How To Do The Setu Bandha Sarvangasana And What are Its Benefits And Precautions

What is the meaning of Setu Bandha Sarvangasana?

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana is an inverted back bending yoga pose. This supine yoga pose is beneficial in the prevention and management of many diseases and conditions. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana is helpful in the management of thyroid, back pain, neck pain, problems related to the nervous system, etc. Setu means bridge and bandha mean lock or bind. Since it resembles the bridge, it is also known as bridge pose. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana is an effective yoga pose for the health of the spine. It helps to enhance the flexibility of the back and thus good for smooth backbends.

How To Do The Setu Bandha Sarvangasana And What are Its Benefits And Precautions
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana philosophy & origin

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana in Sanskrit maybe breaks like this:  setu means ‘bridge,’ bandha means ‘lock,’ Sarva means ‘all,’ and anga means ‘limbs.’ The pose has been mentioned in the 19th century Sritattvanidhi. The yoga pose has also been mentioned by BKS Iyengar on Light on Yoga; Saraswati Swami Satyananda in Asana, Pranayama Mudra Bandha, and Saraswati Swami Satyananda in A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya.

What strengthens Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

If we closely observe the anatomy and muscular actions of Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, then it can be realized, which body muscles are getting benefitted. If the pose is being practiced properly, the following muscles experience stretching, twisting, and compressing. The focus muscles are:

·         Arms and shoulders

·         Lower back

·         Biceps and triceps

·         Abs

·         Hamstring

·         Hips

·         Knees

·         Neck

·         Pelvic

·         Psoas

·         Quadriceps


How to do Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

The simple steps and technique to practice this yoga pose is given below:

  • First, lie down as Shavasana or in a supine position.
  • Your arms should be on the sides of your thighs.
  • Now, fold your knees and clasp your ankle with your palms.
  • The distance between the feet should be 10 inches.
  • With inhaling raise your back in a relaxed manner as possible as you can. You raise your back in such a way that the neck gets stretched and massaged.
  • One can also be on toes by raising the heels. It gives more stretching to the back as well as the neck.
  • Maintain the pose initially for 30 seconds and gradually increases its duration.
  • Bring your back down with a deep exhale and have a rest.
  • Repeat this process 2-3 times.


What are the benefits of Setu Bandha Sarvangasana?

Some of the important benefits of the pose are:

  • Boon for thyroid patient. This yoga pose should be done on regular basis by patients who are having thyroid conditions. The practicing of the pose gives a suitable massage to the neck, which in turn acts on thyroid glands thereby helpful in releasing of required hormone and managing thyroid.
  • Relieves back pain: This is one of the best yoga poses to treat back pain. The practicing of the yoga pose gives the spine a backward movement and correct stretching, which is beneficial in easing backache and strengthens the back. The stretch imparted to the back muscles removes sluggish and depleted blood. On completing the asana fresh blood is soaked up into the muscles in the same way that water is absorbed by a sponge. This regenerates both the back muscles and the all-important spinal nerves.
  • Neck ache: Those people who suffer from neck ache or general stiffness in the spine will gain relief through the regular practice of this asana.
  • Tennis elbow: If you are suffering from tennis elbow problems, you should try to practice this yoga pose under the supervision of a yoga therapist. Raising the back by holding the ankles, gives soothing stretching to the elbows. Regular practice with care will be helpful in treating tennis elbows.
  • Spinal health: The spine is given a wonderful backward bend, loosening up the vertebrae and stimulating the spinal nerves. The regular practice tones the associated spinal nerves.
  • Mind-body coordination: The yoga pose provides good health to nerves. The synergy of the nerves helps in the smooth coordination of the body and mind.
  • Improves digestion: It applies a good massage to the digestive organs, which in turn to stimulate to release of enzymes and hormones thus good for better digestion and prevention of indigestion and constipation.  
  • Prevents asthma: The practice of the yoga pose ensures the expansion of the chest and thoracic cavity. Regular practice is helpful in the expansion of the lungs and ailments related to the respiratory system.

Precautions of Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

There are some cautions and contraindications related with this pose

  • Avoid practicing if somebody has neck pain.
  • In back injury, it should be skipped.
  • It also shouldn’t be practiced if you have knee pain.
  • Avoid it during a shoulder injury.
  • Avoid turning your head right or left while you are in the pose.

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