Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) : How To Do It, Benefits & Precautions

Bridge Pose, also known as Setu Bandha Sarvangsana in Sanskrit, is a yoga pose that involves lifting the hips and chest off the ground while lying on your back. It is a backbend that helps to strengthen the back muscles, stretch the chest and neck, and improve overall posture.

This pose is often associated with the concept of the heart chakra, Anahata, which is located in the center of the chest and associated with love, compassion, and emotional balance. In Bridge Pose, the chest is expanded and lifted, allowing the heart to be more open and receptive.

This pose can also represent the bridge between the physical and spiritual aspects of the self. By grounding down through the feet and lifting up through the heart, we connect the body and the mind, and bridge the gap between the material and spiritual worlds. This can help us to feel more grounded, present, and connected to our inner selves and to others.

Additionally, the act of lifting the hips and chest up can be seen as a metaphor for rising above challenges and obstacles in life. Just as the body is lifted up, the mind can also be lifted out of negative thought patterns and emotions. The pose can remind us that we have the strength and power to rise above difficulties and see things from a higher perspective.

Overall, Bridge Pose can be a powerful tool for physical, emotional, and spiritual growth, helping us to connect more deeply with ourselves and others, and to overcome obstacles in our lives.

How to perform the Bridge pose?

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground, hip-distance apart.
  2. Place your arms alongside your body with your palms facing down.
  3. Inhale and press your feet and arms down into the floor, and lift your hips up towards the ceiling.
  4. Roll your shoulders back and underneath your body, interlacing your fingers and pressing your arms down into the mat.
  5. Lengthen your tailbone towards your knees and keep your thighs and feet parallel to each other.
  6. Hold the pose for several deep breaths, focusing on lifting your chest towards your chin and pressing down through your feet and arms.
  7. To release, exhale and slowly lower your hips and spine back down to the ground.

It’s important to engage your core and glutes to support the pose, and to avoid overextending your neck or shoulders. If you have any neck or spine injuries, it’s best to consult with a qualified yoga instructor

Benefits of Bridge pose

  1. Strengthens the back and core muscles: Bridge Pose helps to strengthen the muscles in the back, glutes, and core, which can improve posture and reduce the risk of injury.
  2. Stretches the chest and neck: This pose stretches the chest, shoulders, and neck, which can improve breathing, reduce tension in the upper body, and alleviate headaches.
  3. Stimulates the thyroid gland: The pressure on the neck in this pose can stimulate the thyroid gland, which can improve metabolism and energy levels.
  4. Calms the mind and reduces stress: Bridge Pose can help to calm the mind, reduce stress, and improve overall mental wellbeing.
  5. Improves digestion: The gentle compression of the abdomen in this pose can stimulate digestion and alleviate constipation.
  6. Opens the heart chakra: This pose can help to open the heart chakra, which can improve emotional wellbeing and enhance feelings of love and compassion.

Precautions of Bridge pose

While Bridge Pose can be a safe and beneficial yoga posture for many people, there are some precautions and contraindications to keep in mind. Here are some of the key precautions to be aware of:

  1. Neck injuries: If you have a neck injury or condition, such as whiplash, cervical spondylosis, or a herniated disc, you should avoid this pose or practice it with the guidance of a qualified yoga instructor.
  2. Back injuries: If you have a back injury or condition, such as a herniated disc or sciatica, you should avoid this pose or practice it with caution and the guidance of a qualified yoga instructor.
  3. High blood pressure: If you have high blood pressure, you should avoid holding your breath or straining in this pose, and should consult with a qualified yoga instructor or healthcare provider before attempting it.
  4. Pregnancy: If you are pregnant, you should modify this pose by using a block or blanket under your hips, and should avoid overextending your spine.
  5. Knee injuries: If you have a knee injury or condition, such as arthritis, you should place a block or blanket between your thighs in this pose to avoid overextending your knees.
  6. Neck discomfort: If you experience discomfort or pain in your neck during this pose, you should come out of the pose or modify it by supporting your head with a folded blanket.

To know more about this posture, please contact us to join our upcoming Yoga Teacher Training in Bali at Bali Yoga Ashram which gives holistic information on all the Yoga postures.