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Setu Bandhasana

Bridge Pose

"I offer every thought as a bridge to divine grace."

Se-tu Ban-dhaa-sa-na Setu = bridge; bandha = lock


Place a folded blanket on the floor and lie on the blanket in savasana, with the tops of your shoulders 2-3 inches below the folded edge of the blanket, arms directly alongside your body on the blanket.

Bend your knees and slide your feet in, about 4-6 inches from your buttocks. Keep your feet hip-width apart throughout this pose. Firmly tuck your pelvis and, on an inhalation, press the balls of your feet into the floor and slowly lift your spine off the floor, one vertebra at a time. Come up as far as is comfortable. Bring your palms together behind your back and interlace your fingers. Roll your shoulders under, one side at a time, opening your chest without closing off the back of your body.

To complete the pose, release your hands and grasp your ankles. Your shins should be vertical; if your knees are farther from your head than are your ankles, then either press up farther into the pose (pelvis firmly tucked) or release your ankles, step your feet away from your head, and interlace the fingers once again.

Breathe smoothly and naturally as you hold the pose. Mentally affirm, "I offer every thought as a bridge to divine grace."

To exit, inhale and tuck your pelvis, then exhale and slowly lower your spine back to the floor, one vertebra at a time.

Pause in savasana and integrate the effects of the pose. Or if your lower back needs a release, proceed immediately to a counterpose (e.g., hug your knees to your chest and roll side to side).