The Bridge Pose is the western name for Setu Bandha Sarvangasana. In Sanskrit Language, Setu means Bridge, Bandha means Caught, Sarva means All, Anga means Limbs, while Asana means Pose or Position.
It is pronounced as - SAY-too BAHN-duh shar-Vahn-GAHS-uh-nuh Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) is an inverted back bending exercise that is a part of Hatha Yoga and all other modern yoga schools.This shoulder-supported yoga position is first mentioned in Sritattvanidhi (South Indian Scriptures) in the middle of the 19th Century (around 1868). It is a restorative yoga pose that extends the spine, thereby getting rid of most back problems and pains.
The Idea of The Bridge Pose
In the yoga curriculum across the world, it is also considered an easy-to-do stretching and relaxation posture, variations of this pose are practiced to calm down the body after performing different yoga exercises.
This depends on your comfort and flexibility levels; you can use different sized blocks to perform this pose; make sure the support you use is firm and steady as it bears your whole body weight.
This pose is very beneficial for posture-related problems, better breathing due to chest opening, and different chronic back pains. Apart from this, it also strengthens the hamstrings, core, and back portion of the performers.
Steps: How To Perform A Bridge Pose
Start the Bridge Pose by lying on the floor with the back facing downward and knees in a bent position. Your feet and arms should be pressed against the floor. Stretch the arms alongside the ground or yoga mat, with your palms in a flat position.
Now, exhale deeply, and slowly raise your hips in the upward direction. Your tailbone should be pulled towards the pubic bone, maintaining a balance with lifted hips. You should make sure not to exert too much pressure on the buttocks or compress the glutes unnecessarily.
Rollback the shoulders under the body in a backward position, hang on to your hands while slowly extending the arms under the pelvis area. Try to stretch your arms in a straight line to the maximum while keeping your forearms pressed against the floor. Move your knuckles in the direction of your heels.
In this step, your feet and thighs should be parallel to each other, don’t drop the knees or let the outer edges of your feet roll outwards. Your bodyweight should be evenly distributed amongst all the corners of your feet. Now, straighten the tailbone in the back direction of your knees.
Hold this posture for around 60 seconds. To withdraw from this pose, lose the grip of your hands and put the palms down on the mat (in a linear position to your body). While exhaling, pull back the spine back to the floor. Make sure both your knees drop simultaneously.
Preparatory poses for Bridge Pose include Bhujangasana and Urdhva Mukha Svanasana and Virasana. As follow up poses you can start with Bhujangasana, Salamba Sarvangasana, Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, Urdhva Dhanurasana.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long is The Duration of Bridge Pose?
You can perform the Bridge Pose for around one minute. It is pretty helpful in losing the fat around your belly. It also strengthens and gains the muscles in the neck, hips, spine, and chest.
When To Avoid Performing Bridge Pose?
You should not attempt this pose if you are suffering from back or neck injuries. Plus, a remarkable fact is that almost all yoga or other stretching exercises help in gaining height.
Can Bridge Pose Cause Injuries?
If not done correctly, it can hurt the back and knees. Despite this, it helps with back pain. Just make sure always to consult an experienced yoga or medical expert to evaluate your condition.
While performing the full version of this pose, do not put too much force on your shoulders or stretch your neck; doing so can result in injuries. While you extend the arms under your torso, try to keep your shoulder blades together.
The neck should be in a neutral state while performing this pose to avoid injuries.
Moreover, this pose can help to stretch the muscles in the neck, chest, and spinal areas. Plus, it strengthens digestive organs to improve the digestion of the performers, a huge win.