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Shoulder supported bridge pose (Setu bandha sarvangasana) steps, benefits and precautions

Setu bandha sarvangasana or the shoulder supported bridge pose is an inverted backbending yoga pose. It helps to open your middle and upper back. It is an intermediate level yogasana that helps to stretch your neck, back and chest.

Shoulder supported bridge pose steps, benefits and precautions

Setu bandha sarvangasana meaning

The name setu bandha sarvagansana is composed of five sanskrit words.

  • ‘Setu’ meaning bridge
  • ‘Bandha’ meaning lock
  • ‘Sarva’ meaning all
  • ‘Anga’ meaning body parts
  • ‘Asana’ meaning pose

This pose resembles the structure of a bridge, and therefore, it is named as such. This pose stretches your back, neck, and chest and relaxes your body.

Shoulder supported bridge pose (Setu bandha sarvangasana) steps, benefits and precautions

How to do Shoulder supported bridge pose?

Here is a step by step guide on how to do the Shoulder supported bridge pose or setu bandha sarvangasana.

Step one

Lie flat on your back with your legs straight.

Step two

Bend your knees with your feet on the ground. The distance between your feet should be about the width of your hip. Ensure that your feet are at a comfortable distance from your hips. Please ensure that your knees and ankles are in a straight line.

Your hands should be on the side of your body with the palms facing downward.

Step three

Take a deep breath. Now push the floor with your hands and lift your back from the floor. Lock your chin in your chest.

After you have locked your chin, please don’t try to adjust your neck since it can harm your spine and back. If you need an adjustment, you need to release from the pose and then do it.

Your whole body weight is supported on your feet, shoulders and arms. Tighten your legs, thighs and buttocks. Try to push your back in the upward direction as much as possible.

Step four

Hold on to the posture for about a minute and keep breathing in a normal fashion.

While you are holding the pose, ensure that your feet are in a straight line with your knees and hips. 

Step five

To release the pose exhale and slowly move your buttocks to the ground.

Benefits of Shoulder supported bridge pose

  1. The shoulder supported bridge pose helps in increasing blood circulation throughout your body. It helps in getting rid of any blockage from your arteries through regular practice and helps in reducing chances of cardiac issues.
  2. It helps in providing long term relief from nagging pain in the upper and lower back.
  3. For people who suffer from issues like headache, migraine or insomnia, practicing this asana regularly helps in getting sustained relief.
  4. This asana helps you stretch back, neck and chest.
  5. For people who suffer from breathing issues like Asthma, this asana is very helpful.
  6. Since you stretch your abdominal muscles while performing this asana, it also helps in reducing your body fat.
  7. Setubandha sarvangasana also helps in increasing your shoulder strength.
  8. Regular practice of the bridge pose helps in calming the mind and reduces anxiety and stress.

Contraindications and precautions

  1. The bridge pose should not be practiced by pregnant women.
  2. Anyone who suffers from neck or back injury should avoid this asana as it can lead to aggravated injury.

Related yoga poses to shoulder supported bridge pose

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