make any changes to them. It is important to follow theSetuBandhasanasequence of steps as performing them incorrectly can put a strain on your back muscles.
How To Release From SetuBandhansana (Bridge Pose)
To release from SetuBandhasana, exhale and press your hands against the mat while you roll down until your back is flat against the mat. You can then rest for a few moments – keep your feet in the same position but allow your knees to knock into each other. Keep one palm resting against your belly and one on your heart while you breathe evenly.
If you are moving from SetuBandhasana to another pose, make sure that your movements are fluid and not jerky. You can also include 10 seconds of mindful breathing in between poses to help you relax your mind and your muscles.
Similar Poses To SetuBandhasana(Bridge Pose)
There are a few other poses that are similar to SetuBandhasana and you can include them in your yoga routine to strengthen and relieve any tension in your back muscles.
Salabhasana-The Locust pose
Navasana – The Boat pose
Ustrasana-The Camel pose
These poses will enhance the benefits of SetuBandhasana and so you should include at least a few of these in your yoga routine.
Benefits Of SetuBandhasana (Bridge Pose)
SetuBandhasana stretches and strengthens the chest, neck, and spine which is one of the main benefits of SetuBandhasana.
It also helps improve digestion and reduces bloating.
SetuBandhasana relieves the symptoms of menopause and menstrual discomfort.
This pose calms the mind and helps alleviate stress, anxiety and mild depression
It is often recommended as a therapeutic aid for people with asthma, osteoporosis, sinusitis and high blood pressure problems.
The word ‘yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ which means to join or to attach – this refers to the joining of the body and mind. Yoga asanas provide physical, mental, and emotional benefits as they increase muscle flexibility, decrease anxiety and stress, and improve one’s mood. Yoga for strengthening back muscles has become increasingly popular as many of us spend almost our entire day seated in front of a comp or TV which places a huge strain on our back muscles. SetuBandhasana puts very little physical stress on the body; in fact, it is a common yoga pose during pregnancy as it helps to ease the back pain which is a common problem during pregnancy. Regular yoga practice will strengthen your back muscles and reduce or even eliminate back pain.
Neck injury (Avoid practicing this pose unless under the supervision of an experienced and trained professional)
Contraindications Of Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
The benefits and importance of SetuBandhasana are immense, but there are certain circumstances when you should avoid this pose. If you have any kind of knee or spinal injury/problem, avoid SetuBandhasana. The Bridge pose for beginners generally consists of the same steps but the amount of time spent in this position is much shorter.
Tips For Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
Avoid over-stretching your neck by not pulling it forcefully away from your ears. Lift the tops of your shoulders slightly towards your ears and push your inner shoulder blades away from your spine.