Yoga Pose -The Bridge (Setu Bandhasana)
The Bridge pose is also known as Setu Bandhasana, which means construction of a bridge. In this posture, the whole body forms an arch which is supported at one end by the crown of the head and at the other on the feet, hence the name.
When the Bridge is performed immediately after the Plough pose it acts as a gentle counter pose to complement the benefits of Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana) and the Plough (Halasana). It releases any tension that may have built up in the thoracic (part from the neck to waist) and lumbar (lower part of the back) regions of the spine while practicing the two previous asanas.
Tightness in the back and spine results from poor posture, stress and a sedentary lifestyle. This pose is a wonderful way to ease tension in the shoulders, upper and in the lower back. The Bridge can reverse the strain of sitting at a desk or computer all day. It will help to pull back the shoulders, which may tend to roll forward while sitting.
Unlike many backbends, this asana can be hold for longer period of time without risking injury to the lower back, because the back is protected by the working of strong leg muscles.
This asana strengthen the back, arms, shoulders, buttocks and thighs, promoting flexibility of the spine. It strengthens arches of the feet, ankles, hamstrings (tendon behind the knee) and triceps (large muscle at the back of the upper arm) and it rejuvenates tired legs.
The Bridge stretches the chest and the neck. It opens the heart and lungs, stimulates the abdominal organs and regulates the thyroid and endocrine system. It increases blood circulation.
Note: The Bridge is a good preparatory posture for the Wheel pose.
Although the Bridge posture is a safe and excellent asana with huge benefits, there are some health conditions in
which this pose should not be practice.
Three important reasons (out of many) not to do the Bridge:
1) If you have any problem with your knees avoid practicing this pose as it is places a lot of tension on the knees.
2) In case of neck, shoulder or spinal injury this pose should be avoided.
3) Not advised in a last trimester of a pregnancy (6–9 months).
Caution: Always check with your doctor if you have any doubts or concerns regarding the suitability of this pose for you.
Issued in public interest by Subodh Gupta Celebrity Yoga Instructor in Chelsea, Kensington London