Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
The Story Behind the Name:
Bridge Pose — Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (SAY-too BAHN-duh shar-vahn-GAHS-uh-nuh) — is a beginning backbend that helps to open the chest and stretch the thighs. Its Sanskrit name comes from five different words:
- “Setu” — meaning “bridge”
- “Bandha” — meaning “lock”
- “Sarva” — meaning “all”
- “Anga” — meaning “limb”
- “Asana” — meaning “pose”
Bridge pose / Setu Bandha Sarvangasana is one of the important lying face upwards yoga poses which is helpful in treatment of thyroid, back pain, neck pain, problems related with nervous system. When you’re in the pose, your arms and legs create a “locked bridge” with your body. This pose can be used as preparation for deeper backbends. This pose is called Setu Bandha Sarvangasana because in this asana our body looks like a bridge.
Technical details and how to start:
- Start with laying on your back.
- Bend the knees, feet hip-width apart, knees in line with your ankles.
- Put your arms flat on the floor and do position you can do at the moment: A, B or C.
- Lift your pelvic up, shoulders and head on the floor.
- Hold the pose for five inhalation and exhalation.
- Release and relax for three breaths.
- Do it three times with three breaths resting between each pose.
- This pose helps strengthen your pelvic floor.
- Holding bridge is similar to doing a Kegel, because you squeeze the same pelvic muscles.
- It is an intense hip flexor stretch.
- It tones the vagina and improves orgasms.
- In case you can not hold the ankles, interlock the fingers under your buttocks with palm pressing each other, or just keep the hand next to your body with palms pressing to the floor.
- People with knee injuries should avoid it.
- Pregnant women should avoid it completely as it leads to excess stress on the uterus.
People who decide to start practising Yoga and who are suffering from any cardiac problem, asthma, back pain, high blood pressure, neck, shoulder or spine injury or any other health related issue, should consult a doctor before starting any yogic activities and eliminate the positions that are not suitable for their particular case. Also, some particular asanas such as inversion asanas are not recommended for female practitioners who are menstruating.