Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
Setu Bandhasana, Bridge Pose
सेतुबन्धासन / Setu Bandhāsana
Setu Bandhasana (SET-too BAHN-dah-suh-nuh) realigns the spine, eliminates rounded shoulders and relieves backache. It strengthens the rhomboids, quadriceps and the hip flexors. It brings blood to the pineal, pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands, helping them work more efficiently. This pose stretches the abdominal organs, which in turn improves digestion. It also opens the chest, strengthens the lungs, relieves respiratory conditions and is good for the thyroid.
Like all back extensions, awareness is brought to the back body removing the sluggishness of the body and the dullness of the mind. In the Epic Ramanyana Sethubandha, which is also known as SriRamsetu, was built by Lord Ram’s army in order to cross the ocean to reach Sri Lanka and to save his princess Sita from King Ravana. It has been the marvel of ancient civil engineering technology and science. The bridge was built by many animals crossing the rough and deep sea in between India and Sri Lanka. All those who came to help build the bridge were dedicated and committed to finish the construction. This asana will remind yogis of the goal of yoga: samadhi, total absorption. To achieve this state yogis must be committed to the practice of building a bridge to cross the limitations of the body and the mind. The mind therefore will be able to reflect the higher self.
Avoid this pose if you have any disc injuries. If there is no natural curve in the cervical spine use a folded blanket under the shoulder. Use a block under the sacrum and the heels to straighten the legs.
Going into the Pose
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, OMtimes and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali) and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).