Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

Sanskrit Name: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Setu - Bridge or Dam
Bandha - Lock
Sarvangasa - Support

 English Name: Supported Bridge Pose (Bridge Pose)

How to get in Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

Step 1: Lie down on the floor or preferably on a yoga mat or some type of padding for your neck. Bring you knees up by bringing your feet as close as you can towards your sitting bones so that your fingertips can touch your heels. Make sure that your thighs and feet are parallel.
Step 2: Take a deep breath and exhale, pushing your tailbone upwards. Make sure to press your feet and your arms into the ground driving you upwards.  Keep your butt tight and engage your quadriceps by pushing them upwards into your knee. Make sure that your legs don't open to far, try to keep them parallel.
Step 3: Roll onto the tops of your shoulders so that you open your hearts center and push it upwards. Clasp your hands on the ground underneath your pelvis, making sure that your arms are straight and engaged.
Step 4: Make sure that your knees stay over your heels and your thighs are completely engaged so that your legs are parallel to the ground. Slightly release your chin upwards so that it is not rolling into your neck. Engage all your muscles and make sure to keep opening up while lengthening and pushing your back upwards. As you push farther upwards, try to roll more onto the tops of the shoulders.
Step 5: Hold for however long you need but for beginners try anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute.

How to get out of Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

Step 1: Exhale your breath but don't completely release all your muscles.

Step 2: Slowly role your spine down starting from your shoulders without releasing all at once.

Muscles involved in Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

-       Quadriceps
-       Latisimus Dorsi
-       Gluteus maxiumus
-       Trapezius
-       Abdominas
-       Obliques
-       Triceps
-       Hamstrings

Physical benefits of Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

  Bridge Pose strengthens the spin while increasing spinal flexibility. It also stretches the neck, hips, and chest. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana engages and strengthens the buttock, back, hamstring, and quadriceps and calve muscles. It can improve your blood circulation and enhance your digestive system. The pose can also stimulate abdominal organs, lungs, and thyroid.

Therapeutic benefits of Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

This asan helps relieve cramps and menstrual discomfort for women. It can control the central nervous system, which can help reduce mild depression and stress. Bridge pose can also help cure insomnia, reduce anxiety, and improve digestion. The pose also has therapeutic effects for asthma, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and sinusitis. Most of all, it helps calm the brain and breathing.

How I feel in this Asana

When I'm in bridge pose, I feel very open because my hearts center is opening up and pushing upwards. I can feel my feet connecting with the ground and pushing against it with my whole foot, keeping me sturdy. My buttocks, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves are completely engaged so that my body isn't sagging and is completely straight and strong. My back is stretching without pain and I can feel it working and strengthening. As my shoulders roll onto the tops, I can feel them stretch out and press against the ground, along with my arm. My whole body is engaged and pushing towards the sky, moving everything back in alignment and giving my muscles a good stretch while working them.


Setu Bandha Sarvangasana and it's Benefits