The word Setu Bandha comes from the Sanskrit word “Setu” which means Bridge; and Bandha meaning contraction or bind. Hence, when we try this pose our body looks like a bridge.
Setu Bandhasana is a great to pose that can help solve any number of ailments. From developing strength in your core and glutes (which helps alleviate low back pain) to opening the chest. Bridge Pose is an excellent beginning backbend which is a versatile pose to help learn proper alignment and strengthening for more advanced back bending poses. There are so many variations for this pose that anyone can practice it.
Getting into bridge pose
Lay on your back, bend your knees at ninety degrees and place your feet flat on the floor, hip width apart and parallel. You may choose to have a folded blanked under your shoulders to support your neck. Arms are by your sides with your palms facing down. As you exhale, press your inner feet and arms actively into the floor, and your pelvis up toward the ceiling. Slowly lift the buttocks off the floor. Be sure to keep your legs parallel and not let your knees splay apart.
To take the pose deeper, you can roll your shoulders and chest open, and clasp your hands under 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. Don’t move your head from side to side, but gently lift your chin way from the sternum slightly and open your chest by pressing the shoulder blades into the floor. This will allow you to press the top of the sternum toward the chin. Keep firming the outer arms, broadening the shoulder blades, and lifting the chest.
Hold the pose for 30 seconds or a minute if you can, and release with an exhale, rolling the spine one vertebrae at a time onto the floor.
Those having injuries to the neck, shoulder and spine should not practice this pose.
Pregnant women should always consult a doctor in the last 6-9 months of pregnancy before practicing Bridge pose to avoid any complications.
Always consult a doctor first before beginning any exercise regimen, including yoga.
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