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setu bandha

Every now and then, I like to remind my readers about this healing pose: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or the supported bridge pose.

Using props make this a restorative version of the more active bridge.

I’ve been in the pose every day this week as a way to counter the low back compression I’ve experienced from gardening. Part of why the pose is so good for the lower back and sacrum is because it stretches the abdominal area, a part of your body that tenses when your back is tight. That’s going to be good for your digestion, too.

Another great advantage is that the pose is soothing for the nervous system. You know how stressed you start to feel when your back has been sore for some time. This pose can calm your mind, as well as helping to reduce nervous exhaustion. 

Additional benefits for Setu Bandha Sarvangasana:

  • opens your chest, lungs and shoulders
  • rests your heart
  • relieves eye or ear problems and headaches

Here’s how you do it:

  • Lie down with your hips and spine on bolster. Adjust the bolster so that the bottom tips of your shoulder blades drape over the edge of the bolster and your shoulders rest on the floor
  • Use a belt on your thighs to keep them internally rotated.
  • Place your feet on block that you’ve arranged at the wall
  • Relax your arms, elbows bent to form a right angle
  • Close your eyes and stay for 5 minutes or more

If there’s any discomfort in your lower back, try tucking your buttocks under and/or having your feet a little higher at the wall.

For a video demonstration of this pose:

[youtube id=Jg0Jqpatq8w]