Known also as the bridge, setu bandhasana is a magnificent asana.
The word setu in Sanskrit means precisely “bridge” and bandha means “contraction”, “tension” or “block”. Therefore Setu Bandhasana is literally translated as “the position of the contracted bridge” , or the bridge pose.


Let us now look at how to approach this position and carry it out correctly:

  • Lie on the mat belly up and with your arms along your body.
  • Bend the knees and approach your heels as much as possible to your buttocks, until your hands are able to grasp your ankles.
  • Try to keep your feet parallel to each other and spaced between them, trying to position them at the same width of the hips.
  • Breathe deeply and during exahalation, press with the soles of your feet on the ground and lift your hips.
  • You need at this point arch the back and lift the pelvic area as much as possible from the ground, you can do so by contracting the muscles of your back, gluteus and thighs.
  • With your body trying to form an arch that goes from the shoulders to the knees. The shoulders and the soles of the feet must remain firmly on the ground just as two pillars on which rests the bridge.
  • Press down on the soles of your feet to lift the hips and press down on the shoulders, elbows and wrists to form a solid support base.
  • Try to lift the chest towards the chin, so as to form a continuous arch along the whole spine.
  • Breathe normally and relax all the muscles that are not needed. Be careful not to overtighten the mandible and not to close your teeth. Breathe calmly.
  • To exit from the position unroll gently the vertebral column, one vertebra at a time untill placing your back completely on the mat and finally lengthen your legs on the ground with a couple of rest breaths.


This position has many benefits but is contraindicated if you suffer from severe lumbar lordosis, peptic ulcer or duodenal ulcer and abdominal hernia. It should also be avoided if you are pregnant.

Lets see the benefits of setu bandhasana:

– Relieves pain from the hip joints since it reinforces them

– Helps alleviate the Sciatica

– Reinforces the entire back, from the shoulders to the gluteus

– Strengthens the muscles of the lumbar area

– Massages and relaxes the colon and the abdominal organs,

– Facilitates the digestion and excretory functions

– Invigorates both feminine and masculine reproductive organs

– Helps to listen and become aware of the abdominal breathing

– Helps to realign the vertebral column, get rid of winged scapulae and alleviate back pain

– Increases the blood flow at the level of the thyroid, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands and the ovaries, contributing to their better functioning

If you want to deepen and start with the basics of yoga take a look at our ebook yoga for everyone