Bridge pose, also known as Setu Bandha Asana, is is a backbend that will expand your chest, open your Heart Chakra (Anahata) and keep your spine flexible.
In Sanksrit, Setu means bridge, Bandha means bind, and Asana means pose.
As you practice Bridge Pose, you will become more alert in both body and mind. Every part of your body will feel alive and thoroughly stretched.
Bridge Pose – How To Get There
Bridge pose is a foundation pose for more intense backbends but anyone can start this pose in its easiest variation.
- Lay down on your back.
- Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor.
- Adjust feet to be at hip width apart and close towards your bottom.
- Pressing your inner feet and arms actively into the floor.
- Engage your core, as though you were pulling your belly button towards your spine.
- Slightly squeeze your bottom cheeks together.
- Lift your bottom off the floor and at the same time, press your pelvis upward toward the ceiling.
- Ensure thighs are about parallel to the floor (If not, it’s totally ok. Just ensure that your core is engaged. The height of the lift does not matter).
- Stay in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to one minute.
How To Exit Bridge Pose
- Keep your core engaged, belly button to spine.
- Exhale and release your body back down slowly.
- Relax down on to the floor and extend your legs out fully to Savasana.
- Breathe here – count to five breathing in, and count to five breathing out. Keep up with this breathing pattern, and notice how good you feel.
- You can place a yoga block underneath lower-back/bottom to make it more relaxing.
- To intensify more you can place blocks beneath your feet.
- Place a thickly folded yoga blanket underneath your head can give that little extra support for head and neck.
- Advancved yogis and yoginis may like to extend their bridge into a wheel pose, or Chakrasana, as seen in the picture below. However, those who are new to yoga, or have never done this pose before should never attempt it unless they are with a qualified and skilled yoga teacher.
Benefits of Bridge Pose
The benefits are vast:
- Can help strengthen back muscles.
- Helps to relieve a tired back.
- Can benefit your chest, spine and neck.
- Helps to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress and calms the brain.
- Benefits the digestion system.
- Can help with the symptoms of menopause and menstrual pain.
Contraindications – Lower Back or Neck Injury
ABOUT TRUDY VAINS
Trudy Vains is an Author, Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master and Spine Fusion Warrior.
Trudy’s book “Fused” provides inspiration and reassurance to those facing spine surgery, as well as many examples of the importance of a positive mindset in overcoming challenges.