The word Setu Bandhasana is derived from Sanskrit where “Setu” means “Bridge”, “Bandha” means “Bind” or “Locked” and “Asana” means “Pose” or “Posture”.
The final pose resemble the shape of a bridge as the chest, legs and hips are stretched in such a way that resemble the shape of a bridge and hence the name “Bridge pose”.
Setu Bandhasana or Bridge Pose is very good for people suffering with thyroid disorders and a very excellent pose for strengthening the back.
Setu Bandhasana is also called two-legged table or Dwi Pada Pitham. It stretches the back, neck, and chest and relaxes the whole body.
The preparatory asana for Setu Bandhasana is Shava Asana.
Steps to Do Setu Bandhasana or Bridge Pose
- To practice Setu Bandhasana or Bridge Pose, lie on your back on floor or on yoga mat.
- Bend your knees in such a way that the sole of the feet should lie flat on the ground.
- There should be a distance of around 6 inches between your feet and your knees.
- The arms should rest on the floor alongside your body in such a way that the palms are lying flat and touching the ground
- Press your back into the mat or the floor while practicing Setu Badasana.
- Next step to do Setu Bandhasana or Bridge Pose is, while inhaling lift your lower back, then middle back and the upper back gradually.
- Now press in to the mat with the heels of your feet to balance the body.
- Gently roll in your shoulders, and touch your chin to your chest. Make sure that you do not lower your chin while touching the chin to the chest. The chest should be raised in such a way that it touches the chin on its own.
- While doing Setu Bandhasana or Bridge Pose, the weight of your body will be supported with your shoulders, arms and your feet.
- The thighs will be parallel to each other and to the floor while being in this pose.
- Point to note while doing Setu Bandhasana or Bridge Pose is that you have to make sure the entire weight of the body is on the shoulders and arms and not on the back.
- The whole weight of the body should be distributed and not concentrated on one part of the body.
- If you want to go further up and take the pose to next level, you can interlace your fingers with each other and push the floor with your hands to raise your torso even further.
- This is the final Setu Bandasana or Bridge pose yoga asana.
- Keep breathing/maintain breathing in this pose.
- Stay in this pose for a few breaths or 20-30 breaths or for as long as you feel comfortable.
- While exhaling, roll one shoulder and then the other and lower your body and come to the original position.
- Bring your lower back down, then the middle back and the upper back.
- Breathe deeply once you come down to the original pose.
- Straighten your legs on the floor or on the yoga mat.
- Relax in one of the relaxing yogasanas like Shavasana.
Benefits of Practicing Setu Bandasana or Bridge Pose
- Setu Bandasana or Bridge Pose is very beneficial for people suffering with thyroid disorders.
- Setu Bandasana also helps in getting rid of respiratory disorders like Asthma.
- It tones the lumbar region of the spine and the Achilles tendon.
- It is also beneficial for people with high blood pressure.
- It helps in getting rid of Osteoporosis and Sinusitis.
- Setu Bandasana or Bride Pose Yoga Asana also helps in getting rid of menstrual pain and menstrual disorders.
- It strengthens the back muscles.
- Setu Bandasana calms the mind, reduces stress, anxiety and helps get rid of depression.
- It helps in improving digestion and helps get rid of constipation when practiced regularly.
- It also helps in getting rid of extra fat from thighs and belly.
- It helps in improving blood circulation throughout the body.
Precautions to Be Taken While Practicing Setu Bandasana or Bridge Pose
- People suffering from Glaucoma and retinal detachments should not practice Setu Bandasana or Bridge Pose Yoga Asana.
- People with severe back and neck injuries should not practice Setu Bandasana.
- People using blood thinners should also not practice Setu Bandasana as the inversions can develop headache in such individuals.
- People with severe back problems should also not practice this asana.
- Pregnant women can do this asana without raising the torso completely. But Setu Bandasana should be practiced by pregnant women under proper guidance of a yoga instructor.
Tips to Practice Setu Bandasana or Bridge Pose
- Make sure that while you roll your shoulders do not pull them away from your ears. Rather, lift and take the top of the shoulders towards the ears while pushing the inside of the shoulders away from the spine.
- If you find it very difficult to raise your pelvis and hold it above the ground, you can use a block and keep it below your sacrum to support the body. As you practice, you can gradually practice without the block.
- You should never over exert your body while practicing Setu Bandasana or Bridge Pose. Go as far above as your body allows and as far as you feel comfortable. Beginners should master basic asanas first and then come to practicing Setu Bandasana.