Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

Posted: May 26, 2018

Bridge Pose Setu Bandhasana (SAY-tuh-bun-DHAHS-ana) — energizing backbend that resembles a bridge. The pose gets its name from the Sanskrit words, Setu, meaning bridge, Bandha, meaning lock, and asana, meaning pose.

Level of Difficulty: Beginner

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. To begin, lie on your back.

  2. Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor in a parallel position in line with your sitting bones, about a foot’s distance away from your hips.

  3. Place your arms by your sides with your palms facing down.

  4. As you inhale, begin to roll your spine upward as you lift your hips toward the sky. You will feel the lower, middle, and upper back sequentially peel off the mat. Support the weight of your body through your feet, ankles, and thighs rooting down into the ground.

  5. Squeeze your buttocks to keep a lift through your hips and keep your legs in a parallel position without collapsing or splaying outward.

  6. Maintain an easy breath as you strengthen your body in this pose.

  7. Hold the posture for 1-2 minutes and then release on an exhalation.


  • Strengthens the back muscles
  • Stretches the neck, chest, and spine
  • Calms the nervous system
  • Expands the lungs
  • Improves digestion
  • Relieves symptoms of menopause and menstruation
  • Helpful with asthma, thyroid issues, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and sinusitis


  • Back or neck injury


  • To increase the challenge: Bring your arms underneath your back by rolling your shoulders under and clasping the hands together, lifting the torso higher. You can also support your back with the palms of your hands.

Preparatory Poses and Follow Up Poses

  • Cobra Pose | Bhujangasana (Preparatory)
  • Standing Backward Bend | (Preparatory)
  • Cat-Cow Pose | Marjaryasana-Bitilasana (Preparatory)
  • Full Wheel Pose | Urdhva Dhanurasana (Follow Up)
  • Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose | Viparita Karani (Follow Up)

Browse our entire yoga poses library and learn more about each yoga pose in detail.

While a regular yoga practice can result in improved health, know that it is not a substitute for medical treatment. It is important to learn and practice yoga under the supervision of a trained teacher. In the case of a medical condition, practice yoga after consulting a doctor. Do you need information on courses? Contact us at to find a  Sri Sri Yoga course at an Art of Living Center near you.

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