Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Sethubandasana, Bridge, Half Wheel)
Setu Bandha or the bridge pose can be performed in following way;
- To perform this asana lie back flat on the floor in supine position in a straight line.
- Relax your arms by the sides with your palms facing upwards.
- Bend your knees, placing the soles of your feet flat on the floor.
- Bring your heels close in towards your buttocks, placing parallel keeping them hip width apart, and your toes pointing forwards.
- And your knees must be pointing upwards towards the ceiling.
- Breathe in now raise your buttocks and the back of the body up off the floor.
- Now push the soles of your feet into the floor, tightening your buttocks and the thigh muscles now push your pelvis, hips and the front of the body upwards towards the ceiling.
- While doing so the body is lifted upwards resting on the shoulders.
- Breathe out place your arms below the body, bend your elbows below the body, bending the elbows and placing the palms of your hands onto the back of your waist. The upper arms stay in the contact with the floor.
- Now walk the heels keeping them hips width apart closer in towards the shoulders and push the pelvis, hips and the front of the body further upwards towards the ceiling.
- Extending and pushing the knees forwards towards the feet.
- Relax your shoulders and back of the head on the floor. Tuck your chin towards the chest to lengthen the back of the neck as you lift yourself up you shall also feel the curve in your back.
- Hold this posture for a while and breathe normally, balancing the body weight on the soles of your feet, shoulders and the back of the head.
- Breathe out bring the arms down by the sides with palms facing downwards. Push the palms and the arms into the floor and slowly uncurl the spine from the top to the bottom down onto the floor.
- Relax the back on the floor, stretch the legs straight out in the front of the body and relax the arms by the sides.
The benefits of this asana are:
- Opens up and expands the chest. It increases the lung capacity of the lungs and increases the intake of oxygen.
- This asana helps in the perfusion of the lungs with increased oxygen intake and increased blood supply.
- Evens helps in various respiratory problems.
- Flexes the spine.
- Helps in toning up of the nervous system.
- Strengthens the muscles of legs and thighs.
- Also tones up hips and thighs.
- Helps in the shapening of buttocks.
Certain precautionary measures that are to be followed while performing this asana are:
- Should not be practiced if you re suffering from severe abdominal problems.
- Should not also be practiced if you have stiff or arthritic hips.
- Must be performed carefully if you are having any of the back or the knee problems.