As we strive to stay in shape, managing stress is another essential factor that protects us from developing various diseases and maintain our overall health. That’s when Bridge Pose comes in to not only benefit our physical health but also promote our mental well-being.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
As the title suggests, bridge pose enables our body to the take the shape of a bridge as we curve our spine and raise our hips to tone and strengthen our muscles. In Sanskrit, “Setu” means bridge and “Bandha” means to bind or lock, giving this pose its apt name.
A more intermediate to advanced level pose, bridge pose allows us to test our balance and fuels our body with energy to keep us strong and motivated through our fitness regimes.
Bridge Pose Directions:
Follow the steps below to help you practice this pose with comfort and ease:
- Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet planted firmly on the mat, hip-width distance apart. Keep your arms at your sides with palms faced down on the mat.
- Try to bring your heels as close to your hands as you can as you try to touch your heels with your fingers (it’s okay if you are not able to touch).
- Inhale to lift your hips towards the ceiling as you gently roll your spine off the mat. Press your shoulders and arms down on the mat as you lift your chest upward.
- Breathe regularly and hold the pose for 5 inhale-exhale cycles.
- Slowly release to come back to rest on your back.
- Repeat the bridge pose for at least 10 rounds.
Bridge Pose Variations:
Add a block underneath your hips if you are finding it hard to raise your hips. This block will help to support your weight and, with more practice, you will build enough strength to practice this pose without a block.
To add variation to the pose, interlace your fingers behind your back as you press down with your arms and shoulders to lift your lower body upwards.
Benefits of Bridge Pose:
Bridge pose comes with its own set of benefits and advantages to the mind and body that specifically benefits the spine and the muscles in the surrounding area.
Some added benefits of bridge pose include the following:
- Boosts flexibility of the spine
- Improves nervous system function
- Stimulates digestion
- Improves endocrine function
- Strengthens back muscles and shoulders
- Strengthens legs including the thighs and calves
- Energizes the body
- Strengthens core and lower body
- Lengthens the spine
Bridge Pose Precautions:
There are a few contradictions with practicing bridge pose. Make sure to get the green light from your doctor before attempting bridge pose, especially if you are recovering from any injuries or suffer from any chronic conditions.
Bridge pose should be avoided under the following circumstances:
- Severe migraines
- If you are pregnant
- Weak stomach or stomach problems
- Chronic injury to the knees, back, or shoulders
1. How can one practice bridge pose?
Bridge pose starts by lying down on your mat. By following the steps mentioned above, one can master the techniques of bridge pose in no time.
Updated by Siya Rajan on 06/26/2018
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Bridge Pose. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.tummee.com/yoga-poses/bridge-pose
Bridge. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.yogabasics.com/asana/bridge/