Bridge Pose (Setu Bandasana)

Bridge Pose (Sanskrit name: Setu Bandasana) is a great backbending posture for beginners.

While typically done at the end of a practice, it can also be used a warm-up exercise for the spine at the beginning. This posture will strengthen the spine and muscles of the back and hips while stretching the abdomen, hip flexors, and chest.

Performed reclined on the back, bridge pose can be stimulating for energy and also calming for the nervous system at the same time.

Caution: If there are any neck or lower back injuries present, it is best to take caution with this exercise.

How to Do Bridge Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1

Start lying down on your back in the supine position. Bend your knees so that the heels are in line with the sitting bones, about a foot away from the hips. Bring the arms by the sides with the palms face downward.

Step 2

On an inhalation, begin to imprint you lower spine into the mat. Tuck the tailbone under and peel the spine off the floor completely. Press down through the feet and hands for support. Keep the legs in parallel without splaying outward or falling inward. Tone the abdomen.

Step 3

To deepen, roll the shoulders underneath and clasp the hands together. Press the arms firmly into the ground and soften the neck. Hold for 5 breaths and release on an exhalation.

Bridge Pose Benefits

  • Strengthens the spine, back muscles, gluteal muscles, and legs
  • Energizing while calming for the nervous system
  • Stretches the abdomen, chest, and groin
  • Reduces lower back pain
  • Improves lung capacity
  • Helps regulate digestion
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