Asana leaves a residue in its wake. We can feel its effects not just physically, but mentally and spiritually as well.

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (bridge pose) has definite physical effects. Shoulder, back and leg muscles are strengthened. The muscles of the belly and chest are invited to stretch and open.

But, what I love the most about this pose, and any other asana in which the heart is higher than the head, is the residue it leaves on my mind. It calms the busyness of my intellect. It helps me to connect with my heart and my gut. It quiets my impulses and allows me to hear my intuition.

As you practice this pose, notice how it impacts every aspect of your being.

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)

Lie down on your back with your knees bent. Draw the feet in towards the buttocks so the shins are perpendicular to the floor.

It is tempting to turn the feet out. So, make sure the feet are parallel to each other and the knees are directly over the feet. Maintain this alignment throughout the entire pose.

Place the upper arms on the mat beside your ribs and bend the elbows at a right angle, so the palms are facing each other.

On an exhale, energetically (they won’t actually move) draw the feet toward your hips as you begin to lift the pelvis off the floor. Imagine your hips are moving toward your feet while your chest is moving toward your head.

Continue breathing as you gently roll the right, then the left shoulder under. Keep your gaze straight up at the ceiling; do not turn your head.

You can remain in this position or experiment with one of one of the alternate arm positions below.

After a few breaths, release your hands back to neutral. Exhale as you lower the back down, rolling down from your shoulder blades to your pelvis.

Hands on Your Back Variation 

Gently place your hands on your back, with the thumbs on the side body. Press the upper arms downward as you lift the chest up higher.

Interlocked Hands Variation

 Lengthen your arms out along the mat under your lifted back. Once again, roll each shoulder under and interlock the fingers. Press the arms into the mat as you lift and open the chest.

P.S. This post is part of a series on the basics of many of the most common poses. Look here for additional posts in this series.

Where do you feel the residue of this pose? What do you love, or find challenging, about bridge pose?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *