Bridge pose or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana is known as a beginning backbend that helps stretch your thighs and opening of your chest. The arms and legs tend to create a locked bridge with the body when they are in this pose. This particular pose can also be used to prepare the deeper backbends or be practiced as a restorative pose with a block.
Bridge pose instructions
- You have to place your feet on the floor by lying on your back, having a comfortable distance away from your hips.
- Place the arms next to the ribcage. Bend your elbows about 90 degrees so that the fingers are pointed towards the ceiling, or you can also hold on to the outer edges of the mat.
- Press the back of your shoulders when you inhale, and by keeping your feet on the floor, lift the hips.
- Actively press your inner feet down, and by engaging your inner thighs, try to keep your knees from spreading out wide.
- Try to slide the shoulder blades down the back and lengthen your tailbone while keeping your neck neutral.
- Clasp your hands behind the back and try to stay between 5 to 15 breaths.
- To come out of the pose, release your arms and roll the spine down on an out-breath.
Bridge pose benefits
There are benefits of every asana, and with repeated practice, you can have a slow change in body and the internal organs connected to the particular posture. The following are the benefits of Setu Bandha Sarvangasana.
- The primary benefit of the bridge pose is that it opens the heart, chest, and shoulders. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana also stretches the back of the neck, spine, thighs, and hip flexors.
- In this pose, your heart gets higher than the head and is known as a mild inversion, while it is less strenuous than the other inversions like headstand.
- Bridge pose also offers relief from fatigue, stress, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, and mild depression.
- With the bridge pose, your mind is calmed, and this is known as therapeutic for those who suffer from high blood pressure. The lung capacity is increased as the chest opens, which is therapeutic for those who have asthma.
- The bridge pose also stimulates the abdominal organs and thyroid glands. This is one of the main bridge post benefits as it improves digestion and regulates metabolism.
- As bridge pose stretches the shoulders and revitalizes the legs, it can no doubt be a rejuvenating pose, especially for those who spend their entire day driving or sitting in front of the computer.
It can be a powerful lesson to practice bridge pose or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana because you have to slow down and listen to your body. It is your shoulder, spine, and thighs that will tell you how far you can take this pose. The pose will open up more when you push less. By turning your awareness inwards, you will be noticing that your body releases its grip when you are not forcing it.