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Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
(Shoulder Supported Bridge)

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana pose

How to perform Shoulder Supported Bridge

Start by lying down. Press your shoulders into the floor, using them as leverage to lift your hips up to capacity. Use your hands to support your back and allow yourself to go into a deeper stretch. You can also place a block below your lumbar spine for support.

What is Setu Bandha Sarvangasana?

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana is very similar to Chatushpadasana. Both poses are used for strengthening the shoulder and upper back muscles as a way of preparing the practitioner for Salamba Sarvangasana (Headstand). It is a combination of a mild backbend and inversion, and it cultivates strength and flexibility in your whole back body as you resist the force of gravity. It is important to keep your shoulders rolled back onto the floor and maintain your hips in a neutral and aligned position.

A block can be placed beneath your sacrum to offer additional support for your hips if you need to draw extra focus to opening up your chest and shoulder area.

When to use Setu Bandha Sarvangasana?

This pose is often used at the end of the practice since, despite being mildly strenuous, it is also known for its pronounced restorative effects, making it perfect for the cool-down. It allows your blood to flow back down to your extremities, thus evening out the energy balance in your body.

Placing a block under your sacrum can enhance the calming effects of this pose, whereas practicing Setu Bandha Sarvangasana in its unsupported variation can help bring radiance and energy to your body, and to tone the abdominal muscles and glutes.

Video sequences that include this pose