Setu bandhasana is pronounced set-too-bahn-DAHS-ana. The term “setu” means bridge; “banda” means lock. The bridge pose is a joy for body, mind, and spirit. It requires a good degree of coordination to initiate and achieve. When executed thoughtfully, each stretch and movement is satisfying and rewarding — even before reaching the final pose. A fresh blood supply to the brain relaxes the mind, lifts the spirits, and provides a sense of well-being. This asana revitalizes the nerves, takes pressure off the heart, massages the digestive organs, relieves back strain, and brings energy to tired legs. All-in-all, it is a most wonderful yoga pose.

How To Practice

Begin flat on the floor, arms by your sides. Bend your knees until you feel your feet strong and flat on the floor, about hip-width apart. Slowly lift your torso off the floor, supported by your feet and your shoulders, thus beginning to form your bridge.

Bring your arms close and hands interlocked directly under the center of your raised torso. Slowly continue to raise your torso into the air, exaggerating the bridge being formed. Feel the stretch in your upper legs and also in your shoulders. Rest your head comfortably on the floor without constricting your neck. Feel your chest open and your breath even out. You may wish to enter in and out of this pose several times rather than hold it — going deeper each time.

After completing the pose, hug your knees and roll from side to side. Notice your refreshed state of being — body, mind, and spirit.

 

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