A good stance, controlled movements, and deep breathing – these are the most crucial things you need to perform backbends in yoga perfectly. And once done the right way, backbend poses in yoga can open up the window of multiple health benefits.
In this article, we are going to talk about one of the most popular yoga poses that is often taught to beginners. It is none other than Setu Bandhasana. Part of both Hatha Yoga and Modern Yoga, this pose can stretch your back and stimulate your bodily functions.
If you have been planning to do Setubandasana, make sure you read till the end. From its basics to the benefits and steps, this ultimate guide has it all. Take a look!
What is Setu Bandhasana?
Let’s start by understanding the basics. The word Setu Bandhasana is derived from the Sanskrit language where Setu means Bridge, Bandha means Lock or Bind, and Asana means Posture. The pose is called Setu Bandhasana because when you perform it, your body looks like a bridge. Thus, Setu Bandhasana meaning in English is the Bridge Pose. It is also known as a shoulder supported bridge.
Though it is an inverted back-bending asana, Setu Bandhasana is a great pose in yoga for beginners. It mainly targets your spine, hamstrings, glutes, and hip flexors. Moreover, the pose also involves other body parts such as your core, chest, and quadriceps muscles. This rejuvenating pose can calm the mind while stretching your back.
Benefits Of Setu Bandhasana
Setu Bandhasana can offer plenty of benefits if you perform it on a regular basis. Some of the best Setu Bandhasana benefits include:
- Stretches The Body
Without a doubt, the best benefit of Setu Bandhasana is the incredible stretch it offers to your chest, neck, spine, and hips. This helps in removing any muscle tension or stress while improving the circulation of blood.
- Tones The Buttocks and Abs
When you hold your body in the Bridge pose, you also engage your buttocks and ab muscles. This leads to the burning of fat and tones muscles. People who wish to lose weight are also encouraged to perform this yoga in their home workouts.
- Alleviates Stress
Like most yoga poses, Bandhasana also helps in calming your mind and alleviating symptoms of stress and depression. This occurs due to two reasons: proper blood circulation and oxygen supply to your brain and nervous system.
- Stimulates Organs
Along with stretching and strengthening, this yoga also stimulates your abdominal organs and lungs. This is also good yoga to improve the functioning of your thyroid glands.
- Improves Digestion
Since it impacts your abdominal muscles, this yoga also improves your digestion. It can also lower down issues such as constipation and acidity. In fact, if you pair this with a wind-relieving pose (also called Pawanmuktasana), you can also improve your spine and back health.
- Stimulates Your Chakras
Yoga is also a way to stimulate your chakras. Setu Bandhasana yoga, for instance, can stimulate the muladhara (root), visuddha (throat), and anahata (heart) chakras. The root chakra helps you stay connected with yourself while the throat chakra improves your communication and expression. The heart chakra, on the other hand, promotes feelings of warmth, compassion and healing.
The list of Setu Bandhasana’s benefits does not end here. It can also help in:
- Relieving symptoms of menopause, asthma, and high blood pressure
- Reducing fatigue
- Preventing backache, neckache, and headache
- Strengthening back muscle
- Improves body posture
How To Do Setu Bandhasana
Performing Setu Bandhasana is quite easy. However, it is suggested that you should master the preparatory poses before trying them yourself. Here are some of the poses you must try to improve flexibility and mobility for Bandhasana yoga:
- Bhujangasana or the Cobra Pose
- Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana or the Upward Facing Dog
- Virasana or the Hero Pose
Once you have learnt the above poses, follow the step-by-step guide mentioned below to do Setu Bandhasana:
- Lie down on your back comfortable with a yoga mat beneath you.
- Now, bend your knees and keep at least a hip-width distance between your feet. Do not raise your feet off the ground.
- Place your arms beside your body with palms flat on the floor.
- Take a deep breath and slowly lift your back. Keep raising it till only your shoulders are touching the floor. Support your body on your arms, shoulders, and feet. Also, do not forget to engage your buttocks and abs.
- This is the position where your body looks like a bridge.
- Keep breathing normally and slowly and hold the pose for at least 30-60 seconds.
- To release it, exhale and lower the back.
In case you wish to add more challenge to your yoga session, shift to a complex variation – Ardha Setu Bandhasana. Also known as the Half Bridge Pose, this pose requires significant strength and flexibility. It is recommended that you should talk to a trainer or yoga expert to perform this yoga.
There are also online videos available that can help you learn a bit more about Setu Bandhasana and its variations.
Safety and Precautions
No doubt that Setu Bandhasana is one of the easiest poses to perform but it is also important to learn about precautions and safety tips. These include:
- Always perform a warm-up and wear comfortable clothes.
- Do not eat heavy meals at least an hour before the yoga. Experts suggest that doing yoga on empty stomach during the morning is the best.
- If you have any neck, back, or shoulder injuries, avoid this yoga.
- If you are pregnant, perform this yoga under an expert’s supervision.
- Avoid moving your head left or right while doing this yoga.
- If you have had any surgery in the knee, back, or legs, talk to a doctor before starting any yoga session.
Backbending yoga poses such as Setu Bandhasana should be a must on your yoga-to-do list if you have a job that requires you to sit for long hours. It will not just alleviate your back pain but also improve your overall health, Nowadays, there are also online yoga classes where you can learn different yoga poses from the top trainers. All you need to do is sign up and start!
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